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First stop for new buses in Orkney

Stagecoach’s brand new state-of-the-art demonstrator Volvo bus sporting a “marine theme.”

Stagecoach has today confirmed that the first four brand new buses will arrive in the county on Friday, October 15.

The investment of £5.4 million in 34 brand new buses is a result of a contract between Orkney Islands Council (OIC) and Stagecoach covering an 8-year period, from 2021 through to 2029.

In total Orkney will take delivery of 25 Volvo buses over coming months, with the remaining nine buses being built by Optare.

The first four buses will arrive in Stromness on the evening sailing from Scrabster on Friday, October 15 before completing their journey to their new home in the Kirkwall depot.

By spring 2022 every Stagecoach bus operating in Orkney will be low-floor entry for easy access for all bus users, with easy-clean leather seats and seatbelts at every seat. 

They will feature contactless payments and live bus tracking on board on public services that bus users can access by downloading the Stagecoach mobile app. The new fleet will also meet Euro 6 emission standards.

David Beaton, managing director at Stagecoach Highland said: “It is an exciting time for us with the first new buses arriving at our Kirkwall depot. Some of our drivers based in our Kirkwall depot have made the trip to collect the new fleet. Once the buses arrive we’ll do some final preparation to get them ready for driver training and use on our services on the island.”

Chair of OIC’s development and infrastructure committee, councillor Graham Sinclair said: “It’s hugely gratifying to see these four buses arrive in the county, the first of many more which will bring modern, accessible and low carbon buses to the county for the benefit our residents, including school pupils, and visitors.

“This is the result of a lot of hard work by officers of the council, in the lead up to the contract being awarded, to explore the various options for the county and steer us through procurement to what is a cost effective and environmentally advanced solution.

“We look forward to the rest of the fleet arriving over coming months and to exploring, with the operator and with funders, possibilities in coming years for tapping into Orkney’s vast renewables potential and bringing on board green hydrogen and electric powered buses.”

OIC’s transportation manager, Laura Cromarty, said: “We are delighted to introduce the first of the new fleet to Orkney and look forward to promoting and encouraging the use of public bus services again”.

The buses are expected to begin operating on routes across Orkney week commencing Monday, October 25.