Hi-tech buses to join Falkirk fleet

Nine new buses are rolling into town
Nine new buses are rolling into town

Leather seats, free wi-fi and Formula One technology – just some of the features of the new buses that are joining the Falkirk fleet in September.

The First group says it has invested over £1.3 million in nine Micro-Hybrid vehicles, some of the world’s most fuel-efficient buses.

The super-light, single-deckers offer extra room for wheelchairs and passengers with buggies, and are fitted with the latest energy-saving technology, including a braking power system similar to that used on Formula One racing cars.

Paul McGowan, managing director of First Bluebird, said: “Customers will benefit from an improved service – their journey will be more pleasant, comfortable, smoother and passengers will be able to keep connected while on the move with our free wi-fi.

“My main goal at First Bluebird is to encourage more people to use our buses and to use them more often.

“Our investment in these vehicles shows just how committed we are to improving our services, providing better journeys and attracting new and infrequent bus users.”

The announcement comes just weeks after MSP Angus MacDonald called on First to use a share of the Commonwealth Games buses in the Falkirk district after the sporting event.

The SNP politician argued that, as the bulk of the new Games fleet was being build by Camelon-based Alexander Dennis Ltd, local people should benefit.

He said: “For far too long the age and quality of the First Bus fleet in Falkirk district has left a lot to be desired.

“The addition of new buses to the fleet to accommodate the Commonwealth Games gives First Bus the opportunity to improve their local fleet once the Games are over.

“That would be an ideal legacy of the Games for Falkirk.”

A First Bluebird spokesperson said: “First Bluebird’s new buses, scheduled to arrive in Falkirk in September, are currently being manufactured and so will not be in service during the Commonwealth Games.

“Following the conclusion of Glasgow 2014, the 109 brand new First Group vehicles will be deployed across the UK.

“A number of these vehicles will be deployed to First Scotland East and will operate from the Livingston depot.”

First will reveal which routes the new buses are to operate on later in the summer.