First Bus services selected for national award

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First bus service has been shortlisted for the prestigious National Transport Award for three of its iconic bus services.

The Eclipse service, Star service and City Red services, which run throughout Portsmouth and Southampton have been put forward in the Improvements to Bus Services category.

The award recognises how each of the three services mirrors the individual heritage and culture of the areas they serve.

Business performance director for First Hampshire, Chrissie Bainbridge said these buses are designed to stimulate local community pride and to encourage more people – commuters, shoppers and visitors alike – to consider the bus as an attractive, efficient and reliable alternative to using the car.

She said: ‘This is a terrific achievement for us to be considered for such a high -profile and important award.

‘We have been working tirelessly over the past few years to improve all our services, but our three iconic brands have shown the way in offering high-quality and frequent services.

‘We hope these services exceed the expectations of the communities where they operate.’ First buses are continuing to develop improvements across its whole fleet, by installing real time information systems.

These systems will comprise of next stop audio announcements and displays.

This is being further enhanced by the introduction of modern, customer-friendly roadside publicity, including easy to read timetables and maps, on its three flagship routes. The Eclipse route, which runs between Fareham and Gosport, has already been seen as one of the most innovative bus services across Hampshire, and is evidence of the commitment First has to improving the quality of its services.

The Star service has also been championed by residents of Portsmouth, for its association with the city’s navy.

And both the number seven and eight services running between Portsmouth and Waterlooville are named after naval vessels.

First will find out if it has won the award for Improvements to Bus Services at the awards being held at the Westminster Park Plaza in London on Thursday, October 8 .

For more information about the awards, log on and pay a visit to the website at firstgroup.com.