Bus giant Stagecoach says it is investing £4m in new Merseyside buses – including more Gold buses to Wirral with hand-stitched leather seats.
Stagecoach is adding 18 new buses to its fleet in Merseyside, Cheshire, and South Lancashire.
Eleven of those buses will operate on the X2 route from Liverpool to Preston via Southport, while the remaining seven “Gold” buses are now running services between Liverpool and Heswall.
The X2 buses will include table seats with USB ports where people can charge phones and other devices.
The Gold buses are based at Stagecoach’s Birkenhead depot and operate on the 471 and 472 routes.
Pictured on one of the new Stagecoach buses are, from left, Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, Rob Jones of Stagecoach and Merseytravel's Cllr Liam Robinson(Image: Publicity /handout)
Rob Jones, managing director of Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire, said: “Stagecoach is committed to continually investing in our fleet in the Liverpool city region – ensuring we deliver sustainable, comfortable, high-specification vehicles to our customers; providing them with a first-class experience.
“The new buses being introduced on the X2 route are a first for the business and we’re delighted to be launching them. We have worked closely with the design and engineering teams to incorporate a range of new features, which will make the passenger experience even more pleasant and comfortable. We’re expecting the table seats to be a real hit, both with commuters who want to work on the go and with families or friends who want to sit together socially as a group.
“The new features will also enable people to use their time on the bus more productively, with LED reading lights, tables and free on-board Wi-Fi making it easier than ever to stay connected or, particularly with the dark mornings and nights as we head into winter, just relax and read on their journey.
“I am delighted that we are also growing our Gold bus outreach in the region, adding to existing Gold buses that currently run between Liverpool and Chester.”
Stagecoach Bus is one of the UK’s major employers, supporting around 24,000 jobs across the UK and 1,209 jobs in Merseyside and South Lancashire. Over 200 people have completed apprenticeships with Stagecoach since 2004 and the company currently employs around 150 apprentices. All Stagecoach vehicles are fitted with eco-driving systems which lower emissions and the company has shown the biggest commitment to using 100 per cent biofuel of any UK bus operator.
Stagecoach is part of Liverpool City Region’s Bus Alliance, a partnership between Liverpool’s biggest bus operators and Merseytravel. The Alliance is focussed on quality of vehicles and customer service, value for money journeys and straightforward travel from simple fare structures to easy to understand journey planning and a clear, simple bus network.