Borders Buses has taken delivery of new buses designed to encourage greater use of bicycles.
The 10 Enviro200 single deckers, built by Alexander Dennis, each incorporates two on-board bike racks and a top-end specification that includes wood effect flooring, leather seats, USB charging points, audio and visual passenger information systems, mobile phone holders and stop buttons at every seat, plus free Wi-Fi.
The bike buses, as they are now referred to by passengers, have been introduced following a pilot scheme undertaken on the busy Peebles to Edinburgh route earlier this year. Its aim was to determine the demand for a greener transport solution focused on reducing car journeys, traffic congestion and encouraging active travel.
The pilot scheme was so successful that Borders Buses has moved quickly to introduce the 10 new, hi-spec Enviro200s on three key routes, the X95 Carlisle to Edinburgh via Hawick and Galashiels, the X62 Galashiels to Edinburgh via Peebles and the 253 Berwick to Edinburgh service via Dunbar and Haddington.
In addition, a further 10 Enviro200s will be introduced by the end of February next year, all forming part of the multi-million drive by Borders Buses to establish Scotland’s first wide-spread network of bike friendly bus routes. Each of the 20 new ADL single deck buses is fitted with two bicycle racks and has seating for 38 passengers. They are powered by Cummins six-cylinder, low emission engines with stop-start capability and have Voith automatic transmissions.
Colin Craig, Managing Director of parent company West Coast Motors, said: “The areas we cover include some of the most popular destinations in the UK for cyclists and our trials on the X62 Galashiels-Peebles-Edinburgh route have proved conclusively that pedal power and horsepower do work together.
“We very much see bus as part of the active travel solution and this initiative introduces a fantastic new dimension to sustainable greener travel. We recognise cyclists are prepared to ditch their cars for our bike-and-bus combination, all of which is great news in terms of reducing traffic congestion and vehicle emissions, enhancing the environment and encouraging people to jump on a bike and get active.”