The order, believed to be the largest ever in the UK, is for almost 570 new vehicles, including a £21m 70 hybrid fleet and 23 gas buses Stagecoach Group has announced a record order for buses and coaches worth over £100m.
The operator has placed orders for almost 570 vehicles for the financial year 2014-15. The investment also includes a £21m fleet of 70 hybrid buses for London and new coaches for the company’s expanding Megabus budget travel service in the UK and Europe.
It is the largest set of orders ever placed by Stagecoach and is also understood to be the biggest placed by any bus operator in Britain. It takes Stagecoach Group’s total orders of new buses and coaches for its regional bus operations in the UK to around £545m in last seven years. The Group has also ordered more than £100m of new vehicles for its London bus operations since buying the business in 2010.
All of the new vehicles will be fitted with Synectics CCTV while more than 350 will also have Icomera WiFi installed, giving customers free internet access during their journeys. Other suppliers to benefit from the record-breaking order are Chapman Driver Seating, Hanover Displays (destination equipment) Passenger Lift Services (wheelchair lifts), Lazzerini (bus seating) Fainsa (Plaxton coach seating) and Shades Technics (Coach Toilets).
The latest orders follow an annual competitive tendering process and the first of the new vehicles will be delivered from Spring 2014.
The orders all meet Euro 5 or 6 standards and are as follows:
- More than 420 buses for Stagecoach regional bus networks in the UK. These include 69 ADL Enviro 400 Scania double-deckers (38 of which are for several Gold specification services across the UK, each of which will be given its own local launch), 86 ADL Enviro 300 single-deckers, 28 ADL Enviro 300 Scania single-deckers, 199 ADL Enviro 200 Dart 4 midibuses, two ADL Enviro 200 Dart 4 Euro 6 midibuses, 13 Optare Solos and a fleet of 29 ADL Enviro400 Euro 6 double-deckers for Manchester services;
- A special consignment of 26 Van Hool Astromega Euro 6 double-deck coaches to replace the entire existing Oxford Tube fleet;
- 72 hybrid vehicles to go into operation in London. These are 32 Wrightbus Gemini Volvo B5LH Euro 6 hybrid double-deckers and 40 ADL Enviro 400 Trident Euro 6 hybrid double-deckers. A single ADL Enviro 400 Trident conventional Euro 6 bus was also ordered for London;
- A further 23 ADL Enviro 300 Scania gas-powered single-deckers for the company’s operations in Sunderland; and
- A total of 17 new coaches for Megabus in the UK and Europe as well as inter-urban bus routes in the UK, which includes six Van Hool Altano TDX 21 left-hand drive coaches, eight Plaxton Elite i Volvo B11R Euro 6 coaches and a further three Van Hool Astromega Euro 5 double-deck ‘sleepercoaches’ for use on megabusGold.com.
Stagecoach Group Chief Executive Martin Griffiths said: “This record investment is a major boost for UK jobs in manufacturing and many other smaller businesses in the supply chain.
“It is also a huge vote of confidence in the future of bus and coach travel in Britain. By investing in quality and continuing to offer the best value travel of any major operator in the UK, we can help people save money, rely less on their cars and use a greener way to access work, health, education and leisure.”