Transport bosses announce timetable for record investment

National Express West Midlands and Centro have today announced the timetable for the region’s record £34million investment into new buses, with the first of the new buses due to hit the streets next month. On average a new bus will be hitting the region’s streets every day between March and August.

The investment will see 171 new British built buses hit the region’s roads this year, including 58 state-of-the-art Platinum vehicles. 

New vehicles will have a distinctive fresh livery in a two-tone maroon with complementary cream lines, and the new Platinum vehicles will be even more eye-catching, with a sophisticated slick grey exterior and flashes of brilliant red. These premium routes will have drivers in suits, new bus shelters with real-time information, and innovative bus priority to ensure customers’ journeys are quicker than the car.

National Express West Midlands confirmed that the first of the new buses would be on the road in March, that July would see the most new vehicles arrive, with 38 buses arriving in a month, and that it will have taken delivery of all 171 buses by September. The Platinum buses will be the last to arrive and will go into operation during the summer. 

The investment will mean that National Express West Midlands deliver the Transforming Bus Travel pledge to deliver 300 new buses over a two year period.

Speaking about the investment, Peter Coates, Managing Director of National Express West Midlands said:

 “The new buses arriving over the next few months will ensure hundreds of thousands of our customers will have smoother, cleaner and more enjoyable journeys. The buses, which are all built in Britain, will have more comfortable seats, better lighting and crystal clear CCTV.

“Our customers regularly tell us newer buses make for a better journey and that is why we have invested a record amount in new vehicles.”

Centro Chairman, Cllr John McNicholas, added: 

“The arrival of these new buses is great news for passengers across the West Midlands, offering improved levels of comfort and service.”

The Transforming Bus Travel: Partnership Plus agreement, which was signed in 2013, is delivering more than £83 million of investment for West Midlands bus passengers over two years, including the 300 new buses. It also includes more real-time information, crime-busting CCTV cameras and on-board cleaning.

The deal has landed two major industry awards, taking the 'Putting Passengers First' title at the UK Bus Awards and 'Partnership of the Year' at the National Transport Awards.

Published 8th January 2015