National Express West Midlands has unveiled eight new ADL Enviro200 buses which will operate on the 222 route.
The vehicles are a £1.5m investment and feature technology including next stop announcements to alert passengers with visual and hearing impairments where the bus will be stopping next.
The 222 service will also have distinctive green route branding, making it easier for customers to find and use this particular service when making regular journeys to hospital appointments. To encourage customers to use the new vehicles, National Express West Midlands and Centro have launched a joint leaflet giving people information on the service and vouchers for cheaper bus travel.
These new vehicles mark the start of a larger £10m investment programme between National Express West Midlands and Centro. As well as the new buses, Centro is installing new shelters and more real-time information displays along the route.
Around £5m of funding is coming from the Government’s Better Bus Area Fund, with £1.5m from Centro, £1.5m from Westfield, owners of the Merry Hill shopping centre, and a further £2m from bus operators.
Steve Hale, General Manager National Express West Midlands, said: “These new vehicles are a big investment into our services in Dudley and Brierley Hill. They feature the latest advancements in customer comfort, including a state of the art heating system which ensures our buses are cool in the summer and warm in the winter.”
Cllr Kath Hartley, Centro’s Vice Chairman, said: “We warmly welcome this investment in new buses for the Black Country and it demonstrates the commitment of all parties to improving public transport in the Brierley Hill area.
“These new buses with next stop announcements are the first of their kind in the Black Country. They are just another example of how we are working together to make people’s journeys as easy and convenient as possible. The announcements are particularly useful for those passengers who may not be familiar with the route.”