People in Bristol will soon be travelling on new buses fitted with the latest low-emission engines after a fleet of 385 vehicles were ordered nationally.
First Bus, part of transport company FirstGroup, is investing £77.7m in the buses, of which 90 per cent will be fitted with ultra-clean Euro 6 engines and also free Wi-Fi and USB charging points on some vehicles.
The investment includes two “virtual electric” (part-hybrid, part-electric) buses, which will enter service in Bristol from December.
Five double-decker buses, scheduled to operate in Stirling in Scotland, will also be fitted with flywheel technology originating from Formula 1.
Euro 6 engines produce up to eight times less oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions than the Euro 5. The move is the biggest investment in Euro 6 buses in the UK to date.
The Wrightbus company, based in Ballymena in Northern Ireland, is manufacturing 248 of the buses while ADL, based in Falkirk in Scotland, has secured an order for 117 buses.
In addition, Volvo is building 20 double-decker chassis in Sweden, with the bodies manufactured by Wrightbus.
Among towns and cities getting the new buses, to be delivered during the current financial year, are Bradford, Glasgow, Halifax, Slough in Berkshire, Swansea, Leicester and Southampton.
First Bus managing director Giles Fearnley said: “This is great news for First Bus customers across the UK. In five years we've invested around £385m in new vehicles.
“I'm delighted the overwhelming majority of our new vehicles will be fitted with Euro 6 engines. The advances in engineering are remarkable and our investment represents one of the most environmentally friendly bus orders ever placed.”
Some 99 per cent of the 385 vehicles in the First Bus order are Department for Transport ‘low carbon certified’, making them amongst the most fuel efficient buses on the market.