Unite Scotland has today (22 March) welcomed the announcement of 172 green buses to be built at Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) in Falkirk.

The Scottish government has awarded £40.5 million through a second round of the Scottish Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme (SULEBS), which Unite has stated will improve the outlook for the plant following significant job losses in 2020. The announcement will help to fill orders at a time when bus operators are reluctant to invest into their fleets due to the continuing impact of Covid on the bus industry. 

Unite has spearheaded efforts to retain jobs at ADL in Falkirk and Larbert following the loss of around 200 jobs through voluntary redundancy. The trade union had repeatedly criticised the Secretary of State of Scotland, Alistair Jack MP, for delays in the lack of support from the UK government as in a normal year about 25 per cent of ADL’s order book is made up of orders from within Scotland and much of the rest is from the UK. The Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced a £3 billion bus strategy – Bus Back Better - which will deliver 4,000 new UK built electric or hydrogen buses.

Willie Thomson, Unite Regional Officer said: “The success of ADL in winning these orders is a testament to the highly skilled workforce and world leading buses they manufacture.  It brings some welcome news following an extremely difficult twelve months. Workers can hopefully start to see a more positive and secure 2021. The success of the ultra-low bus emission scheme shows that targeted government support can deliver for workers, communities and our environment.  As we build for a cleaner and greener future, it’s vital that ADL look to restore full manufacturing capacity at Falkirk. With the long-awaited investment from the UK government through their Bus Back Better programme the skilled, world class, manufacturing jobs at Falkirk look to be more secure.”