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Arriva invests £1.7 million in new 'Sapphire' buses for service between Luton and Watford

20 August 14

Arriva has invested £1.7 million in a fleet of ten brand-new single-deck buses that are set to upgrade its service linking Luton, Harpenden, St Albans, Garston and Watford while helping to improve air quality in the towns and along the route.

Taking to the road on 31st August, the eye-catching buses will be immediately recognisable in a striking two-tone blue ‘Sapphire’ livery that is complemented by new features to make travelling by bus more comfortable and enjoyable.

With E-leather seating and brighter interior lighting creating a pleasant environment in which to travel, the Sapphire buses also feature free on-board Wi-Fi, power sockets at each seat and audio-visual displays that announce the name of the next bus stop.

The popular 321 service provides important links across North Hertfordshire and to Luton, running every twenty minutes for the main part of the day on Mondays to Saturdays and hourly during the evenings and on Sundays. At Luton Station it connects with Arriva’s frequent ‘Flyer’ service to London Luton Airport.

Arriva’s Regional Publicity Manager, Richard Lewis, said “We are delighted to have invested a significant amount of money to upgrade the service we can offer our customers on the service between Luton and Watford.

“The free Wi-Fi on these new buses will allow people to make the most of their time while on the move, giving the opportunity to chat with friends, catch up on emails, browse the internet or do some online shopping. The buses even have power sockets adjacent to each seat to allow mobile phones, laptops and other devices.to be charged.

“The other new feature on each bus is the audio-visual display that will announce the next bus stop to be called at as the bus moves along the route, giving reassurance to those who might be unfamiliar with the area and being a great help to the visually impaired.”

The new fully-accessible buses were built in Northern Ireland by Wrightbus, one of the UK’s leading bus manufacturers, and are amongst the first in the country to feature new ‘micro-hybrid’ technology.

This allows waste energy from braking to be collected and channelled back into the batteries to power some of the auxiliary units electrically, reducing the amount of load on the engine to significantly cut carbon emissions and give greater fuel economy.