Volvo adds Polish option as Green Bus Fund delivers more cash

A further 465 low carbon buses are set to be built for operation across England and Scotland following the award of £32.7million of Green Bus Fund subsidies by the Westminster and Edinburgh governments. They will include the first 39 Polish-built Volvo 7900H single-deckers for the UK.

England’s bus minister, Norman Baker, has increased the third round of GBF awards from a planned £20million to £30.9million, money that will buy 439 new buses, mostly hybrid diesel-electrics but also 24 gas and eight all-electric vehicles.

His Scottish counterpart, Keith Brown, followed this with the allocation of £1.78million for the second GBF fund north of the border. This will purchase 26 hybrid buses.

Transport for London gets the largest single allocation from the English fund — £5million — to buy 70 additional hybrid buses, taking the number in service in the UK capital to at least 400 by March next year.

Stagecoach, Arriva, Go-Ahead, First, National Express and Rotala have all secured shares of the English funds, while National Express and Lothian Buses are the biggest beneficiaries in Scotland. Arriva and Anglian Buses will operate the gas buses, and Arriva will also run the electric ones on behalf of Milton Keynes Council.

Around 40% of the orders call for Volvo hybrids, mainly Wright-bodied B5LH double-deckers (77 for Arriva alone), but Volvo is also introducing a right-hand-drive version of its 7900H single-decker, built in Poland, with 39 going to First and Lothian.

Arriva is buying a new low-entry version of MAN’s EcoCity gas bus. And Scania and Alexander Dennis have announced a gas-powered K270UB version of the Enviro300-bodied single-decker already supplied to Stagecoach as a diesel.

* For more details, see May 2012 BUSES

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