A Camelon bus-building firm is pulling out all the stops to manufacture what will be the largest double deckers in the UK.
Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) was chosen by operator Lothian Buses to create a 42-strong fleet of 100-seaters which will enter into service in Edinburgh in January.
The first of the Enviro400XLB three-axle double deckers, which can accommodate 131 passengers in total, was rolled out during an unveiling ceremony at ADL’s Glasgow Road factory.
Developed in close collaboration with Lothian Buses and chassis manufacturer Volvo, the 45ft-long vehicles feature middle doors to enable passengers to get on and off more quickly in an attempt to speed up services.
The buses also offer USB charging points, Wi-Fi access and audiovisual stop announcements.
Colin Robertson, ADL chief executive, handed over the first of the double deckers to Lothian Buses managing director Richard Hall last Thursday.
Mr Robertson said: “Customer collaboration is at the heart of what we do at Alexander Dennis and we are proud to work with Lothian to meet their exacting requirements as they are renowned as a leader in delivering an outstanding customer experience.
“As a company headquartered in Scotland, building buses again for Edinburgh is a great source of pride for the employees at our Falkirk factory and we look forward to further developing our relationship with Lothian.”
Mr Hall said: “Buses are the lifeblood of Edinburgh and the Lothians, transporting over 350,000 customers every day. We are delighted to be able to work with other businesses who share our passion for innovation with a commitment to deliver a high quality, reliable and unique product for our operations in Scotland.”
Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson, Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, also attended the unveiling.
He said: “I am pleased that Lothian continues to invest in their bus fleet in partnership with Alexander Dennis. The partnership is yet another success story for the business, who already enjoy an outstanding reputation as the world’s largest double deck bus manufacturer.”