COACH operator Scottish Citylink is to launch a new £7 million fleet of luxury coaches linking Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The coach operator will introduce 18 state-of-the-art double deck coaches this month on its 900 route which operates up to every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day.

The new coaches will boost capacity by 32%, adding more than 2500 extra seats each day to the route.

The new vehicles were launched yesterday in Glasgow by Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson.

The 900 service – which is delivered jointly on behalf of Scottish Citylink by Stagecoach West Scotland and Parks of Hamilton – has seen 12% passenger growth in the past two years.

The investment delivers a step up in luxury for customers travelling on the route who will benefit from a series of new interior features to improve comfort and enjoyment of their journey.

The new Plaxton Panorama coaches – built in the UK by Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) – have 79 seats with greater comfort levels and more leg room than ever before. On-board amenities include fold-down tables, reading lights, mobile holders and chargers at every seat.

On the lower deck, seating is provided around two tables with integrated wireless device charging, and the new vehicles also offer improved luggage capacity.

At the launch, held at the Riverside Museum, Glasgow, Matheson said: “This is a

welcome investment from

Scottish Citylink and a fantastic upgrade for passengers on the 900 route between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

“In order to improve our air quality, reduce congestion and respond to the climate emergency, we need more people to choose to leave the car at home and to take more sustainable forms of public transport. The new amenities on this already award winning intercity bus route will make that choice even easier and I’m glad to see continued year on year growth in passengers on this route.

“We are determined to improve the bus offer across the entire country and that is why we have committed to investing over half a billion pounds through the Programme for Government to support bus priority infrastructure. This is in addition to new powers on buses offered to local authorities through the Transport (Scotland) Act.

“Coupled with investment from operators, which we can see from Scottish Citylink, I’m confident that there is bright future for bus travel right across Scotland.”

Robert Andrew, Stagecoach regional director for Scotland, said: “The 900 service has been one of our flagship routes for over 30 years and it continues to go from strength to strength, providing a reliable, affordable and high quality service for millions of people every year travelling between Edinburgh and Glasgow.

“This investment is further evidence of our belief in the future of coach travel in Scotland.

“Our coaches on this route cover over 2.5m miles each year, and we are proud to be introducing these luxury high-specification coaches for our customers.”

Scottish Citylink is a joint venture between transport groups Stagecoach and ComfortDelGro.

Colin Robertson, Chief Executive of ADL, which manufactured the new vehicles, said: “The 900 service keeps Edinburgh and Glasgow connected and we’re proud to support its growth trajectory with this fleet of 18 new double deck coaches. With flexibility integral to the design of the Plaxton Panorama, our team has collaborated with Scottish Citylink, Stagecoach and Parks of Hamilton to deliver a fantastic travel experience that will set new standards.”