Baroness Kramer, Minister of State for Transport, has unveiled a £1.6m fleet of 12 new Stagecoach buses on a visit to Exeter to see how the bus operator and local authorities are working together to boost public transport in the south-west of England.
The latest new fleet of vehicles brings Stagecoach’s investment in new buses in Devon in 2013-14 alone to around £10million.
Stagecoach, which has been independently assessed as offering the
lowest fares of any major bus operator in the UK, carries more than 27
million passengers a year on its bus services in the south-west.
Customer satisfaction with Stagecoach bus services in the region is
one of the highest in the country, with the latest Passenger Focus research showing 90% are satisfied with their overall service.
Baroness Kramer met senior directors from Stagecoach as well as
representatives from Devon County Council, and Exeter City Council,
during her visit. They discussed how working together on areas such as
quality partnership corridors and bus priority measures helps improve
overall reliability and punctuality, boosts customer satisfaction and
gets more people back on board the bus.
Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said: "The twelve new buses
launched today will strengthen the already successful services run in
Exeter by Stagecoach. The company’s investment in its bus fleet is an
expression of confidence both in Exeter’s growing local economy and the
importance of public transport. I am keen to support the strong
partnership between the local authorities and the bus operators to
continue to promote such growth."
Further research commissioned by Greener Journeys has
suggested that if bus journey times for commuters in England could be
improved by 10%, this would be associated with over 50,000 more people
Michael Watson, Managing Director of Stagecoach South West, said “The
strength of our city and rural networks is not just down to the
services we deliver and the investment we are making. It is also down to
the partners we work with.
"Buses are critical to communities and our economy in the south west
and I look forward to us working together to continue to support
Exeter’s economic growth in the years to come."
Councillor Peter Edwards, Leader of Exeter City Council, said: "The
Minister’s visit comes at an exciting time for the city. The
redevelopment of the bus station offers an incredible opportunity to
take our partnership working one stage further by creating a city centre
interchange and leisure complex fit for the 21st century."
The 12 new vehicles, which all carry the Ex-citi branding, will go
straight into service and be used on a selection of city routes.