Lothian Buses has made a major investment of £6.5m in a fleet of new buses for Edinburgh Bus Tours. The open deck buses have been specially designed so that the company can meet its accessibility and environmental standards.
Thirty new buses will help the bus company keep its status as the third most popular paid for attraction in the city. They will be rolled out in the coming weeks on the Edinburgh Tour, Majestic Tour and City Sightseeing Tour routes.
Richard Hall, Managing Director for Lothian Buses, said: “We pride ourselves on operating one of the most modern and cleanest fleets in the UK. These new vehicles have been designed and built to our exacting specification to ensure that we continue to delight and exceed the expectations of our tour passengers.
“With our open-top buses being a prominent sight on Edinburgh’s streets, we feel the new vehicles are not only a great addition to our fleet but also to the capital city of Scotland. At the same time as offering tourists and visitors an even better view of the city, we’ll be reducing our environmental impact through lower emissions.”
Edinburgh Bus Tours employs over 160 staff with all the drivers, ticket-sellers and visitor guides.
The company has a strategy to cut its carbon footprint across its whole fleet by 42% in the next four years. These buses are Euro 6 models and the will reduce CO2 emissions by around 40%.
The buses are fitted to a high standard with dedicated wheelchair and buggy spaces coloured LED information panels, WIFI and CCTV just like their ordinary fleet. The front of the vehicle has been specially designed with panoramic views for all customers using them.
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “We are excited to hear about the latest investment plans for Edinburgh Bus Tours which look to enhance the visitor experience of this five star tour even further.
“It is great to see a big focus on accessibility and sustainability in the plans while other new facilities, such as the on-board Wi-Fi, will make it easier than ever for visitors to share the very best of Edinburgh with the rest of the world.
”It is important that the tourism industry continues to embrace new technology, innovation and new ways of working in order to compete in a competitive global market and Edinburgh Bus Tours’ investment plans are a perfect example of this.”
The new vehicles were unveiled with the help of The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The Pipers Trail, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo’s ‘house pipes and drums’, accompanied by a crew of highland dancers, staged an exclusive performance to welcome the new vehicles to Edinburgh.
For more information on the Five Star visitor attraction visit their website here www.edinburghtour.com