Arriva and King Long co-operating over buses

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Partnership aims to develop new vehicles for Arriva’s UK and European bus operations

Arriva’s UK Bus and Mainland Europe divisions are entering a ‘co-operation agreement’ with King Long, China’s largest bus exporter. The partnership will aim to develop new, innovative prototype vehicles for trial within Arriva’s UK and European bus operations.

Arriva and King Long have recently worked side by side through the provision of 174 new King Long buses to Arriva Malta. This has given both companies valuable experience of working together and played a role in setting the foundations for testing of newly developed prototypes for the UK and European markets.

Mark Bowd, Arriva’s group engineering director said: “This new agreement with King Long once again underlines our commitment to bringing the latest technology and ideas to the UK and European public transport markets. Introducing new technology and using state-of-the-art vehicles are two vital ways to encourage greater use of public transport and we continue to play our part in achieving that goal.”

Kevin O’Leary, engineering director for Arriva Mainland Europe, added: “King Long has a vast and respected experience in developing alternative fuel technologies for the bus industry. We have worked closely with them to introduce new vehicles into our Maltese operations and I am certain that understanding and knowledge will assist us both into the future as we explore what new technology can offer us at home and abroad.”

Chris Cassar, managing director of King Long Europe said: “We have a young engineering team and they are listening carefully to the market demand. I hope that with this new cooperation agreement, we will deliver benefits for ourselves and Arriva.”

The new agreement should see some prototype vehicles be tested within Arriva’s European operations by the middle of 2012 with a further King Long prototype due to be introduced into an Arriva operation in the UK by end of next year.

As reported in CBW at the time, King Long recently launched its new European-style 12m bus – the three-door XMQ6120AGD – at Busworld Kortrijk.