Local bus operator Stagecoach has taken delivery of the first modified Buchan Xpress coach following customer feedback on the £5.5million fleet.
The first coach arrived in Buchan on Friday 17th March following modifications being made by vehicle manufacturers ADL.
The £5.5m fleet of state-of-the-art, fully DDA compliant, coaches was introduced in November 2015, delivering a series of improved features for customers. In addition, following feedback on some of the design features of the coaches, Stagecoach has worked closely with the vehicle manufacturers on a series of modifications to deliver an even better travel experience for passengers.
Among the amended design features includes a modification to the staircase to help make boarding easier for those with mobility restrictions. Additional hand rails have also been installed to make boarding even easier for customers.
Six new stopping bells have been fitted to the coach, meaning the coaches will have almost double the number of stopping bells on board.
Stagecoach expects the agreed modifications to be made to all Buchan Xpress vehicles by Autumn.
Mark Whitelocks, Managing Director for Stagecoach North Scotland said: "We always seek to provide a better travelling experience for our customers and we are delighted to have taken delivery of the first modified Buchan Xpress coach. We have already received positive feedback from customers regarding the modifications. There is now a plan in place to make these improvements to the entire fleet of Buchan Xpress coaches in the coming months."
A survey carried out in Buchan in April 2016 revealed that nearly 8 out of 10 of those interviewed said the new coaches were an improvement to the bus service.
The survey was weighed to be demographically representative of the regular passengers on the Buchan Xpress coaches with 20% of those interviewed being 60 years old or over.
Over 7,500 bus journeys per week are made by people aged 60 years old and over in the Buchan area.
Pictured: Mark Whitelocks, Managing Director of Stagecoach North Scotland on modified Buchan Xpress Coach