Two of Stagecoach South East’s buses have been decorated in a silver livery to celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary.
Stagecoach took over the East Kent Road Car Company in 1993 and since then, has almost doubled the fleet to 459 buses, many of them new vehicles with cleaner engine technology to provide greener travel.
Matthew Arnold, Commercial Director at Stagecoach South East, said: “We are very proud of what we have achieved over the last 25 years. We carry more than 43 million passengers a year, cover 19 million miles annually and employ some 1,300 staff across Kent and East Sussex.
“We cover more routes now and the frequency of buses has also improved, meaning we are serving the local community far better than we have been able to in the past. In short, we have made huge strides since we started out in East Kent so we wanted to celebrate the achievements of everyone involved.”
The silver double-decker bus is now in service in Canterbury with the open top vehicle running in Thanet at weekends until the end of September.
The ADL-bodied Scania N250UD double-decker is one of Stagecoach South East’s newest vehicles and comes complete with luxury coach seats, air-chill, USB charging points and free wifi. New in 2016, it was one of the first buses with a euro VI-engine in the fleet.
The open top Dennis Trident originally operated in London but was converted to an open top when it was brought to Kent. It runs on the ever-popular summer open top route between Ramsgate and Broadstairs.
“In recent years, we have made a significant level of investment in our vehicles and also new technology to make travel more convenient for passengers,” continued Matthew Arnold. “The Stagecoach app allows for mobile ticketing and live bus tracking and we have also introduced contactless payments and smart ticketing. A smart ticket is an electronic card that stores your tickets securely, and makes it simple to buy tickets online and on the bus.
“It is difficult to imagine what bus travel will look like over the next 25 years but we are committed to being part of the bigger conversation surrounding public transport, improving air quality and contributing to reducing ever-growing levels of congestion.”
A specially commissioned banner celebrating the 25th anniversary features on the side of the buses which includes many of the locations Stagecoach serves. Among the drawings passengers can spot an oast house; a windmill at Rye; Ashford Designer Outlet; beach huts which represent Whitstable and Herne Bay; Canterbury Cathedral; Dreamland Margate, the lighthouse at Folkestone and Dover’s famous white cliffs and castle.
The banner was designed by Krissie Gwynne, a former employee of Stagecoach, who now runs her own design agency. She has also designed a logo marking the 25th anniversary which drivers will be sporting on commemorative badges.
Krissie said: “It was a real pleasure to be asked to be a part of Stagecoach’s anniversary celebrations. I wanted to capture as many of East Kent’s attractions as possible in the banner and I think we’ve been able to do that. Although Stagecoach is rich in heritage, it is also a progressive company so I wanted to show both traditional and modern landmarks.”
Matthew Arnold, Commercial Director at Stagecoach South East, celebrating the company’s 25th anniversary with the silver liveried buses.