Arriva invests £660,000 in more new buses for Kent
Arriva has invested £660,000 in five brand-new buses which are now running on the half-hourly service between Bluewater, Dartford, Swanley and Orpington.
The new, fully-accessible, buses went into service on Saturday 25th August following a gathering of all five buses at Bluewater the previous day attended by the Mayor of Dartford, Councillor Mrs. Ann Allen and Arriva’s Regional General Manager, Heath Williams.
The buses also bring a new look to the service with eye-catching graphics publicising the service as ‘477 Shoppers’ Heaven’, drawing attention to the fact that it provides handy links to Bluewater and the town centres of Dartford, Swanley and Orpington.
The Mayor and other invited guests were welcomed to Bluewater by Robert Goodman, Bluewater’s General Manager, who said “The new buses and the re-launch of the 477 Shoppers’ Heaven service are both key initiatives that we strongly support.
“Not only does the extensive public transport network provided by Arriva and our other transport partners connect Bluewater to the wider community, a growing number of Bluewater’s guests and staff use the extensive bus and train network to travel to and from Bluewater.
“Given the significance of the buses, therefore, it is important that everyone who uses them has the best facilities and services available.”
Arriva’s Managing Director, Heath Williams, said “I’m delighted that we have once again been able to make a major investment in new buses for our services in North West Kent, especially in the present economic climate.
“This is the latest phase in an ongoing programme of upgrading our fleet and will offer new standards of comfort to our customers on the 477 route which not only serves Bluewater but also gives important links to Darent Valley Hospital and town centres and rail stations along its route.”
The new buses were also welcomed by The Mayor, who added “On behalf of the residents of Dartford I thank Arriva for their investment into this popular service
“I was very impressed that they are fully-accessible and the eye-catching graphics promoting the services were a great advertisement for Arriva and our partners. I certainly shall be using this service.”
Arriva runs the 477 mainly on a commercial basis throughout the week although Kent County Council gives financial support for the Monday to Saturday evening service.
Bryan Sweetland, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Waste said “The launch of new buses for the 477 service is very positive investment by Arriva in a key service for local people, and one that I wholeheartedly welcome.
“Kent County Council recognises the importance of public transport to local communities and continues to prioritise funding for bus services in Kent. In addition to supporting over 200 local bus services and providing the free bus pass for older and disabled people, the Kent Freedom Pass continues to provide unlimited bus travel across the county for a low annual charge for 11-16 year olds.
“I look forward to continuing to work in partnership with Arriva to provide new and more frequent bus services, and encourage more people to get out of their cars and onto the bus.”
Full details of the times of ‘477 Shoppers’ Heaven’ are shown in a timetable leaflet available from the Transit Centre at Bluewater, from other local outlets or by calling 0844 800 4411.