The second pair of British Bus Publishing’s big group handbooks for 2024 lists the British Isles fleets of Arriva and First as they were composed in January.

Both have four fewer pages than their 2023 counterparts, a barely noticeable reduction that takes account of further shrinking of Arriva’s footprint in the parts of England where it still operates.

Also, that although First grew last year through the acquisition of Ensignbus, there appear to be fewer ordered vehicles outstanding than there were a year ago when Zebra funding had led to the placing of big contracts for the single- and double-deck versions of the Wright Electroliner family.

With German state railway Deutsche Bahn in the course of selling Arriva to the investors at I Squared Capital, perhaps the group is confining its new vehicle investment to those required for Transport for London tendered service contracts.

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