Big bus order signals brighter future for Camelon coach builder

Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) has secured a massive new order to create 172 buses through a Scottish Government scheme aimed at reducing transport emissions.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 5:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 6:58 am

The £40.5 million funding from the Scottish Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme helps bus companies invest in electric vehicles and associated infrastructure, supporting a green recovery out of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as improving air quality.

Successful proposals for 172 zero-emission buses were made, with ADL as the intended supplier and the company will now work with the awardees to finalise contracts for these electric buses, which will be built by ADL in its Falkirk area facilities in collaboration with BYD, the company’s partner for electric buses in the UK and Ireland.

Paul Davies, ADL president and managing director, said: “The Scottish Government deserves huge credit for leading by example to support bus operator’s commitment to invest in cleaner, greener buses and we are delighted that bids for 172 of our electric buses have been successful.

Camelon coach builder Alexander Dennis Ltd has secured a deal to construct 172 buses

“These zero emission buses will be built at our factory in Falkirk and therefore ensure this Scottish Government investment is made domestically, allowing the benefits to be felt across our communities while helping to underpin skilled jobs.”

Scottish transport secretary Michael Matheson welcomed to the news.

The Falkirk West MSP said: “The Scottish Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme helps operators to invest in a greener fleet as we respond to the global climate emergency, while also supporting economic growth as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Alexander Dennis is a world leader in building the zero-emission buses we need to decarbonise our bus fleet. The huge number of orders the company has received thanks to the Scottish Government’s biggest investment yet in this scheme – which has been matched by private investment from bus operators and the finance sector – is terrific news for its skilled workforce in Falkirk, our local economy and the wider supply chain.

"More people use buses than any other type of public transport and a vibrant bus industry is key to achieving our sustainable travel ambitions. SULEBS is just one part of a wider support package for the industry, which also includes long-term funding of more than £500 million for bus priority infrastructure and support of up to £191.3million to help maintain essential bus services during the pandemic.”

And its good news for the workers who will be constructing the vehicles.

Falkirk Council leader Cecil Meiklejohn said: "It gives a bit more certainty for the local workforce especially given the extremities all businesses have been facing over the past 12 months due to COVID-19.

“We have a world class manufacturer locally respected for its commitment to reducing carbon emissions with the development of their new greener buses.

Dave Moxham, Scottish Trades Union Congress deputy general secretary, said: “I am delighted to see that all of the ADL buses will be manufactured in Falkirk. This is positive news for the workers, who through their union have been working hard to achieve this.

Willie Thomson, Unite regional officer added: “The success of ADL in winning these orders is a testament to the highly skilled workforce and world leading buses they manufacture. It brings some welcome news following an extremely difficult twelve months.

"Workers can hopefully start to see a more positive and secure 2021.”