West Coast Motors-operated City Sightseeing Glasgow is to launch a fleet of 10 new electric open-top buses. The city’s open-top tour, which serves attractions including Glasgow Cathedral, Glasgow Green, Clydeside Distillery, Riverside Museum, Glasgow University, The Hunterian and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, is part of the City Sightseeing Worldwide franchise, which offers open-top tours in just under 100 cities across the world including neighbouring Edinburgh as well as further afield in London, Dublin, Berlin, New York, Dubai and Johannesburg.
The launch of the operator’s new electric buses will make Glasgow the first City Sightseeing operator to have a full fleet of electric vehicles, and the first Scottish open-top tour to commit to a full electric fleet, as well as one of the first in Europe.
The vehicles are part of a £4,500,000 investment, with funding from the Scottish Government’s Scottish Ultra Low Emission Bus (SULEB) scheme.
Communications Director at City Sightseeing Glasgow Sharon Morrison said: “We are excited to be introducing a full electric fleet to our open-top tour in Glasgow. It’s great for the city’s green credentials and reinforces our commitment to meeting Scotland’s climate change goals. Whilst we already offer one of the most sustainable ways for visitors to enjoy the best of Glasgow, the move to full electric means we can showcase our city’s wealth of cultural heritage, and of-course its dear green spaces, with zero environmental impact on our city, its residents and visitors.
“As well as the environmental benefits of operating an electric fleet, the buses will offer an improved customer experience, with a much smoother and quieter journey for those enjoying Glasgow’s story.”
Glasgow Life Chief Executive Susan Deighan said: “This investment in a fleet of electric City Sightseeing Glasgow buses is a great example of how our tourism industry partners are driving forward climate-change action. Boosting their green credentials will help Glasgow further enhance its reputation as a leading international destination for responsible tourism and achieve its aims of becoming one of Europe’s most sustainable cities.
“Promoting the sustainability of the visitor experience Glasgow offers not only supports tourism, it also greatly benefits the people of our city, our economy, and of course our environment.”
Tom Greenshields, Head of Business Development at Wrightbus, added: “We are absolutely delighted to be supporting the city of Glasgow’s sustainability mission with our StreetDeck Electroliner open-top buses. This 10-bus order will be one of the first City Sightseeing fleets in the world to be fully electric, which demonstrates Glasgow’s commitment to helping to reduce emissions. We feel proud to be working alongside City Sightseeing Glasgow and West Coast Motors, which operates the city’s sightseeing buses, as their objectives very clearly align with ours to help play a part in the UK’s decarbonisation ambitions.”
Enrique Ybarra, Founder of City Sightseeing Worldwide, added: “Sustainability is a goal that the entire tourism industry shares and City Sightseeing Worldwide is delighted that City Sightseeing Glasgow, through this pioneering development, has become one of the benchmarks for the entire sightseeing tour sector. We will continue to work with the same awareness to extend this example to the rest of our global network.”
The buses are expected to be introduced in July 2023.