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First to spend £4.5m on new buses for the Solent area

One of Firsts Wright Streetlite buses currently operating in Portsmouth. Another 22 Streetlites and nine Optare Solos are on their way into service this year. PPP-140321-145652001

One of Firsts Wright Streetlite buses currently operating in Portsmouth. Another 22 Streetlites and nine Optare Solos are on their way into service this year. PPP-140321-145652001

 

The First bus company has announced it will spend £4.5m on new buses for Gosport, Fareham, and Portsmouth.

The 22 new additions to the fleet will cost £4.434m and will run on the firm’s most popular routes in Portsmouth, Southsea, Gosport, and Fareham.

The Wright Streetlite midi micro-hybrid vehicles are billed as some of the world’s most fuel-efficient buses.

Chrissie Bainbridge, the general manager for First Hampshire, said: ‘This is another step forward in the significant investment First is making to enhance and improve its services to local communities throughout the Solent area.

‘These services are designed to make travelling to the main centres of Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport as easy and convenient as possible for our customers.

‘The new features such as free to use wi-fi and leather seats we hope will make customer experiences of travelling with us more enjoyable.’

The new vehicles will be seen on two routes.

They will be running up to every 10 minutes on Service 1, the circular route between Gunwharf and Eastney via Southsea and the city centre, and on Service 3, up to every 10 minutes from Fareham to Gunwharf via Paulsgrove, Queen Alexandra Hospital and Cosham.

There will also be nine new Optare Solo buses running up to every 15 minutes on Service 9 between Fareham and Gosport.

All the new vehicles will come equipped with modern features such as free wi-fi, and leather seats.

The new First fleet is in addition to two major investment programmes last year.

A total of £4.4 million was invested in 26 new Wright Streetlites which now make up the iconic Star Services 7 and 8, launched last October, that operate between Wecock Farm to Southsea and Clanfield to Gunwharf.

As reported in The News, each one was named after a Portsmouth-based Royal Navy warship.

A further £2.2 million was invested in 15 new Wright Streetlite vehicles on Service 2 from Paulsgrove to Gunwharf.

 

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