Free wi-fi and ‘luxurious’ coach seats on new premium bus fleet

Two of Arriva's older buses
Two of Arriva's older buses
  • Passengers can charge laptops and smartphones on board
  • Nine buses will be officially launched into service on Saturday
  • £380k investment comes after announcement on cuts to some subsidised services

Passengers using the 320 bus route between Hemel Hempstead and Rickmansworth will travel on a fleet of new premium buses which cost £380,000.

Arriva The Shires has announced the launch of the Sapphire fleet, which are nine double-decker buses being introduced onto the 320 service which runs between Hemel Hempstead and Rickmansworth via Watford.

Each of the nine buses will have free wi-fi, charging points for mobile phones and laptops as well as on-board destination screens showing up-to-date passenger information.

A new audio and visual announcement system means passengers not so familiar with the route will know exactly when and where to get off, and they will be travelling in style thanks to new ‘luxurious’ high-back coach seats.

An Arriva spokesman says the new buses will offer customers a more ‘luxurious way to travel, improving their connectivity and comfort along some of the country’s most critical commuter routes’.

The new buses will be unveiled at Shendish Manor on Friday, April 17 at a ceremony attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of Dacorum before being officially launched to the public in Watford town centre the following day.

This investment follows announcements on potential cuts to 119 subsidised Arriva services, including several routes in Dacorum, earlier this year.

Public consultation surveys on the cuts closed on Friday, April 10 and it is expected the results will be presented to the Highways and Waste Management Panel in May with a decision by cabinet expected in the same month.

Changes are then due to take effect by September.