Seventeen new buses have been launched into service along Newcastle’s popular route 1.
Local bus operator, Stagecoach North East has invested £2.5m in the new Enviro 400 double deck, low floor vehicles to further enhance its fleet operating in the city centre.
The new vehicles are the most advanced models available and while they are the most energy efficient and easily accessible, they are also fitted with the latest cctv as an extra health and safety feature. Furthermore, they can accommodate nine more passengers on the lower deck than previous models.
The service 1 has long been a firm favourite among residents in Newcastle. It passes most of the city’s educational institutes such as Newcastle College, the University of Newcastle, Northumbria University and the new Excelsior Academy and as such is one of the company’s busiest bus routes too.
In addition to the investment in new buses, Stagecoach has worked closely with Newcastle City Council to improve accessibility, congestion and road surfaces along the route. To date, the council has significantly modified chicanes along the west end of the route to enable low floor buses reach the kerb simply and effectively. Stagecoach is also consulting with the council about plans to improve the east end of the route as parking continues to be an issue for buses passing along this stretch.
John Conroy, Managing Director, Stagecoach North East says: “Last year we invested £6.8million in our fleet across Tyne & Wear. As a result of this and other measures such as innovative new tickets and initiatives, we welcomed over one million additional passengers onto our services. This year, we hope that the £2.5m investment will make a big impact along the route 1 which is one of the busiest services across the North East and indeed the UK.
“The new vehicles have been carefully selected for their innovative design and efficiency. We are committed to ensuring our services are accessible by all and that they are environmentally sound and these new vehicles meet our objectives exactly.”
Councillor, Wendy Taylor, Newcastle City Council adds: “We welcome Stagecoach's significant investment in new energy efficient and more accessible buses and the benefits this will bring to the travelling public and the environment of the City. The City Council has carried out a series of road improvements at the west end of this route, which has allowed Stagecoach to begin using their new bus fleet.”
To complete the makeover, a new quarterly magazine has been created to keep passengers up to date with news and vital ticket information. What’s more a ‘Meet the Driver’ feature will ensure that passengers feel even more relaxed when they see a friendly face on board. There are also plans to fit each of the new buses with a flat screen TV in the future, to show short travel bulletins and to heighten interaction with all passengers.
For further information about Stagecoach North East please visit www.stagecoachbus.com/northeast