On Monday 17 February, seven brand new Euro VI buses in a revised Best Impressions-designed blue, silver and white livery were introduced into the First Essex fleet, representing a £1.9m investment by the operator.
The ADL Enviro400 buses are branded as ‘Essex Airlink’ and are destined for First Essex’s popular X30 and X10 routes, providing an interurban link from Southend and Basildon to Chelmsford and on to London Stansted Airport.
The service runs up to every 30 minutes between Stansted Airport and Chelmsford and links Basildon and Southend up to hourly. Steve Wickers, Managing Director at First Essex, said: “I am delighted to be introducing our latest investment of £1.9m in seven brand new buses that will run on our very popular ‘Airlink’ service, running between Southend, Basildon, Chelmsford and onto Stansted Airport.
“It is exciting to see how technology, design and innovation can be used to transform bus travel and these new vehicles will certainly set a new benchmark in bus travel in terms of comfort, access, connectivity and design, combined with the current highest environmental standards.”
The buses feature extra CCTV cameras projecting images of the luggage stored in the racking to the upper deck, providing peace of mind for customers that their luggage is safe. Leather seating is from Lazzerini, which adapted its Transito seat design with a bespoke headrest and cushion shape, and features a seat-back console with an integrated USB charger, wireless charging point, phone holder and wireless bell push.
Marie Connell, Business Development Manager at Alexander Dennis Limited, said: “We’re delighted to be working with First Essex on this upgrade of the X30 service. Our new Enviro400 buses will be adding extra capacity on this popular route, delivering comfortable journeys for passengers with their high specification interior, while First will be sure to enjoy the operational benefits of Britain’s favourite double-decker bus.”
McKenna Brothers supplied Mobitech destination and next stop visual and audio equipment, with full-size rear displays being fitted in addition to incorporating a new design of 28” stretched TFT screen fitted in the front upper deck.