Lothian Buses has unveiled a fleet of new vehicles for its Edinburgh Bus Tour service. The 30 open-top double deck vehicles have been specially commissioned for the company to meet its accessibility and environmental standards.

Edinburgh Bus Tours is Scotland’s third most popular paid for attraction and the buses will begin operation in coming weeks across three of its five routes – Edinburgh Tour, Majestic Tour and City Sightseeing Tour.

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.”

Rated a five-star experience by VisitScotland since 2011, the Edinburgh Bus Tours team is made up of over 160 staff including Ticket Sellers, Tour Drivers, Visitor Advisors and Guides who are all trained in-house.  Investment in Edinburgh Bus Tours’ new vehicles forms part of the company’s overarching fleet strategy, which will see Lothian Buses’ carbon footprint cut by 42%

by 2020. These new Euro 6 buses will reduce CO2 emissions by 40% compared to the existing tour vehicles and will reduce both NOx (nitrous oxides) and particulates by up to 99%. The 30 new vehicles have been specially commissioned, making them a UK first and are fitted to a high specification with dedicated wheelchair and buggy spaces, coloured LED destination information display equipment, Wi-Fi and CCTV. The front of the vehicle has also been designed to provide panoramic views for customers visiting the key attractions around Edinburgh.

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.

Brigadier David Allfrey, Chief Executive and Producer of The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, said: “Lothian Buses and Edinburgh Bus Tours are a brilliant way to explore Scotland’s capital city.  The key aspect of any visit to a

new place is to understand its history and context.  Then, you need to explore and establish how the various localities fit together; each with their different character and way.  Once the pieces of the jigsaw fit together, you can meet the people and get to the heart of a place.  Our visitors are all looking to soak up the character of Scotland.  An early bus tour is a great start.”

For more information on Edinburgh Bus Tours visit www.edinburghtour.com