Stagecoach announced that it has invested nearly £3.2m in 24 brand new buses for passengers in Cheltenham.
The new vehicles were launched as it was revealed that passenger numbers across Stagecoach West have risen by 20% in the past five years thanks to continued investment in high quality services, good customer service and innovative marketing.
The buses replace half the existing fleet at Cheltenham depot and will operate on key Cheltenham Routes C, D, 41 and 94U. Of the 24 new vehicles, 19 are single deck and five are double-deck. The majority come complete with free WiFi for customers and all 24 buses have Euro 5 specification engines.
Since 2007 Stagecoach West has grown passenger numbers specifically in Cheltenham by 18%, which equates to about 20,000 extra journeys by bus every week across the network. During the past six months adult passenger numbers have increased by nearly 3%, equating to about 3,500 more journeys by bus every week. The introduction of the new buses now means that the average age of the Cheltenham fleet is only 3.4 years old.
The company has also invested more than £440,000 in a series of improvements at Cheltenham depot to ensure even better service delivery for customers.
Stagecoach Group Chief Executive, Martin Griffiths said: “Bus services are a key part of Cheltenham’s infrastructure, supporting the economy and connecting local communities. This is exactly the kind of major investment that is making the bus a real alternative to the stress of driving in congested towns and cities right across Britain.
“Our bus company in the west of England has seen passenger numbers shoot up by 20% in the past five years. As well as investment in new vehicles, Stagecoach is independently recognised as having the lowest fares and highest passenger satisfaction of any major bus operator in the country. We hope that commitment to high quality, good value travel will encourage even more people in Cheltenham to get back on board the bus.”
Cllr Simon Wheeler, the Mayor of Cheltenham said: “I applaud Stagecoach for the level of investment they have made to further enhance the bus network in and around Cheltenham. I think the people of Cheltenham are very fortunate to have access to such a comprehensive service and I welcome this fabulous news.”