Transport group Stagecoach invests more than £600,000 in five state-of-the-art electric vehicles for its bus operations in Inverness, Scotland

  • Bus operator to invest more than £600,000 infive state-of-the-art electric vehicles
  • Further funding of £477,000 to come from Scottish Government Green Bus Fund
  • Vehicles to go into service in Inverness

PERTH, SCOTLAND, 24-10-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — Transport group Stagecoach is investing more than £600,000 in five state-of-the-art electric vehicles for its bus operations in Inverness, with additional funding coming from the Scottish Government’s Green Bus Fund.

Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown has announced that the Scottish Government is to invest a further £477,000 from its Green Bus Fund in the new Stagecoach buses.

The new bus order is made up of 5 Optare Solo electric vehicles. The buses – which produce zero emissions – will be put into service in place of existing diesel vehicles on several routes around Inverness, including:

– Inverness – Raigmore
– Inverness – Lochardil
– Inverness – South Kessock

The new vehicles – which will be the first electric vehicles operated by Stagecoach – will be manufactured by British company Optare and will be built at the company’s factory in Leeds. They will go into service next year.

Five charging points will be installed at Stagecoach’s Inverness depot where vehicles will be charged overnight. The Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership  HITRANS is partly funding the installation of a further charging point at Inverness Bus Station to allow the buses to receive a top-up charge during the day.

Stagecoach North Scotland Managing Director Steve Walker said: “We’re pleased to be ordering these new vehicles, with support from the Scottish Government’s Green Bus Fund, for our customers.

“Our buses play a vital role in keeping communities connected across the north of Scotland and we are committed to investing in cleaner, greener vehicles for our passengers. Sustainability is at the heart of our business – we are reducing our own carbon footprint as a company and will continue to encourage more people to try our greener, smarter bus services.”

Announcing the funding award, Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “This fund is helping our bus industry invest in the latest emission reducing technology and is another clear indication of our support and commitment to the bus industry in Scotland.

“The Scottish Government is committed to public transport and to our ambitious climate change target of reducing carbon emissions by 42% by 2020.”

Ranald Robertson, Partnership Director, HITRANS added: “The introduction of these new carbon free buses in Inverness is great news for the city. HITRANS is pleased to have supported Stagecoach on this project with a contribution towards the recharging infrastructure and we really look forward to seeing these new vehicles entering service where we are sure they will be welcomed by passengers.”

Stagecoach is a leading investor in cleaner, greener vehicles that run on alternative fuel.  The Group has more than 270 hybrid-electric vehicles in service across its UK bus operations. In Scotland, there are 13 hybrid buses in Aberdeen and nine in service in Perth. Stagecoach North Scotland is also playing a key role in a multi-million pound project to introduce 10 hydrogen-powered buses in Aberdeen. A fleet of gas buses is also in operation at Stagecoach’s operations in Sunderland.

In 2010, Stagecoach Group launched Revolution in the Way We Travel, a five-year plan to reduce further the carbon emissions from its transport operations in the UK and North America. The strategy has been supported by an £11million green investment programme. Employee initiatives and eco teams set up by staff have also helped drive dramatic improvements in energy and carbon efficiency.

The Group has delivered its targets 12 months ahead of schedule, and has cut its carbon intensity by 30% in the past five years. It has also achieved an overall absolute reduction of 8% in carbon emissions from buildings and a cut of 3% in annual carbon emissions per vehicle mile from fleet transport.

To maintain the momentum of the Group’s programme, work is now underway to develop a new five-year strategy. This will include identifying further cost-effective energy-saving opportunities, continuing investment to make the business greener, and setting new targets around carbon reduction, water consumption and waste recycling rates.

Last year, figures compiled as part of the Government’s Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme showed that Stagecoach Group is among the top 10% of large companies in the UK for its performance in reducing the carbon emissions from its business.

Every year, Stagecoach reports on its carbon emissions through its corporate website, www.stagecoach.com. It also provides information on its global carbon footprint to the Carbon Disclosure Project, the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emissions database.

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact: Stagecoach Group Communications on 01738 442111 or email: media@stagecoachgroup.com

Notes to Editors:

Stagecoach Group

• Stagecoach Group is a leading international public transport group, with extensive operations in the UK, United States and Canada. The Group employs around 35,000 people, and operates bus, coach, train, and tram services.
• Stagecoach is one of UK’s biggest bus and coach operators with around 8,000 buses and coaches.  Around 2.5 million passengers travel on Stagecoach’s buses every day on a network stretching from south-west England to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.  The Group’s business includes major city bus operations in London, Liverpool, Newcastle,   Hull,   Manchester, Oxford, Sheffield and Cambridge. Low-cost coach service, megabus.com, operates between more than 100 towns and cities across the UK and mainland Europe.
• Stagecoach is a major UK rail operator, running the South West Trains, Island Line and East Midlands Trains networks. It has a 49% shareholding in Virgin Rail Group, which operates the West Coast inter-city rail franchise.
• Stagecoach also operates the Supertram light rail network in Sheffield.
• In North America, Stagecoach operates around 2,900 buses and coaches in the United States and Canada. Megabus.com links around 130 key locations in North America. Stagecoach is also involved in operating commuter and transit services, contracted bus services, charters, sightseeing tours and a small number of school bus services.

 

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