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18 Jul 2016
After an absence of nearly 25 years, open-top buses will be returning to Thanet this summer! Visitors and locals alike will be able to sit back and savour the bracing sea views from the open-air top deck of the number 69 bus.
The new route, which starts on Saturday (23 July), will run every day between Ramsgate, Boating Pool and Broadstairs, Stone Bay for a six week period. An open-top double decker will give a jaunty feel to the journey along some of the region’s finest coastline at Stone Bay and Dumpton Gap. Passengers will be able to hop on and off at bus stops all along the route which also passes through Ramsgate Harbour and Victoria Parade in Broadstairs.
The service is part of Stagecoach’s year long celebration of the 100th anniversary of East Kent buses. Wrapped in the original East Kent maroon and cream colours, the open-top bus commemorates the formation of the East Kent Road Car Company in 1916 – still operating buses today under the name Stagecoach South East. The design also features a series of images of some of the key places along the route.
Philip Norwell, Stagecoach South East’s managing director said “Having reached the milestone of 100 years, we wanted to celebrate by doing something special. Open-top buses were a popular part of the summer scene in Thanet during the 1960s and 70s. We’ve decided to bring them back and recreate a bit of nostalgia and a lot of fun for the summer holiday.”
Seaside open-top buses were first introduced in Thanet in 1959 and ran every summer throughout the 60s and 70s before services slowly declined in the 1980s.
Stagecoach hope that if the open-top bus proves popular they’ll be able to run it again next summer.
Route 69 operates from Saturday until 4 September. Timetables are available at local outlets, on buses and online. An open-top bus will also be available for private hire such as weddings and corporate events. For enquiries email [email protected]