New eco-friendly buses for park and ride

Winchester City Council has taken delivery of five new eco-friendly buses for use on the park and ride route around the city - amongst the first to go in service across the country.

The buses are fitted with top-of-the-range Euro 4 engines, which give out much less pollution than the old P&R buses. They have a capacity of 44 seated and 27 standing passengers.

"This is part of our strategic aim of reducing pollution in the city centre," said the Council's Cabinet portfolio holder for Planning and Transport, Cllr Barry Lipscomb.

"With the welcome increase in use of Park and Ride in the past year they also overcome the capacity problem we have had in peak hours as these buses can carry an additional 29 people," he added.

"The new livery is a very distinctive light and dark green, reflecting not just the 'green' credentials of the buses but also the clean and vibrant nature of our historic city and county town. I am sure that these new buses will give a very comfortable ride to many thousands of users."

Andrew Dyer, Managing Director for Stagecoach South, said:

"We are delighted to be working in partnership with Winchester City Council to deliver this significant improvement to the Park & Ride service. Our investment in almost £3/4 million of new vehicles for this contract will see an enhanced journey experience for the thousands of people who use the service every week."

The Alexander Dennis buses are built to the latest "Euro 4" specification. They are amongst the first to go into service across the UK and are being introduced ahead of new EU regulations to improve emissions. The latest technology involving the injection of a Urea compound as an exhaust after-treatment, means that exhaust pollutants are significantly reduced, particularly harmful Nitrous Oxides.

The buses are part of the 5-year contract the City Council has with Stagecoach to provide the park and ride service, at an annual cost of £350,000.