The following press release was issued by National Express Group on Wednesday 30th May 2007:
National Express Group PLC ("National Express" or "the Group") today announced that it has placed new orders valued at £69 million for up to 480 coaches and buses for its UK coach and bus divisions. Vehicle manufacturers Scania and Alexander Dennis Ltd ("ADL") will supply the vehicles over a three year period and the first vehicles will start to enter service in Autumn 2007.
As a result of this investment the Group's UK-wide coach network and bus operations in the West Midlands and London will be fully accessible to all customers including wheelchair users. The vehicles will be fitted with state-of-the-art clean engine technology and boast the latest in fuel consumption efficiency and emissions technology.
Group Chief Executive Richard Bowker said: "We are focused on providing the latest products and services to our customers and today's order confirms our commitment to further upgrade our fleet to make it accessible to all.
"Buses and coaches are the most environmentally friendly ways to travel and consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of using public transport. We want to ensure we are well positioned to cater for that demand and, as a leading provider of travel services, we are committed to sustainable and responsible travel by providing our customers with the latest state of the art vehicles on the market."
The ADL order comprises single and double deck buses totalling £26 million. The Scania order comprises single and double deck buses and Caetano Levante coaches totalling almost £43 million.
Both the Scania and ADL vehicles are fitted with clean-burning engines which comply with the latest European low exhaust emissions standard (Euro 4).
All of the buses will run on low-sulphur diesel, are fully DDA compliant including low-floor easy-access for wheelchairs and pushchairs, and all have CCTV fitted as standard. The 60-seater tri-axle Levante coaches will be fitted with special lifts to help wheelchair users to board. The order will complement the Group's existing roll-out of fully accessible vehicles which is currently underway across its UK coach network.
- National Express Group serves more than one billion passengers a year worldwide on its bus, train, light rail and express coach and airport operations. It has leading positions in each of its markets - the United Kingdom, North America and Spain. Over 25% of our operations are now in international markets.
- The Group's bus division operates more than 2,000 buses and provides approximately 380 million passenger journeys a year. It employs 7,000 people in the West Midlands, London and Dundee.
- The Group's coach division provides Britain's only scheduled national coach network and serves more than 1,000 destinations, providing approximately 19 million customer journeys each year. The airport service provides premier, high frequency scheduled coach services to all the UK's major airports. The division employs nearly 1,700 people.