Yellow Buses spends £1.6m to start replacing all double-decks

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Eight new buses have joined the Bournemouth business

Yellow Buses has unveiled the latest phase of a multi-million pound investment in the quality of public transport across the conurbation.

Eight new buses, worth £1.6m, have joined the Bournemouth business as part of a plan to replace its entire double-decker fleet.

The company has signalled that investment in vehicles will form a key part of its competition with local rival Morebus, which has also spent millions on its fleet in recent years.

Figures published last September showed Poole and Bournemouth as England’s top areas for growth in bus travel. Poole had seen the number of bus journeys per head rise 72% in a decade, while in Bournemouth the figure was 62%.

Andrew Smith, MD of Bournemouth Transport, showed off the eight new Volvo 6 vehicles, alongside five which had been bought last year and have already been refurbished to bring them up to the company’s specifications.

“We have a plan in which we’re going to replace the whole of our double-decker fleet and bring everything up to a new modern standard. We’re looking forward to doing that over the next five or six years,” he said.

“The eight that we’ve bought this time are over £1.6m. We bought in five last year, which is also over £1m, and the ones we’ve bought last year we’ve refurbished.

“We bought them as stock vehicles and brought them up to the standard of these vehicles in terms of the leather seats and the wood floors, so we could be creating that ambience that the customers want, creating an environment that they can feel comfortable in. They can come upstairs, see the view and enjoy the ride.

“It’s a move on from the old type vehicle where it was really about getting from A to B.”

Poole-based competitor Morebus spent £4m on new vehicles a decade ago and has since replaced a large part of that fleet.

Andrew acknowledged that the competition had helped drive the investment.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for the people of Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch that both companies are investing in their business to improve the offer, to improve the public transport in this conurbation,” he said.

He said the £200,000 Volvos represented the latest bus technology. “They’ve got the most fuel economical and environmentally friendly engines we can have,” he said.

“They have lighter weight bodies so they reduce fuel consumption and they’re a much improved vehicle in terms of environmental performance.”