For Holidays & National Express Routes
Edwards Coaches has announced details of a huge fleet investment plan. It will result in the arrival of 86 new coaches in an investment of over £32 million as the South Wales business observes “a positive outlook in 2024.”
The bulk of that total is accounted for by 68 Caetano Levante 3A models built on tri-axle Scania chassis that will be deployed on Edwards’ National Express services. That represents a spend of £25.7 million. The first Levantes were delivered towards the end of 2023 for use from depots in Llantrisant and Swansea. The remainder will arrive “throughout the course of 2024,” the operator says.
In a notable further development, Edwards has ordered 10 Van Hool Altano overdeck coaches, also for use on National Express work. Such a purchase marks a return to the National Express fold for Van Hool after many years away. Each of the Altanos will cost £480,000 and they are expected to arrive in June.
Separate to Edwards’ National Express work, the business is also enhancing its holiday fleet. That has seen the arrival of four Mercedes-Benz Tourismos with two more on order. Also due are a pair of Neoplan Tourliners.
Among the Tourismos already delivered is a further flagship Red Dragon example, following an earlier such vehicle. The new coach carries a slightly amended livery that remains based around the symbol of Wales.
The major investment comes as Edwards Coaches prepares for its centenary in 2025. Speaking about the multiple orders, Proprietor and Chairman Mike Edwards says: “We remain committed to delivering superior travel experiences, combining our heritage and our vast industry experiences with innovation.
“We are investing heavily in new vehicles across our South Wales and Bristol depots. We are proud to be serving our communities as we reach our 100-year anniversary of the start of Edwards Coaches.”
National Express UK Coach Service Delivery Director Ed Rickard said in 2023 that the business expected 2024 to be the biggest year for vehicle deliveries in that company’s history.