A FirstGroup bus in London

UK manufacturing firms win contract to build FirstGroup's new buses

Two UK manufacturers have been awarded the contracts to build transport company FirstGroup’s new buses.

The 955 vehicles include 200 buses which will be used to transport people to London for next year's Olympics. Forty hybrid buses, which are part-funded by the Government’s green bus fund, form part of the order - with these vehicles operating in Leeds, Manchester and Glasgow.

UK manufacturers Alexander Dennis, based in Falkirk in Scotland, and Wrightbus, based in Ballymena in Northern Ireland, have been awarded the contracts to build the buses.

They are a combination of double-deckers and single-deckers and will start to enter service from next month.

First UK Bus managing director Giles Fearnley said the bus order was “good news for customers, good news for British industry and in particular the transport sector”.

“The effect of our £160 million investment will help safeguard and create jobs in the UK. It demonstrates our confidence in the marketplace and reinforces our commitment to provide high quality services to our customers.”

Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said he welcomed the order which would “secure continued employment for the workers in Alexander Dennis’ Falkirk factory”.

He added that he was delighted FirstGroup was using the green bus fund.

FirstGroup also gave the results of a survey of 2,000 people which showed that 36 per cent admitted to using their car less to reduce their fuel bill.

Also, 51 per cent admitted they were seriously considering using public transport to get to work, while 27 per cent said they would ditch their car if petrol reached £1.50 a litre. In addition, 14 per cent said they were already using public transport instead of their car.

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