More low carbon vehicles for First Scotland East’s bus fleet

22 October 2014  •  Author(s): First Scotland East

Local bus company First Scotland East (trading as First Bluebird) has confirmed that it will invest over £1 million in five state-of-the-art green vehicles, with additional funding worth £196,000 for the vehicles secured from the Scottish Government’s Green Bus Fund.

First Scotland East Enviro 400H

First Scotland East will introduce five Enviro 400H Flywheel hybrid buses in 2015

First confirmed the brand new, state-of-the-art low carbon vehicles will be used on an urban route in congested Stirling city centre which links the city and Stirling University. The Flywheel hybrid buses are among the most fuel efficient in the world and will help reduce emissions in Stirling, an area of an area of natural beauty, tourism and historical importance.

The double-deck vehicles will be manufactured by Falkirk-based manufacturer ADL and will feature the Gyrodrive energy recovery system developed by component engineering firm GKN – technology which harvests energy that is normally wasted when braking and stores it in a flywheel, which runs at up to 36,000rpm. When the driver accelerates the system works in reverse, feeding the energy into a traction motor.

The buses will be fitted with free Wi-Fi, leather seats and extra room for buggies and wheelchairs.

Paul McGowan, Managing Director at First Bluebird, said: “The order of five Enviro 400H Flywheel hybrid buses supports our drive to improve services and attract more people onto our buses and will help us to deliver significant fuel savings and reduced emissions. Our customers will enjoy the benefits of smoother, cleaner journeys”

He added: “The low carbon vehicles use flywheel technology which offers similar savings to a full hybrid but at a lower purchase price.”

Mr McGowan also recognised the contribution from the Scottish Government’s Green Bus Fund. He said: “The Scottish Green Bus Fund is helping us invest in low carbon, more fuel efficient vehicles and is a boost for the bus industry in Scotland. This is a real boost in making our bus fleet more eco-friendly.”

Announcing the Green Bus Fund Awards, Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “I am encouraged by the interest in this year’s Scottish Green Bus Fund which will contribute to another 83 low carbon emission vehicles on Scotland’s roads. This fund is helping our bus industry invest in the latest emission reducing technology and is another clear indication of our support and commitment to the bus industry in Scotland. The Scottish Government is committed to public transport and to our ambitious climate change target of reducing carbon emissions by 42% by 2020.”

The Minister also announced support worth £1.3 million to First Glasgow, First Scotland East’s sister company. First Glasgow will invest a total of £7.4 million in 47 state-of-the-art green vehicles including a £7 million investment in 43 StreetLite Micro Hybrid buses and a £2 million investment in four virtual electric vehicles which will enter service in Scotland for first time.

The new buses will operate on the Stirling Uni Link which provides customers with services every 7-8 minutes, Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm.

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