THEY cost £2.3m to build and will take thousands of people on a long-awaited new bus route from Fareham to Gosport.
And yesterday, potential passengers had their first opportunity to get a glimpse of one of the new ‘Eclipse’ buses that will take on the £25m route.
The first buses will start running down the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route from Fareham to Gosport on Sunday, April 22.
People were given the opportunity to view the vehicles and ask representatives from First about how the scheme will work.
The 14 Eclipse-branded buses will be fitted with leather seats, wood effect flooring, internal display screens with travel information and free wi-fi in a bid to make the journey as comfortable as possible for passengers.
Among those taking a look yesterday was Wendy Lakeland, 66, from Orchard Grove in Portchester. She said: ‘I think it’s lovely, it’s really comfortable.
‘It will allow a lot more people to go further afield. I will definitely be using it.’
Mary Budworth, 62, from Rodney Close in Rowner, added: ‘This is just brilliant. It looks really nice.
‘I didn’t think it was going to go down to Rowner but it is. I think this will be excellent.’
But others were concerned about whether or not the scheme will be a success.
Derek Brooks, 72, from Braemar Road in Gosport, said: ‘I think it’s a waste of money. A lot of people who use the bus are mothers with pushchairs and there doesn’t seem to be enough room in there. I will use it though and it’s nice to see they have got new buses.’
Brenda Bradshaw, 73, from Southmead Road in Fareham, added: ‘I think they are really nice. If it works it will be great. But I think time will tell.’
Glenn Jones, BRT manager for First Bus, said: ‘It’s been very good, we got a wide spectrum of people but on the whole most people are enjoying it. They are looking forward to the launch. People are impressed with the buses.
‘We want people to understand what we are trying to achieve by taking buses off the A32.’
Another information day will be held in Lawrence Square in Gosport on Friday from 10am until 6pm.