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30 Aug 2021
Local bus operator, Stagecoach, has today confirmed the first 5 vehicles from the brand new fleet for Orkney will arrive in October 2021.
The investment of £5.4 million in 34 brand new buses is a result of an enhanced partnership between Stagecoach and Orkney Islands Council covering an 8-year period, from 2021 through to 2029.
The new buses have been built by Volvo to a specification set by Stagecoach and Orkney Islands Council specifically for the bus network on mainland Orkney. The buses are being built by MCV in the largest and most advanced bus manufacturing facility in the Middle East and will shortly begin their journey from Egypt before arriving in Kirkwall in October.
Every bus is low-floor entry for easy access for all bus users, with leather seats and seatbelts at every seat. Like all Stagecoach buses across the UK, the new fleet for Orkney will feature contactless payments on board and live bus tracking that bus users can access by downloading the free Stagecoach mobile app.
David Beaton, Managing Director at Stagecoach Highland said: “We are really pleased with the pictures we’ve seen of the new fleet for Orkney. We are always committed to doing everything we can to encourage more people to use the bus for their travel needs and we can’t wait to welcome even more people on board our services in Orkney in the future.”
Chair of the Council’s Development and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Graham Sinclair, said: “A huge amount of work has gone on behind the scenes to reach this point and I am delighted that the first five new buses will make the long journey to Orkney for arrival in the autumn. This is in recognition of the importance for the Orkney community of reliable and fully accessible public bus services.
“We listened to the travelling public and the significant investment will mean brand new fleet for all school and public bus services operated by Stagecoach - a vast improvement and one which maximises our ability to provide reliable and comfortable bus services.
“All vehicles will be low-floored accessible and meet Euro 6 low emission standards. In line with our ongoing climate change ambitions, the procurement process for public bus services included options for tenderers to bid on the basis of using an electric fleet. While no tenders were submitted on this basis, the contract awarded includes a ‘low carbon innovation clause’ which enables the Council to grasp external funding opportunities as they arise, and work with operators to introduce cleaner greener vehicles to the fleet.
“We hope the new arrivals will be warmly welcomed and enjoyed by passengers for many years to come.”
In total Orkney will take delivery of 25 Volvo buses, with the remaining 9 buses being built by Optare in Leeds, North Yorkshire. It is expected all 34 brand new buses will be in operation on the island by Spring 2022.