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Bus firm invests in new coaches

By Kyle Ritchie

A bus company has added 15 brand new smart hybrid double deck buses to its fleet in the north-east of Scotland.

The official launch by Stagecoach North Scotland, held at Duff House, Banff, showcased the buses alongside one of the coaches they will be replacing.

The new buses will provide around 45 per cent more capacity for those travelling on the service.

Stagecoach North Scotland launched its new buses at Duff House in Banff.
Stagecoach North Scotland launched its new buses at Duff House in Banff.

A panoramic view of the Moray Coast will be on offer for those choosing to sit on the upper deck and the lower deck will not only improve the ease of boarding the bus for customers with mobility restrictions but will also reduce boarding times for wheelchair users.

The buses mark a £3.5 million investment from Stagecoach North Scotland and they will operate on service 35 between Aberdeen, Banff and Elgin.

The coaches are low floor easy-access and are fully equipped with leather seats, seatbelts, free wi-fi, USB charging points and contactless payment facilities.

For the past three years the Stagecoach Macduff depot has been awarded the Christopher Ball Memorial Award for being the best depot in the UK for eco-driving.

A system called GreenRoad is installed on all Stagecoach vehicles and uses a traffic-light LED system on the dashboard to give drivers instant feedback on their driving manoeuvres, encouraging smoother, safer, and more fuel-efficient driving.

David Liston, managing director, Stagecoach North Scotland said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be introducing even more new buses for the communities in Aberdeenshire and Moray.

"We know that service 35 is a vital service for the communities we connect and our new fleet will not only reduce the impact on the environment but they will also allow us to improve our punctuality for customers. We will look forward to welcoming everyone on board in April.”

Service 35 connects more than 15 towns in Aberdeenshire and Moray to both Elgin and Aberdeen. The service operates every 30 minutes between Aberdeen and Banff Monday to Saturday and hourly on Sundays. The service between Banff and Elgin operates every hour Monday to Saturday and every two hours on Sundays.

Chris Foy, chief executive, Visit Aberdeenshire said: “Excellent transport links are an important element of our north-east visitor experience and the eco-credentials of this new service highlights the importance of long term sustainability.

"A high quality service north from Aberdeen will help to open up the coastal attractions of Banffshire for our independent travellers.”

Laurie Piper, operations manager at Moray Speyside Tourism said: “The Moray Coast is world-renowned for its beauty, history and its wildlife; it is one of National Geographic’s top rated coastlines and home to one of the largest colonies of bottlenose dolphins in Europe.

"The new fleet of Stagecoach buses will give visitors and residents to the region an easy, sustainable way to travel and experience this most beautiful part of Scotland – the views from the top deck are outstanding.”

Stagecoach North Scotland has invested £15.5 million in 64 brand new buses in north Scotland in the last four years.

The 64 buses includes 10 brand new coaches in November 2017 for service 10 Aberdeen to Inverness and eight brand new low-floor buses for the Inverness airport service 11 in September 2018.

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