Stagecoach North Scotland today announced plans to introduce 15 brand new smart hybrid double deck buses to their fleet in the North-east of Scotland.
The buses mark a £3.5m investment from Stagecoach North Scotland and will be based at the Macduff depot. The fleet of electric-hybrids will operate on service 35 between Aberdeen, Banff and Elgin. The brand new buses are low floor easy-access and are fully equipped with leather seats, seatbelts, free wi-fi, USB charging points and contactless payment facilities.
The new vehicles are also equipped with the most up to date vehicle tracking system which means passengers will be able to track exactly when their bus will arrive by looking up their bus stop in the 'bus stops nearby' section of the Stagecoach mobile app or by visiting stagecoachbus.com.
For the past 3 years the Stagecoach Macduff depot has been awarded the Christopher Ball Memorial Award for being the best depot in the UK for eco-driving. A system called GreenRoad is installed on all Stagecoach vehicles and uses a traffic-light LED system on the dashboard to give drivers instant feedback on their driving manoeuvres, encouraging smoother, safer, and more fuel-efficient driving.
The 15 brand new electric-hybrids will build on the achievement by the driving team in Macduff and will further reduce the CO2 and NOx emissions in the
North-east. The fleet will replace the existing coaches used on the route and will provide around 45% more capacity for those travelling on the service. A panoramic view of the Moray Coast will be on offer for those choosing to sit on the upper deck and the lower deck will not only improve the ease of boarding the bus for customers with mobility restrictions but will also reduce boarding times for wheelchair users.
Service 35 is a vital service to the north east connecting more than 15 towns in Aberdeenshire and Moray to both Elgin and Aberdeen. The service operates every 30 minutes between Aberdeen and Banff Monday – Saturday and hourly on Sundays. The service between Banff and Elgin operates every hour Monday – Saturday and every 2 hours on Sundays.
David Liston, managing director, Stagecoach North Scotland said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be introducing even more new buses for the communities in Aberdeenshire and Moray. We know that service 35 is a vital service for the communities we connect and our new fleet will not only reduce the impact of the bus on the environment but they will also allow us to improve our punctuality for customers. We will look forward to welcoming everyone on board in April.”
Stagecoach North Scotland has invested £15.5m in 64 brand new buses in North Scotland in the last 4 years. The 64 buses includes 10 brand new coaches in November 2017 for service 10 Aberdeen – Inverness and 8 brand new low-floor buses for the Inverness airport service 11 in September 2018.
All 15 of the electric hybrid double deck buses are expected to be on the road by April 2019.