Four new hybrids for Preston Bus

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Preston Bus is planning to invest £1.2m in new buses on its routes around the city.

Managing Director Bob Dunn said Preston Bus is rolling out four new as yet undisclosed hybrid double-deckers at the end of the December, at a cost of £300,000 each.

Mr Dunn is a Director of Rotala, which took over Preston Bus 18 months ago after the Competition Commission forced Stagecoach to divest the business.

“It is not just about the cost savings which bringing in this technology delivers to us as a business, it is about doing the right thing,” explained Mr Dunn.

“I recognise our passengers can choose a lot of different ways to get where they are going, so we want to do everything we can to make them feel good about travelling with us.

“We have already brought in seven new Optare hybrids in the current year and now we are bringing in a further four ‘green’ buses.”

The new vehicles are set to be rolled out on Preston Bus’ routes 22 and 23, one of the firm’s most popular corridors. Telematics technology has also been fitted into some of the operator’s vehicles, enabling it to reward drivers who were using fuel-efficient practices and offer extra training to those who do not.

Mr Dunn added: “It is not about hammering drivers, it is about making sure they are being the best they can be and, if they are not, helping them to become better.

“My ambition when we took over was to make this a bus company which the people of Preston could be proud of and that remains my ambition today.”

The news follows Preston being named Green Business of the Year at the annual Be Inspired Business Awards (BIBAs). The awards – which are presented annually by the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce in a number of categories – were attended by over 1,200 people.

Mr Dunn said: “To receive this accolade with so many competing nominations over a large geographical area is truly amazing.

“Preston Bus has committed huge resources in time and money to Green Technology over the past 18 months and it’s great to be acknowledged for our contribution.”