FirstGroup announce one of the largest bus orders ever

The UK’s largest bus and rail operator, FirstGroup, today announced one of the largest bus orders the British transport industry has ever seen.

The announcement of a £160m order for more than 955 buses over 2 years, comes as fuel prices across the UK hit an all time high and the British public begin to look to alternative modes of transport in order to keep costs down. Research released today by FirstGroup will reveal whether rising fuel prices will force people out of their cars and on to public transport. With the average tank of petrol now costing £2, and continuing instability in Libya and the wider Middle East, public transport may become increasingly viable for more people as rocketing fuel prices make people think twice about using their cars.

The order includes an additional 200 buses for the London 2012 Olympics which will help transport the thousands of visitors expected to converge on the UK throughout the Games.

FirstGroup’s order includes 40 hybrid buses which have been funded with the help of the Government’s ‘Green Bus Fund’. These hybrid vehicles will be operating in Leeds, Manchester and Glasgow from 2012. Powered by a combination of batteries and conventional diesel, the new hybrid buses produce around 40% less carbon emissions. As well as being kinder to the environment the new state of the art buses are quieter than other vehicles and also more comfortable – with leather seating.

FirstGroup plc

FirstGroup plc is the leading transport operator in the UK and North America with revenues of over £6 billion a year. It employs more than 130,000 staff and transports some 2.5 billion passengers a year. The Group is Britain’s largest bus operator running more than one in five of all local bus services. A fleet of some 8,500 buses carries approximately 3 million passengers a day in more than 40 major towns and cities. It also operates Greyhound UK providing regular services between London and the south coast and between Cardiff and Swansea.