Bus operator First Glasgow has reached a milestone after investing over £30m in 150 new Alexander Dennis low emission buses in the last six months, with more investment to come. To support First’s journey to improve air quality, it has worked in partnership with the bus manufacturer to ensure the new buses are all fitted with latest Euro 6 engines and equipped with the manufacturer’s low emission SmartPack technology.

96 Enviro400 double deckers have been allocated to four busy urban routes, while ten eye-catching Enviro400 City double deckers are dedicated to the Glasgow Airport Express, which takes just 15 minutes to reach the city centre from Glasgow International Airport. The single deck fleet has also seen significant investment with 44 new Enviro200 buses.

Improving standards for its customers, all of First Glasgow’s new buses have comfortable high-backed seats, USB charging sockets and provision for audio-visual next stop announcements. Customers on the Glasgow Airport Express additionally benefit from extra glazing, mood lighting, table seating and wireless phone charging.

The new buses are fully compliant with Glasgow’s recently introduced Low Emission Zone and go beyond the mandated Euro 6 minimum by using the SmartPack efficient diesel technology developed by Alexander Dennis. This combines electric cooling fans, engine stop/start and auxiliary load management, which charges the alternator and compressor when the engine is in coast, to bring exhaust emissions down by over 15% against the Euro 6 baseline.

To advance safety, some of the new buses have been fitted with the SmartVision system which replaces traditional mirrors with high-definition digital cameras and displays mounted inside the cab for direct and clear visibility. With a wider angle covered and automatic adjustment of screen brightness as well as digital image correction to compensator for lighting, shadows and glare, SmartVision not only provides a safety benefit but also reduces the risk of mirror damage or injury to passengers or pedestrians.

Further investment is planned by First Glasgow as the operator intends to continue to improve the air quality benefits of its fleet, as well as increasing passenger comfort.

Andrew Jarvis, First Glasgow Managing Director, commented: “It is exciting times for everyone at First Glasgow in being able to share these vehicles with the people of Glasgow. We have a great working relationship with the Alexander Dennis team and with these new ultra-low-emissions vehicles, we are providing our customers with a vast improvement in standards and giving them an improved experience on their journeys around the city and Greater Glasgow.

“This investment marks the end of our second phase of new bus launches linked with the Glasgow Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) and takes us a long way toward compliance for phase 2. We are delighted to have delivered such a vast range of service improvements to our customers since October last year and these latest Glasgow Airport buses are the next level for our premium express airport service.

“There is much more to come as we look to continue our mission to improve air quality in the cities and towns in which we operate and planning is already underway for our next phase of investments.”

Colin Robertson, Alexander Dennis Chief Executive, commented: “As a Scotland-based company, we have been proud to work in partnership with First Glasgow with this fleet of 150 new Alexander Dennis Enviro buses. With their efficient SmartPack technology, they are already providing real air quality benefits for Scotland’s largest city, while ensuring highly comfortable journeys for customers.”