A total of 18 new vehicles are to be rolled out across Leicester after local bus operator First Leicester confirmed it is investing £3.6M in its fleet this year. The 2015/16 investment will bring Firsts fleet of low carbon certified vehicles to more than 750, thought to be the largest in the UK.
The new vehicles, which feature a mix of double deck and single deck models, will all come fitted with leather seats, CCTV and Wi-Fi providing customers with free internet access during their journey. In addition to the dedicated space for wheelchair users, First will also provide extra space for pushchairs.
The new buses, which will be manufactured by Wrightbus based in County Antrim, Northern Island, are all Department for Transport ‘low carbon certified’, making them amongst the most fuel efficient buses on the market.
First also revealed, that all new vehicles will be fitted with Euro 6 engines, a strong commitment to improving air quality across the region. Test results show that running eight Euro 6 buses produces the same amount of certain exhaust emissions, including nitrogen Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) and Particulate Matter (PM), as running one bus with a Euro 5 engine*. The new vehicles will have a positive impact on air quality in town and city centres.
First Leicester said the new vehicles are scheduled to enter service in September and December this year and details of which routes theyll operate will be announced at a later date.
Nigel Eggleton, Managing Director of First Leicester said: “Our £3.6M investment in 18 new vehicles is great news for our customers and underlines our continuing determination to provide ever better bus services in our area and encourage more people to travel by bus. These new vehicles will be among the best and most eco-friendly in the city.
“Passengers can enjoy pleasant, more comfortable journeys and keep connected on the move with our free Wi-Fi, while we support the efforts of our local authority partners to improve air quality for all.’
The investment in Leicester forms part of an overall order by FirstGroups UK bus division of 385 new vehicles worth £77.7m for delivery in the current financial year. Firsts order reflects its commitment to customers and stakeholder partners across the UK and brings the company’s investment in more than 2,220 new buses to nearly £385m over five years.
The order is a big boost to British manufacturing supporting hundreds of UK jobs.