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Inverness coach company D & E Coaches is looking to a low emission future with purchase of Euro 6 low-emission bus to serve the Highlands

By Louise Glen

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MD Donald Mathieson checking out the D&E Coach.
MD Donald Mathieson checking out the D&E Coach.

D & E Coaches have taken delivery of a £260,000 new low-emission 53-seater luxury coach in a sign that the Highlands’ largest private hire operator is investing in a post-pandemic future.

Donald Mathieson, managing director of the Inverness-based company, revealed:”We aim to continue on a ‘green’ strategy of acquiring the latest environmentally friendly vehicles.

“This new investment means that almost half our 64-strong fleet meets the latest Euro 6 low-emission diesel standards – reducing nitrogen oxide content by 67 per cent, benefiting people with respiratory conditions.

“These 30 coaches are thus cleaner in terms of exhaust gases than any previous generation of public sector vehicles – and we intend to commit resources to roll out further fleet additions in due course to extend this progress.

“It’s been a challenging time for the coach hire sector and while the virus will be with us for some time ahead, we’ve come through our difficulties and are planning ahead.”

In the two years before the pandemic, D & E, who employ 70 people, were transporting almost a million passengers a year. They are now only catering for 25 per cent of that payload, but business is increasing steadily.

Mr Mathieson, who founded D & E with his wife Elizabeth 25 years ago, added:”If you stand still in this business, you’re actually going backwards – and we’re keen to be in line with the latest European legislation.

“In the two years before the pandemic, we spent £1.5 million on a new generation of coaches and it’s exciting that we’re able to kickstart that momentum.

“We want to do our bit for a cleaner Inverness and the other towns and communities we draw our business from.

“Nitrogen oxide emissions on the new coach are a 75 per cent improvement on the previous Euro standard – and there is a 95 per cent drop in particulate matter, which is especially critical in built-up areas.”

D & E Coaches have acquired or refitted six coaches to meet the latest wheelchair accessibility standards.

READ: Highland community called to line the streets of Merkinch this coming Monday, after the death of Inverness businessman Trevor Nicol

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