By Daniel Hunter

Stagecoach Group today (Monday) announced it is to invest around £60million in hundreds of new greener vehicles for local communities across the UK.

The Perth-based transport group has placed initial orders for 390 buses and coaches for the 2012-13 financial year for its regional bus networks outside London. Further orders will be placed later in the year.

It follows an annual competitive tendering process and brings Stagecoach’s total investment in new vehicles for its regional bus operations over the past five years to more than £370m.

The first of the new vehicles will be delivered from May 2012. All of the new vehicles meet the latest Euro 5 emissions standards, further driving up the quality of bus travel for local people in Scotland, England and Wales.

Included in the fleet are the UK’s first orders for new 15m state-of-the-art interdeck coaches, which will run on Stagecoach Group’s growing budget coach operations in the UK.

The new orders come only weeks after independent research again officially recognised Stagecoach as Britain’s best value major bus operator. Transport specialists TAS found weekly travel with Stagecoach was on average 17.5% cheaper than other bus operators.

Recent research by Stagecoach also found that travelling by bus instead of commuting by car could save drivers around £150 a month.

“This latest multi-million-pound investment is part of our commitment to give local communities high-quality, good value bus travel," Les Warneford, Managing Director of Stagecoach UK Bus, said.

"With sky-high fuel prices and the increasing cost of running a car, it makes more sense than ever to switch to greener, smarter bus travel.”

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