Arriva invests £1 million in more new buses to upgrade local Maidstone routes

One million pound investment in MaidstoneArriva will shortly be putting into service a fleet of seven brand-new single-deck buses that feature the latest ‘micro hybrid’ technology as well as free on-board Wi-Fi.

To be used on the services between Maidstone Hospital, the town centre, Shepway and Senacre Wood, the new buses represent an investment of more than £1 million by Arriva and follow on from an earlier investment of £1.2 million in six new high-specification double-deckers for the ‘Sapphire’ service between Maidstone and the Medway Towns earlier this year.

The micro-hybrid technology allows more of the buses’ systems to be operated electrically, in turn allowing the engine to work less hard and significantly reducing carbon emissions compared to older types of bus which are already very environmentally friendly.

Arriva Marketing Manager Richard Lewis said “We are delighted to be able to invest in brand-new buses for our Services 85 and 86 in Maidstone and the low carbon output of these buses will help to improve air quality in the town centre, at Maidstone Hospital and in the residential areas through which the buses will be passing.

“All new Arriva buses now feature free Wi-Fi as part of their specification and this has proved to be very popular with our customers on other routes that we run with this facility, allowing them to make the most of their travelling time by catching up with their emails, chatting to friends, browsing the internet or even doing a spot of online shopping while on the bus.

“Also standard on all Arriva buses are high-quality digital CCTV cameras, inside and out, that continuously record images for the added security of our drivers and customers.

“The light and airy interiors of the new buses, which are fully–accessible, include smart eco-leather seating, together with brighter lighting and they are painted in the same eye-catching lime green and dark blue livery as applied to our diesel-electric hybrid buses that run on the London Road services.”

One of the new buses will be parked on Jubilee Square in Maidstone High Street on Thursday 9th July from 10am to 3pm and Arriva staff will be on hand to answer questions about the buses and to give out information, after which the seven buses will go into service.

The services on which the new buses will run provide a ten-minute frequency between Senacre Wood and the town and a twenty minute service through to Maidstone Hospital, twice an hour via Tonbridge Road and hourly via Fant and Gatland Lane.

As well as the Wi-Fi technology on these buses, Arriva now has an app for smartphones and tablets that gives timetable information, a journey planner and a live map amongst its features. The live-map shows in real time and using satellite technology the location of Arriva’s buses so that people waiting for a bus can track it on the map and know exactly when it will arrive at their bus stop, even if it is delayed by traffic conditions, giving reassurance that it is on its way.

Full details of Arriva bus times for the Maidstone area are also available online at arrivabus.co.uk/south-east and from the Maidstone Gateway office in King Street.