More greener buses planned for Scots roads

THE number of greener buses on Scotland’s roads will increase by one third after the Scottish Government announced funding today for a further 25 vehicles.

• 25 greener vehicles will see environmentally friendly buses rise to 95

• Single-deckers will join double-decker diesel-electric hybrids

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The £2 million grant for single-deckers will bring the number of buses such as diesel-electric hybrids, which produce 30 per cent less emissions and 60 per cent less fuel than other buses, to 95.

They will join the total Scottish bus fleet of some 4,800 vehicles.

Lothian Buses, Edinburgh’s main operator, will get 20 new buses; Stagecoach Bluebird in Aberdeenshire will receive three; with one each going to Secure Airparks at Edinburgh airport and the South West of Scotland Transport Partnership, a Dumfries-based public-private co-ordinating body.

It may be used to transfer passengers between Stranraer train station and the Cairnryan ferry terminal.

Transport minister Keith Brown said the Scottish Green Bus Fund had helped make Falkirk bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis one of Europe’s leaders in hybrid buses.

He said: “We are absolutely committed to investing to improve Scotland’s public transport network and to meeting our ambitious climate change target of reducing carbon emissions by 42 per cent by 2020.

“The fund is also an investment in the future of Scottish jobs and engineering. It’s clear that Scotland is a leading light in this field.”

Alexander Dennis chief executive Colin Robertson said: “Initiatives like this have been a great boost to the bus industry, enabling us to drive forward the development of new-generation technology and to keep Scotland at the forefront of the race towards zero-emission vehicles.”

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Alexander Dennis will build Stagecoach Bluebird’s three buses, but Lothian Buses said it had not decided on a manufacturer.

Lothian Buses managing director Ian Craig said: “Securing this financial support from Scottish Government will enable a further significant order for next generation low-carbon buses.

“Our vision is to provide world-class, socially inclusive transport for Scotland’s capital city and today’s announcement confirms that this promise is being delivered.”