University of Southampton announces new Unilink bus contract for award-winning Bluestar

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The University of Southampton has extended its successful partnership with Go-Ahead Group owned Bluestar, which will see the bus operator run the city’s Unilink service for another 10 years.

Students, workers and leisure customers will continue to enjoy Unilink’s specially-designed university bus routes across the city until at least 2028, following an intensive tender exercise.

The news follows success for the firm’s Eastleigh base in the recent UK Bus Award – where it was named Top National Depot.

“Unilink has been a real success for the University,” said University of Southampton transport manager, Adam Tewkesbury. “And we are delighted to continue working with Bluestar to develop new innovations for our passengers over the next contract period.”

Andrew Wickham, managing director of Bluestar, added: “Since 2008, we have worked closely with our counterparts at the University of Southampton to provide high quality bus services linking its campuses to other key areas of the city – and we’re delighted to have the opportunity to further enhance our offering here.

“The Bluestar and Unilink depot in Eastleigh was this month named the very best in the country in the UK Bus Awards. And that is due in no small part to the dedication and hard work of our wonderful team here.

“Now we are looking to the future, and have placed an order for 32 brand new buses to join our Unilink fleet in Southampton. The vehicles carry the very latest Euro 6 engines – underlining our commitment to helping lower emissions in-and-around Southampton.

“To have been awarded this tender is a huge privilege, and our team is very much looking forward to continuing our excellent relationship with the University over the coming years.”