Arriva UK Bus has announced an investment programme worth in excess of £45 million to facilitate a major upgrade of its fleet during the next 12 months.
Supporting the business’ on-going commitment to strengthen operating efficiencies within its core business, Arriva has implemented a strategic three stage roll-out of more than 230 new vehicles which will improve service provision across both new and existing routes nationwide.
The first wave of investment will see 62 Alexander Dennis Enviro400 double deck vehicles go into service across the North West. The new carbon efficient vehicles, each fitted-out to Arriva’s standard spec with free WiFi, e-leather seating and CCTV, will reinforce capacity on key city routes, whilst freeing up the one and two year old single deck buses for refurbishment and redeployment elsewhere across the network in the Midlands, South East and North East. A further 47 Enviro400’s will enter service in the North West in the latter half of the year.
The following stage, due to launch in the autumn, six premium Sapphire and two inter-urban express MAX routes will be bolstered by the introduction of a further 56 Enviro400’s, branded to reflect their unique service attributes.
Mark Yexley, Operations and Commercial Director for Arriva UK Bus said: “Since its launch, Sapphire has exceeded our expectations in terms of both patronage and revenue, and plays a pivotal role in our ongoing investment strategy. As Sapphire continues to perform well across all the routes on which it operates, we feel that both refreshing the existing fleet and well as instigating further launches will serve as an extra incentive to passengers demanding something a little different from their transport providers.
“The Enviro400’s have already performed well where previously introduced by Arriva, thanks to their excellent low-weight, robust designs and powerful, economic six-cylinder Cummins EEV engines which deliver reliable low carbon emissions. We have invested nearly £500 million into fleet renewal since 2008 and with the introduction of these new buses, along with the other vehicles we’re procuring this year, we are clearly highlighting our commitment to both tackling the environmental challenges we face as a transport provider in the 21st century, whilst ensuring our customers can enjoy efficient, affordable transport.”
A further 28 buses, built to Sapphire’s exacting specification, including e-leather seating, power points and extra legroom, are on route for use on Durham’s route 6 and in Northfleet.These will be single deck Wrightbus StreetLite Max vehicles manufactured with Cummins Euro 5 engines as well as Wrightbus’ exclusive and innovative ‘Micro Hybrid’ Technology.
The remainder of the investment will include the addition of 12 Wrightbus Hybrid StreetLite Midi vehicles for use in the Southern Counties. They are independently proven best-in-class for fuel efficiency, offering an approximate 10 per cent improvement on a typical city bus drive cycle, and also have Low Carbon Emission Bus Certification meaning they are eligible for an additional fuel support of 6p per km.
Mark Nodder Wrights Group Chairman and CEO said “With Arriva being a long established customer of Wrightbus, we’re delighted they have come to us again for this significant order.
“Our StreetLite range is a tried and trusted offering already used by Arriva around the UK on a daily basis, we are pleased that due to the proven excellent fuel consumption performance and reliability these buses have again been selected by Arriva.”
The Wrexham, Rhyl, and Luton depots will then benefit from the launch of a fleet of ADL Enviro200 midi buses which utilise a revolutionary new automated manual transmission (AMT) which reduces fuel consumption and emissions by around 13%, ensuring a performance on par with hybrids.
Colin Robertson, Chief Executive of Alexander Dennis Limited, commented: “We are delighted to have won 80% of this huge investment by Arriva and to see our relationship thrive as their principal supplier of new buses. This latest order means that we have secured 100% of Arriva’s double deck fleet replacement programme since late 2013, representing 300 vehicles. In addition, Arriva will also be among the first operators in the world to introduce our revolutionary new midi bus, which reduces fuel consumption and emissions dramatically and is based on our market-leading Enviro200.”
Arriva UK Bus has nearly trebled the number of new low-carbon vehicles distributed throughout its UK regional businesses since the start of 2013.
The 2015 investment plan breaks down to: 165 ADL Enviro400s, 11 ADL Enviro200s, 12 10.8m Wrightbus StreetLite Midi Hybrids, 34 11.5m Wrightbus StreetLite Max Hybrids, four 8.8m Wrightbus StreetLite Micro Hybrids and six 8.8m Optare Solos.