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10 Mar 2015
Stagecoach Group today (10 March 2015) announced passengers are to benefit from an investment of more than £80million in new buses and coaches for services in the UK and mainland Europe.
A new fleet of nearly 470 vehicles, many equipped with free wifi, will be introduced in the coming 2015-16 financial year as the company continues its policy of reinvesting profits in improving services for local communities.
The orders by Britain's biggest bus and coach operator are a further boost for the country's manufacturing sector, with most vehicles set to be built in the UK. It will support hundreds of British manufacturing jobs and smaller businesses in the supply chain who produce key components from drivers' seats and toilets to wheelchair lifts and destination displays*.
More than £75million of new buses and coaches will be introduced in Stagecoach's regional networks in England, Scotland and Wales. There is also a £2.7million order for new buses for London, as well as £6.9million of new coaches for the company's expanding megabus.com low-cost service in the UK and mainland Europe.
The latest announcement takes Stagecoach Group's total orders of new buses and coaches for its regional bus operations in the UK to around £630million in the last eight years. The Group has also ordered more than £20million of new coaches for megabus.com services in mainland Europe as well as £105million of new vehicles for its London bus operations since buying the business in 2010.
All of the new vehicles will be fitted with CCTV while many will also have wi-fi installed, giving customers free internet access during their journeys.
The latest orders follow an annual competitive tendering process and the first of the new vehicles will be delivered from Spring 2015.
Highlights of the latest investment are 412 low-floor double-decker, single-decker, midi and mini buses for Stagecoach regional bus networks in the UK as well as a total of 22 new coaches for megabus.com in the UK and Europe, and a further 34 coaches for Stagecoach Express operations in the UK. Of the local bus order, 93 will be manufactured to the company’s Gold specification to operate on Stagecoach’s luxury Gold services.
All of the new vehicles meet Euro 5 or Euro 6 emissions standards.
These orders will ensure Stagecoach’s entire single deck fleet meets the UK Disability Discrimination Act deadline later this calendar year, and the Group remains on track to meet the deadlines for other vehicle types over coming years.
Along with the country's other major bus operators, Stagecoach is also making a multi-million pound investment in smart multi-operator ticketing across all of the main city regions in the UK. Work on the ground-breaking project is underway and is due to be completed during 2015.
Stagecoach Group Chief Executive Martin Griffiths said: “This new investment is all about delivering better bus and coach journeys for our passengers. We have the lowest bus fares in Britain and a strong track-record of investment over many years that has attracted growing numbers of people back on board the bus. We believe strongly in reinvesting our profits to continue that growth and our sector-leading levels of customer satisfaction.
"Buses are central to our communities, giving people a greener way to access work, health, education and leisure. They are also critical to our economy. I'm delighted that most of our new buses will be built right here in the UK, helping support British manufacturing and hundreds of jobs in the supply chain."
Details of the new orders are as follows:
UK REGIONAL OPERATIONS