- Around 480 new buses and coaches ordered, many equipped with wi-fi
- £1billion orders for more than 6,500 new vehicles placed over past 10 years
- Latest intake of vehicles all meet latest Euro 6 emissions standards
- New orders help Stagecoach deliver a fully accessible fleet
A new fleet of around 480 vehicles, many equipped with free wifi, will be introduced in the coming 2016-17 financial year as the company continues its policy of reinvesting profits in improving services for customers.
The latest announcement takes Stagecoach Group's total orders of new buses and coaches to more than £1billion since 2006/07, delivering more than 6,500 new vehicles for passengers.
This year’s orders mean around £82million of new buses and coaches will be introduced in Stagecoach's regional networks in England, Scotland and Wales.
Most of the new vehicles are set to be built in the UK, helping to 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*. All of the new vehicles meet Euro 6 emissions standards.
All of the new vehicles will be fitted with CCTV while most 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 2016.
Highlights of the latest investment are almost 280 low-floor double-decker vehicles to go into service across the UK, ensuring that Stagecoach work has met its requirements under the UK Disability Discrimination Act deadline for double deck vehicles. The company previously met the DDA deadline for smaller vehicles.
There are also almost 100 single decker and midi vehicles and 14 coaches for UK Bus express service. Around 65 of the new buses will be used for Stagecoach Gold services.
Stagecoach has also made a multi-million pound investment in digital technology and recently launched a transformational new, fully mobile, UK Bus website which lets customers check live running times for their services and buy travel from their smartphone.
Along with the country's other major bus operators, Stagecoach has also invested heavily to complete the introduction of smart multi-operator bus ticketing in all nine of England's smart city regions with support from local transport authorities.
Britain’s five main bus operators – including Stagecoach – are also working together to produce a business case for the introduction of contactless technology on every bus in Britain. The business case is expected to be completed by late spring 2016 and the scheme, funded predominantly by the private sector, could see new EMV contactless technology installed on every one of the UK’s 32,000-plus buses outside London. It would offer cashless travel for those who want it and capped pay-as-you-go-fares in all urban areas.
Stagecoach was rated by customers as the best value major bus operator in the UK for the third consecutive year in the most recent Bus Passenger Satisfaction survey carried out by Transport Focus.
Stagecoach Group Chief Executive Martin Griffiths said: “Everything we do is about making travel even better for our customers. We are investing in state-of-the-art, cleaner, greener vehicles, digital technology and smart ticketing to raise the bar and deliver an even higher standard of service. These latest vehicle orders are an important part of our strategy to encourage even more people to take the bus.
“Local bus services are the backbone of the country’s transport networks. Stagecoach provides millions of people every day with a greener way to access work, health, education and leisure and we offer the best value bus fares in Britain.”
Details of the new orders are as follows:
UK REGIONAL OPERATIONS
• 278 ADL MMC E400 double-deckers
• 71 ADL MMC E200 single-deckers
• 13 ADL MMC E200 midibuses
• 11 Volvo B11/R Plaxton Elite 6x2
• 2 Volvo B11/R Plaxton Elite 4x2
• 1 Volvo B11/R Plaxton Elite i
• 30 Mercedes Benz Sprinter City 45 minibuses
• 6 Optare Solo SR Slimline minibuses