Perth-based transport giant Stagecoach Group on Monday announced new vehicle orders worth £97 million.
A new fleet of 480 vehicles, many equipped with free wifi, will be introduced in the 2016-17 financial year.
Falkirk-based coach maker Alexander Dennis will make at least 415 of the new buses.
Stagecoach said most of the new vehicles would be built in the UK, “helping to support hundreds of British manufacturing jobs and smaller businesses in the supply chain who produce key components from drivers’ seats and toilets to wheelchair lifts and destination displays.”
The move takes Stagecoach’s total orders of new buses buses and coaches to more than £1 billion since 2006/07 — more than 6,500 new vehicles.
This year’s orders mean around £82 million of new buses and coaches will be introduced in Stagecoach’s regional networks in England, Scotland and Wales.
There is also a £10 million order of new buses for London and £4.5 million will be spent on coaches for the group’s megabus.com operations.
All of the new vehicles meet Euro 6 emissions standards.
All of the new buses will be fitted with CCTV and most will have free wi-fi.
The latest investment includes 280 low-floor double-decker vehicles for the UK, ensuring that Stagecoach meets its requirements under the UK Disability Discrimination Act deadline for double deck vehicles.
Stagecoach said it has also made a multi-million pound investment in digital technology and recently launched a new UK bus website which lets customers check live running times for services and buy e-tickets from their smartphone.
“We are investing in state-of-the-art, cleaner, greener vehicles, digital technology and smart ticketing to raise the bar and deliver an even higher standard of service,” said Stagecoach group chief executive Martin Griffiths.
“These latest vehicle orders are an important part of our strategy to encourage even more people to take the bus.
“Local bus services are the backbone of the country’s transport networks.”