THIS is the first glimpse inside the new ‘luxury’ bus which will soon be making its way down a multi-million pound route in Fareham and Gosport.
Each bus – named ‘Eclipse’ – will be fitted with leather seating, wood-effect flooring, free wi-fi and display screens showing local travel and route information.
An announcement system on board will also tell passengers which stop is next as they move along the route.
From later this month there will be 14 buses using the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) which aims to cut congestion on the A32.
Hampshire County Council’s councillor in charge of transport issues, Cllr Mel Kendal, hopes the buses will persuade people to ditch their cars.
He said: ‘The new busway is aimed at reducing traffic in one of the most congested areas in the south of Hampshire.
‘We have worked closely with First Group to maximise its benefits.
‘Their significant investment in 14 new buses will meet the needs of many public transport users today.
‘For some it will be a big step to leave the car at home and travel by bus but these superior quality buses and reliable journey times make a persuasive and convincing reason to do so.’
The buses will use the first phase of the busway for part of the journey between Fareham and Gosport.
Hampshire County Council is also introducing new bus-only lanes on a trial basis in Portland Street and Western Way in Fareham this month.
The council hopes this will cut the buses’ journey times.
Workers are now putting the final touches on the £25m route in preparation for the opening on April 22.
Electronic signs have now appeared on the A27 in Fareham advertising the launch date to motorists.
Matt Kitchin, the general manager for First Hampshire, said: ‘With the arrival of our new vehicles we’re looking forward to the opening of the dedicated busway.’