Arriva launches E400 MMC fleet in Leicester

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The new double-deckers are part of Arriva Midlands East’s Leicester Stars network improvement scheme
The new double-deckers are part of Arriva Midlands East’s Leicester Stars network improvement scheme

A £6m investment in 35 new vehicles forms a large part of wider improvements effecting half of the Arriva’s fleet in the city

Arriva Midlands East has invested £6m of investment in its Leicestershire fleet.

The 35 Alexander Dennis (ADL) Enviro400 MMCs are specified with E-Leather seating, CCTV and USB charging points, along with Euro 6 engines with stop-start technology.

To coincide with national Catch the Bus Week, running from July 4-10, Arriva hosted an exclusive event at Leicester’s National Space Centre, where guests including a number of local dignitaries, councillors and businesses were amongst the first to take a closer look at some of the 35 new buses.

The ‘Leicester Stars’ network improvement scheme, which was launched in February, also aims to upgrade approximately 50% of Arriva’s entire Leicester fleet – 81 vehicles in total – either through vehicle refurbishment/replacement or punctuality improvements during the next 12 months. As part of this, 32 buses based at Arriva’s Thurmaston depot have been retro-fitted with SCRT technology after a successful bid to the DfT for Clean Bus Technology funding, securing a grant worth £583,520.  HJS supplied the entire fitment.

Simon Mathieson, Area Managing Director for Arriva Midlands East, explained: “We are committed to challenging the preconceptions to bus travel, and positioning it as a viable alternative to car travel.

“In order to do this we need to ensure that our customers are given access to transport that meets their growing expectations in terms of technology and comfort, but that also delivers with regards to environmental standards.

“This investment into improving our network has not only included our new vehicles, but has also addressed 32 of our older buses based at our Thurmaston depot, through a joint project undertaken in conjunction with Leicester City Council, and funded by a Department for Transport grant worth £583,520.

“This scheme will see the addition of nitrogen dioxide emissions abatement equipment to our existing fleet, in an innovative trial which will monitor air quality improvements on key corridors over the course of the next five years. It’s an initiative we are incredibly proud to be part of, particularly during 2016, which we believe is very much the ‘Year of the Bus’ in Leicestershire.”

Routes receiving the new ADL Enviro400 MMCs are the 5/5A, operating every 10 minutes during the daytime to Melton Mowbray; the 84/85 with departures every 10 minutes from St Margaret’s Bus Station serving Aylestone and Lutterworth; and the 50/50A which runs every 20 minutes to Narborough.