Alexander Dennis wins bulk of £70m FirstGroup order

First Bus managing director Giles Fearnley. Picture: Sandy Young

First Bus managing director Giles Fearnley. Picture: Sandy Young

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Transport giant FirstGroup has ordered £70 million of new buses, the bulk of which will be built by Falkirk’s Alexander Dennis.

The Aberdeen-based group said it bus division will be taking delivery of 305 vehicles – taking the investment in its fleet over the past six years to £455m.

Alexander Dennis will build 204 of the latest buses. It will also manufacture bodies for ten coaches, the chassis for which are being built by Volvo in Sweden. Wrightbus of Northern Ireland secured an order for 91 vehicles.

Today’s deal follows a £97m bus order placed earlier this month by rival transport operator Stagecoach, whose co-founder Sir Brian Souter is an investor in Alexander Dennis.

READ MORE: Alexander Dennis drives off with £21m FirstGroup order

First Bus managing director Giles Fearnley said: “First Bus is proud to continue supporting British bus manufacturers.

“Our manufacturing partners continue to lead the world in quality, innovation, fuel efficiency and value for money. I’m pleased that we’ve again invested heavily in our fleet and our tradition of supporting the British manufacturing industry remains strong.”

Along with engines that produce fewer emissions than previous units, the buses will feature free on-board wi-fi, while many passengers will also benefit from leather seats and USB charging points for their smartphones and tablets.

READ MORE: FirstGroup secures cross-border rail route

Fearnley added: “We are determined to make the bus a more compelling proposition, attract more customers and grow our business.

“Ensuring that our customers travel in modern, comfortable, fit-for-purpose vehicles which provide added value such as free wi-fi and USB charging is pivotal to our customer engagement strategy and our future success.”

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