Leading manufacturer MAN Bus & Coach UK has beaten off stiff competition to secure a deal worth almost £2 million to provide bespoke gas buses to Arriva.
Bosses from Arriva and MAN Bus & Coach signed the deal at the Euro Bus Expo at the NEC.
MAN will provide 18 tonne MAN EcoCity gas-powered buses with a low entry chassis to Arriva for use on the Mersey Travel contract.
MAN chassis sales and technical engineer Graham Wilkinson said: “This is a prestigious customer and we are delighted that Arriva has decided to go with MAN based on the service, back-up and aftersales packages we offer.
“As a company we worked closely with Arriva to make sure that we understood the requirements of the contract and that we were able to best meet those demands.
“MAN is building the buses to a bespoke Arriva CNG specification that includes on board WiFi, USB charging points and E leather upholstery and we are delighted that Arriva chose the MAN EcoCity to further grow the CNG fleet – which is 100 per cent MAN.”
Wayne Ulph, general manager MAN Bus & Coach, added: “The vehicle is sold as a complete MAN product so both body and chassis are supported through MAN.
“The bus bodies are made from lightweight aluminium and power is provided by a 6 cylinder 270bhp E28 engine which meets the new Euro6c specification. They have a six-speed ZF Ecolife gearbox and have four roof-mounted CNG tanks giving a capacity of 1,176 litres.
“Gas buses are part of our commitment to future-proofing technology for urban transport. Running vehicles on natural gas also makes it possible to save up to 30 per cent on running costs as well as reducing emissions.”
Phil Cummins, area managing director at Arriva, added: “Arriva was very happy with the first MAN buses we added to the fleet in 2013 and chose to go with MAN again based on the quality of after sales support and service, as well as the fact they were able to deliver a bespoke specification for us.
“These MAN gas buses are part of Arriva’s ongoing investment in improving environmental performance in our bus fleet and further helping the environmental sustainability of the services we provide to our passengers.”
The new buses will be working alongside 10 of the original vehicles, the bulk of which are operated by Arriva in Darlington.