Saturday, 24 March 2012

Britain's Busiest Regional Bus Route Goes Greener

Stagecoach has announced today that Britain's busiest regional bus route is to go greener with the introduction of a fleet of 40 hybrid electric vehicles in Manchester.

The 192 route, which carries nearly 10 million passengers a year, connects Manchester city centre with Stockport and Hazel Grove. High-frequency services run up to every 2 minutes at peak times and the Stagecoach route will be served entirely by hybrid electric buses.

The investment follows confirmation from the Department for Transport of several successful bids for part-funding of new low carbon vehicles from its Green Bus Fund.

A fleet of 19 hybrid electric vehicles will also be introduced by Stagecoach on its Sheffield 52 route. It carries around 3 million passengers a year, connecting the densely populated suburbs of Hillsborough, Crookes, Attercliffe, Darnall and Woodhouse.

Stagecoach is investing a total £12.2million in the new greener buses for Manchester and Sheffield, matched by a grant of £4.6million from the Green Bus Fund. The new vehicles are expected to go into service in early 2013.

The Perth-based transport group is already the UK's biggest investor in green hybrid electric buses, which produce 30% less carbon emissions than standard vehicles. The new fleet will increase the number of hybrid buses Stagecoach has in service or on order by more than 40%.

A total of 123 hybrid electric buses are already in operation in Stagecoach's regional bus operations in several English cities: Manchester (50), Oxford (26), Newcastle (26) and Sheffield (21). A further 19 hybrid electric buses will go into service in Stagecoach networks in Scotland this summer.

Les Warneford, MD, Stagecoach UK Bus, said: "This latest multi-million-pound investment will make the busiest bus route in Britain also the greenest. The new buses are great news for bus passengers in Manchester and in Sheffield. They will also support these two cities in the drive to get people out of their cars and improve local air quality.

"Stagecoach is leading the way in investing in buses with this state-of-the-art technology. We are also committed to providing local communities with high-quality, good value bus travel. With sky-high fuel prices and the increasing cost of running a car, it makes more sense than ever to switch to greener, smarter bus travel."

UK-based manufacturer Alexander Dennis Limited will supply Stagecoach with 59 of the Enviro 400H double-decker buses, which incorporate regenerative braking technology.

The 192 route in Manchester is part of Greater Manchester's first Statutory Quality Bus Partnership Scheme (SQP). It involves a joint commitment by Stagecoach, Transport for Greater Manchester, Manchester City Council and Stockport Council to take steps to help reduce congestion, improve punctuality and deliver better air quality. The new vehicles will replace existing low emissions vehicles, bringing the number of Stagecoach hybrid electric buses in Manchester to 90.

The Stagecoach 52 service in Sheffield links the main shopping centre, Sheffield University and the Children's Hospital. The route is part of a partnership agreement with South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, Sheffield City Council and First South Yorkshire, which offers integrated ticketing and high frequency services.

Last month. Stagecoach Group announced it is investing around £60million in hundreds of new greener vehicles for local communities across the UK. The Perth-based transport group placed initial orders for 390 buses and coaches for the 2012-13 financial year for its regional bus networks outside London. The 59 new buses brings the orders for 2012-13 to 449 vehicles.

In the last five years, including today's new orders, Stagecoach has invested a total of more than £380m in new buses for its regional bus operations in Scotland, England and Wales.

Earlier this year, independent research again officially recognised Stagecoach as Britain's best value major bus operator. Transport specialists TAS found weekly travel with Stagecoach was on average 17.5% cheaper than other bus operators.

Recent research by Stagecoach also found that travelling by bus instead of commuting by car could save drivers around £150 a month1

For further information about Stagecoach bus services, visit

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