Stagecoach’s record £100m order
Stagecoach Group has placed orders worth over £100m in 570 new coaches and buses for the financial year 2014-15 for its operations in England, Scotland and Wales. It is the largest set of orders it has ever placed and the company believes it is also the biggest placed by any bus operator in Britain. The investment includes a £21m fleet of hybrid electric buses for London and new coaches for the company’s expanding megabus.com budget travel service in the UK and Europe. It takes Stagecoach Group’s total orders of new buses and coaches for its regional bus operations in the UK to around £545m in the last seven years. The Group has also ordered over £100m of new vehicles for its London bus operations since buying the business in 2010. The latest orders follow an annual competitive tendering process and the first will be delivered from Spring 2014. The vast majority of the new vehicles will be produced in the UK, which Stagecoach claims will give the country’s economy a boost.
In the next financial year, Stagecoach is investing over £81m in 495 new vehicles to go into service in local communities outside London, across Scotland, England and Wales. In addition, a £21m fleet of 70 state-of-the-art hybrid buses will be introduced at the Group’s London operations. All of the new vehicles will be fitted with CCTV, while more than 350 will also have Wi-fi installed.
The investment includes a fleet of 29 double deckers for Manchester services and 38 new Gold specification vehicles to go into service across the UK, as well as a consignment of 26 double deck coaches to replace the entire Oxford Tube fleet. Its Sunderland operation will receive 23 gas buses, and there will be 17 new coaches for megabus.com as well as three further megabusGold.com sleepercoaches.
For its UK regional operations, Stagecoach has ordered: 69 ADL Enviro400 Scania double deckers, 86 ADL Enviro300 single deckers, 28 ADL Enviro300 Scania single deckers, 23 ADL Enviro300 Scania gas fuelled single deckers, 26 Astromega Euro6 double deck coaches, three Astromega Euro5 double deck coaches, six Van Hool Altano TDX 21 left hand drive coaches, 199 ADL Enviro200 Dart 4 midibuses, two ADL Enviro200 Dart 4 Euro6 midibuses, 29 ADL Enviro400 Euro6 double deckers, 13 Optare Solos with Cummins engines, eight Plaxton Elite i Volvo B11R Euro6 coaches and three Van Hool Astromega double deck sleepercoaches.
For its London operations, it has ordered: 32 Wrightbus Gemini Volvo B5LH Euro6 hybrid double deckers, 40 ADL Enviro400 Trident Euro6 hybrid double deckers and one Euro6 ADL Enviro400 Trident bus.
Stagecoach has sourced the following equipment from predominantly British manufacturers for fitment to the vehicles: CCTV from Synectics Ltd, Wi-fi from Icomera, drivers seats from Chapman Drivers Seating Ltd, bus passenger seats from Lazzerini, coach passenger seats from Van Hool and Fainsa (Plaxton coaches), destination equipment from Hanover Displays, wheelchair lifts from PLS (Passenger Lift Services) and coach toilets from Shades Technics Ltd.
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.’