Popular bus route between Gosport and Fareham up for national award

The Eclipse bus service
The Eclipse bus service

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A GROUND-breaking bus service is up for a major industry prize.

First Bus’s Eclipse service, which operates between Fareham and Gosport and was launched in 2012, has been short-listed for the Making Buses a Better Choice category at the UK Bus Awards this month.

As reported by The News, First recently unveiled 17 new models worth £3m that offer Wifi, UBS charging cables and executive-style leather seats.

Surveys have shown that 20 per cent of commuters use the service as opposed to their cars. It avoids congestion on the A32 by using the Bus Rapid Transport route, for which there are extension plans that could be included in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

The Eclipse service is short-listed from 260 nominations across 22 categories and will find out its fate in London on November 23.

Marc Reddy, managing director of First Hampshire, Dorset & Berkshire, said: ‘It’s a fantastic achievement to be recognised for our work delivering a premium service with the Eclipse buses.

‘Due to the demand, we’re increasing the frequency of the Eclipse buses to every five minutes soon and have introduced 17 brand-new vehicles to its fleet, which is a £3m investment.

‘With 95 per cent of the Eclipse journeys operating on time and the new higher frequency in place, travellers no longer need to look up timetables.’