ADL Abellio partnership moves beyond £100m mark after hybrid order

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Abellio Chief Operating Officer, Alan Pilbeam, with ADL Regional Sales Director, Martin Brailey

The fleet of 16 ADL Enviro400H double-deckers set to enter service by the end of May.

Abellio has invested in 16 new Alexander Dennis Ltd (ADL) Enviro400H double-deckers, which are expected to enter service in London this month.

The new hybrids move the Abellio London fleet closer to the 800 vehicle mark, 85% of which are ADLs.

Business between the two companies now totals over £100m since Alan Pilbeam, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy MD, joined Abellio UK in 2011.

Alan moved into the bus industry initially with FirstGroup in Manchester, West Yorkshire and the East of England, before joining Abellio UK.

“Strategic partnerships are critical to our success,” said Alan. “We need partners who are on the same wavelength, who can deliver products that are fuel efficient, reliable, environmentally friendly, and who walk the talk in terms of price and aftermarket support.

“On all of these fronts, ADL has been with us every step of the way and has played a huge part in the expansion of our UK fleet by over 50% in the last few years.

“They share our values in terms of putting customers first, backing promises with actions and delivering the low emission products of today – while investing in the technology of tomorrow.”

Arthur Whiteside, ADL’s Managing Director, UK Sales, said: “It has been a pleasure working with Alan and his team at Abellio as they have driven their business to a new level in recent years.

“They are at the forefront of strategic partnerships, taking the whole concept of operator-supplier relationships to a new level.

“Working hand-in-glove and understanding the wants and needs of customers is a critical part of the business equation and one we never lose sight of at ADL.”

Two men highlighted for playing a vital role in the success of the business partnership are Jon Eardley, Engineering Director for Abellio UK Bus, and Mark Wallis, ADL’s UK Service Director.

Jon commented: “We have an open and honest relationship with ADL and that has been central to the success of our combined efforts. We set clearly defined targets, review performance regularly and address issues head-on.

“In short, we have high expectations at Abellio and ADL has stepped up to the challenge, all of which encourages consolidation around their product range.”

Mark Wallis added: “Delivering what we promise is the bottom line. Our objective is to maximise the performance of every ADL vehicle in the Abellio fleet, acknowledging that a bus is not just for Christmas.

“Our relationship helps us to walk in their shoes, understand their expectations fully and to be both proactive and reactive to issues.”

Touching on Abellio’s future, Alan Pilbeam added: “I am very hopeful that the Bus Services Act will create a new generation of opportunities in cities across the UK.

“London, as we are all aware, operates in a regulatory bubble that gives the Mayor and TfL virtual autonomy, ensuring they design and operate a system that best meets the needs of the capital city.

“Giving similar responsibilities to other cities will encourage innovative thinking, inspirational projects and a new generation of transport solutions.”