Bus firm spends £2m on hi-tech fleet with Wi-Fi

CUTTING THE RIBBON From left Bob Jackson, Mark Turner, Danny Johnson, Stagecoach managing director Andrew Dyer, Mayor of Havant Cllr Paul Buckley and his wife Cllr Jackie Buckley, with Felicity Tidbury. Picture: Malcolm Wells (132280-7157)
CUTTING THE RIBBON From left Bob Jackson, Mark Turner, Danny Johnson, Stagecoach managing director Andrew Dyer, Mayor of Havant Cllr Paul Buckley and his wife Cllr Jackie Buckley, with Felicity Tidbury. Picture: Malcolm Wells (132280-7157)
Police at the scene near Waddesdon 810054fd-364c-4ef5-84d3-89d35d70

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BUS travel is about to become more comfortable between Portsmouth and Havant.

Stagecoach have unveiled a fleet of 18 new buses costing £2m which are taking bus journeys into the future.

The buses on routes 20 and 21 have 10 per cent more seats, more comfortable seating, are environmentally friendly and have free internet access.

Councillor Paul Buckley, the Mayor of Havant, launched the new fleet of buses at a ceremony in Park Parade, Leigh Park, yesterday.

He said: ‘As a council we welcome Stagecoach’s investment of £2m.

‘There’s clearly a commitment to Leigh Park and Portsmouth. We should all be trying to encourage more bus travel. I have my bus pass and I do use it.

‘Eco-friendly buses with Wi-Fi and all the other facilities on them should certainly encourage people to use buses.’

The old fleet of buses are now 10 years old and are being phased out.

Andrew Dyer, the managing director of Stagecoach South, said: ‘When I first joined 15 years ago the route number 21 ran every half an hour and there was no such thing as route 20 which now runs through Queen Alexandra Hospital (in Cosham).

‘The fact that we’re now in a position where the service runs every 15 minutes through Leigh Park and one of the routes runs every 10 minutes from Portsmouth is a great success story.’

Free Wi-Fi has been installed on all Stagecoach buses apart from the oldest.

On the new buses there is more leg room and extra seating near the front so that more buggies and wheelchairs can fit on.

Each of the chairs has a head rest.

Mr Dyer added: ‘The new buses are also much more environmentally friendly than the 10-year-old buses they are replacing.

‘Because the buses are brand new they are built to the latest European emissions regulations which means that they’re more environmentally friendly than the old ones they’ve replaced as well.

‘We’ve joined up with Hampshire County Council to fit Wi-Fi to try and encourage more people to use the bus.

‘With the increase in smart phones these days it’s been hugely popular.’