Arriva adds six double-deckers to Sapphire Service 101

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Some of the new Enviro400s for Arriva’s Sapphire Service
Some of the new Enviro400s for Arriva’s Sapphire Service

Arriva Southern Counties has launched a fleet of six brand-new Enviro400 double-deckers for use on Sapphire service 101 between Gillingham, Chatham and Maidstone.

The buses, which represent an investment of £1.2m, are equipped with power sockets and USB power points to charge phones and laptops, free WiFi, audio-visual next bus stop announcements and E-leather seating. They are also painted in the striking two-tone blue ‘Sapphire’ livery.

Heath Williams, Arriva’s Regional Managing Director, said: “We’re delighted to be bringing the Sapphire brand to the area and we’re extremely excited to be announcing this investment.”

The new fleet was launched at the Royal Engineers’ Museum in Gillingham. Royal lookalikes Kate and Harry made sure guests and passers-by enjoyed a ‘royal welcome’ as Sapphire was presented to the public.

Arriva representatives were on hand at the event to talk about the benefits the buses offer and introduced the dedicated Sapphire bus drivers to the customers and guests.

Sapphire service 101 runs every 15 minutes for the main part of the day on Mondays to Saturdays and half-hourly on Sundays. The Monday to Saturday evening service between Maidstone and Chatham has also been increased to run half-hourly as part of the route’s upgrade to Sapphire standard.