National Express goes for 15m coaches

NATIONAL Express is switching to 15m coaches on key routes with an order for 120 tri-axle Scanias with Caetano Levante bodies. The new coaches, to be delivered over the next three years, will seat 60 people. The current standard National Express coach seats 48. NatEx follows the lead set by Stagecoach, which this year introduced 15m coaches to Citylink and Megabus services with a fleet of 45 Volvos.

The group has also placed large bus orders for its Travel West Midlands fleet which will be taking around 365 new buses over the next three years. The initial delivery will be of 60 Scania OmniLink low-entry single-deckers, along with five Scania OmniCity double-deckers and 59 Alexander Dennis Enviro400 double-deckers. In 2008 and 2009 TWM will be taking around a further 120 vehicles each year, split equally between double-deckers and single-deckers.

The bus orders represent a coup for both Scania and Alexander Dennis. In recent years most of TWM’s new buses have been Wrightbus-bodied Volvos.

The total value of both the bus and coach orders is reported by National Express as £69million - £43million for Scania and £26million for Alexander Dennis.