Stagecoach East Scotland launched its new ADL Enviro400 MMC-bodied Volvo B5LH hybrids on Sunday (May 24) – the operator to run the new body/chassis combination. One of these vehicles was featured as our ‘Big Picture’ in CBW1186 when it was photographed leaving ADL’s Falkirk plant.
The 18 buses will gradually enter service this week at Arbroath and Dundee depots on the high frequency ‘Tayway’ 73 route. The popular service connects Dundee city centre with Ninewells Hospital, Monifieth, Carnoustie and Arbroath. Its claim to fame is that it is believed to be the only route outside London which still has conductors onboard collecting fares.
The new buses mark an investment of around £5.3m, £1.4m of which came from Transport Scotland’s Green Bus Fund. The vehicles feature distinctive branding encouraging the public to ‘Go Green’ by trying the hybrid buses, and also feature free WiFi access on board. They are equipped with 79 seats with the ability to carry a further 20 standees.
Explaining the choice of the Volvo/ ADL combination, Andrew Jarvis, Managing Director of Stagecoach East Scotland said: “The route is an unusual mix of a dense urban service with steep hills, some city centre running where air quality is key, and then on to suburban housing with some interurban running at the route’s very end and we felt the parallel hybrid system from Volvo with the B5LH offered the best match to the nature of the route.”
The launch, which took place in the centre of Dundee, included giveaways and plenty to keep the children entertained, including a bouncy castle.
Stagecoach East Scotland already has a fleet of nine ADL E350H single-deck hybrids that operate in Perth fitted with BAE Systems series hybrid drive system. The new B5LHs on route 73 are replacing ADL Enviro400s, which are being moved to Stagecoach in South Yorkshire.