- £4.5 million investment in 18 brand new high-spec double deck buses
- Ultramodern vehicles feature free customer WiFi and USB charging points
- Latest Euro 6 engine technology with ADL's Smart Accessories returning improved fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions
The popular Stagecoach Gold route 1 from Aldershot to Farnborough and Camberley has long proven its value to the local community, taking commuters to their trains, students to college and shoppers to the town centre's.
So significant is the route, its reliability and growth that Stagecoach have now invested £4.5 million in the next generation fleet. The latest vehicles are 18 double deck buses and include e-leather seating, free WiFi and USB charge points. There is also a new look interior creating a lighter and improved ambience to further improve the travelling experience.
Edward Hodgson, Managing Director for Stagecoach South said “We continue to significantly invest in our fleet to improve our service and customer experience.
"These ‘next generation’ buses will enhance connectivity, comfort and sustainability for customers– signifying our solid commitment to delivering an unbeatable, eco-friendly travel experience.”
Edward added “The Gold route 1 maintains important links across the district and with the additional in-travel benefits and more seating capacity, we hope to tempt even more people to try the service.”
The buses have also been fitted with the latest Euro 6 engines and utilise 'Smart Accessories' - this means that the air compressor and alternator only charge the systems when the vehicle is braking or slowing down - when there is no fuel being used - creating free energy and returning improved fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions.
The vehicles debuted at a special photo ceremony, held within the grounds of Farnborough College of Technology, one of the key destinations along the route for their students and staff.
Speaking at the launch, Principal Virginia Barrett said “We are very pleased that Stagecoach have come to Farnborough College of Technology to launch these high-tech new buses, especially as three of our students are currently doing their Engineering Apprenticeships with Bus and Coach Manufacturer Alexander Dennis.
“Alexander Dennis, based in Guildford, is responsible for building the chassis for each of these buses. It’s a thrilling thought that some of our students may be a part of the manufacturing team of the future!
“Farnborough College of Technology is very proud of our strong links to local employers and industry in general which are so important to improve employability and prosperity for the whole community.
A formal launch and ribbon cutting ceremony took place at Rushmoor Borough Council offices with Edward Hodgson, Managing Director for Stagecoach South accompanied by The Mayor of Rushmoor, Councillor Jacqui Vosper and The Mayor of Surrey Heath, Councillor John Winterton plus guests from Hampshire & Surrey County Councils, as well as Rushmoor & Surrey Heath Boroughs.
The Mayor of Rushmoor, Councillor Jacqui Vosper said at the launch "Rushmoor Borough Council was delighted to be part of the next generation of Stagecoach buses. Public transport is essential for many of our residents, who value a reliable and comfortable service to get them to work, college, hospital or into our town centres, as well as being important to the environment. I was really impressed with the new fleet and that Stagecoach has made such a clear investment locally to improve its service and its passenger experience."
The Stagecoach Gold route 1 operates every 10 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes and every 15 minutes most of the day on Sundays.
Fares on the Stagecoach Gold buses are the same as other Stagecoach services within the area, offering further value for money, with day tickets costing just £5.50 for unlimited travel across the local Stagecoach network. Nightrider tickets, available after 7pm are just £2 for unlimited evening bus travel.