Perth-based transport giant Stagecoach Group announced on Monday planned new vehicle orders worth more than £80 million to help tackle the twin challenges of car congestion and air quality.
A new fleet of 351 “cleaner, greener vehicles” will be introduced in the coming 2019-20 financial year.
The new buses and coaches will be introduced in Stagecoach’s regional networks in England, Scotland and Wales, as well as on the company’s megabus.com network in the UK.
The planned orders include 48 electric buses which are being part-funded by the UK Government’s Green Bus Fund and – once orders are finalised – will go into service in Manchester and South Wales.
Virtually all of the new vehicles meet the Government’s Low Carbon Emission Bus specification, with a mixture of electric vehicle technology and the latest Euro 6 emissions standard engines.
Most of the new vehicles will be built in the UK.
Stagecoach Group chief executive Martin Griffiths said: “This is a huge investment by the private sector in providing better mobility and better air quality in local communities.
“It follows other significant investment that we’ve made in smart ticketing, improved information for customers and digital technology.
“Delivering better bus services is a shared responsibility and it is absolutely essential that this commitment is matched by urgent action by local authorities to address the growing gridlock in our towns and cities.
“Without action on congestion, local people will not enjoy the full benefits of this investment and people’s quality of life, health and our economy will continue to be damaged by too many cars on the road.”