Bus boost for jobs and passengers

Falkirk bus station
Falkirk bus station

Public transport giants FirstGroup has ordered over 400 new buses in a move that will deliver a local jobs boost and possibly even a better deal for passengers.

The company which owns First Scotland East plans to invest £70 million upgrading its fleet with nearly 100 of the 425 vehicles to be built by Alexander Dennis Limited in Camelon.

The package is the largest ever signed by a UK bus company outside of London and takes its spending on around 2000 new buses over the last four years to £310 million.

ADL will build 97 vehicles - 60 Enviro 400 double-deckers and 37 Enviro 200 single floor buses - for the company and they will be ready to go into service before the end of the year.

FirstGroup, which operates its local services from Stirling Road in Larbert and Falkirk bus station at Callendar Riggs, is still to announce exactly where the entire order will be put into service. But given it has been fined by the Traffic Commissioner in the past for the standard of vehicles it has put on local roads there are hopes some new buses could be heading Falkirk’s way.

A FirstGroup spokesman said: “Final decisions will be reached shortly as to exactly how many vehicles each of our businesses will receive.”

Giles Fearnley, managing director of First UK Bus said: “Our investment will help support the communities we serve and undelines our commitment to encouraging people to use our services and use them more often.”