Spark Enviro400 Citys launched in Plymouth

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A strong new identity has been used to promote the latest buses at Plymouth Citybus. ANDY IZATT

Fleet of 16 new ADL ’deckers introduce a new identity and higher specification in Devon city

Plymouth Citybus has unveiled a fleet of low carbon emission-certified, high specification Enviro400 Citys painted in a distinctive new metallic Spark-branded livery that started operating on routes 21/21A between Plymton and Barne Barton on Sunday (July 30, 2017).

The £3.5m investment in 16 buses brings the new vehicle intake at the Go-Ahead owned company to 91 over the past five years, a spend of nearly £15m that has seen around half the fleet replaced enabling the average age of the fleet, which is just under 200 vehicles strong, to be reduced to just 7.5 years. Significantly many of the new buses, like the latest intake, have been double-deckers for an operation that for many years was essentially single-deck. In addition to the latest arrivals, 13 youthful MAN Caetano gas buses that are also low carbon emission-certified, have been transferred in from sister company Anglian Bus of Beccles.

As well as introducing a new livery style and brand designed to complement the now established Flash one colour livery variants that have been introduced in recent years, the new buses which seat 74 have been specified with a range of customer friendly features that include free WiFi, under-lit E-Leather-covered seats with headrests and for the first time in the Citybus fleet, USB charging points.

Plymouth Citybus carried just over 17.5m people in 2016 and it has seen an 11% increase in ridership over the past two years achieved through additional services as well as growth on existing routes. Passenger satisfaction is 93% and 91% of services ran within Traffic Commissioner guidelines.

Richard Stevens, Managing Director at Plymouth Citybus, said: “We are really happy to continue to invest in our fleet, making sure we increase the comfort of our passengers. The new buses have a capacity of 106, higher than the double-deck buses currently serving the route.

“The added benefit of the investment is that it means we can cascade newer buses to the service 42s which serve Derriford Hospital. The newer double-deck buses replace older singles deck ones, which means not only a better bus, but a bigger bus, with more seating.”

Mark Collins, Head of Commercial and Marketing at Plymouth Citybus, added: “We had the new Spark bus on display as part of the ‘Your Bus Matters’ in the City Centre and the public feedback was really positive.

“They loved the new two tone colour way and the neat little additions inside the bus. The buses feature a glass stairwell, which is synonymous with the new London buses.”