First MAN gas bus ordered

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Arriva plans to introduce 98 new low-carbon buses worth £26.7m to its UK fleet comprising 77 Volvo Hybrids and 21 MAN EcoCity CNG buses which will run on biomethane.

This investment represents the UK’s largest orders both for Volvo hybrid buses and for MAN EcoCity gas buses.

Arriva is funding £22.2m of the investment with the remainder secured through successful bids by the group to the government’s GBF.

The buses will enter in the North East, North West, Yorkshire and Kent.

Mike Cooper, MD, Arriva UK Bus, said: “We welcome the minister’s announcement. The GBF is helping accelerate the introduction of low carbon emission buses across England and supports investment by the bus industry aimed at further improving it’s environmental credential.

“Arriva is committed to investing heavily and our teams put forward strong bids, which resulted in us winning a significant share of the funding allocation in this round. During the bidding we worked in close partnership with our local authority stakeholders. They were very supportive and helped ensure our proposals aligned with their environmental objectives and contributed to our aspirations to continue to improve the quality of our local bus services.”

Orders have been placed for the 98 new buses which will enter service over the next 12 months. The new vehicles are part of Arriva’s ongoing investment programme which is enabling the business to withdraw some of the oldest buses in its fleet. They also complement the Arriva group’s wider eco-driving initiative which is reducing fuel consumption and vehicle emissions across its UK and mainland European operations through innovative fuel indicator technology and progressive driver training techniques.

Tony Griffiths, general manager Bus Operations, MAN Truck & Bus UK, said: “Naturally, we are delighted to have secured what we hope is the first of many orders for our EcoCity. To receive the order for such a significant quantity of chassis, and from such a highprofile operator, is justification for all the hard work we, and the Gas Bus Alliance, have put in over the last 24 months.

“Today’s GBF announcement provides us with even more incentive to market EcoCity. This cash injection from the DfT is designed to promote growth among low-carbon operators, and MAN can provide the vehicle ‘off the shelf’.

“We have always had the utmost confidence in the EcoCity product. We’ve been open and honest with our calculations on economy and other running costs, and it’s enormously gratifying to see customers realise the full potential of EcoCity. Our demonstration programme continues to convince operators of the merits of gas power, and I fully expect to be able to announce more firm orders in the near future.”

Furthermore, a spokesmann for ADL told CBW early signs indicate the company has secured around 150 orders through the latest GBF initiative and this figure may rise to over 200. It is believed the bulk of the orders are for E400 and E350Hs.