The new buses are part of a £1.7m investment from First Essex as part of their contract with Essex County Council to run the Park and Ride service. Advantages of the new buses will be free Wi-Fi, temperature-controlled air conditioning and announcements detailing the next stop.
Cllr Eddie Johnson, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “Park and Ride continues to be a huge success story for Chelmsford but we will not rest on our laurels. Customers have come to expect high standards and these buses will only improve the customer experience.
“We know Park and Ride passengers enjoy checking the news and social media feeds on the way into the city so I am sure the free Wi-Fi will prove a huge hit. Once the summer months come, air conditioning will no doubt offer a welcome relief on hot days too.
“The new buses will also be more environmentally-friendly, adding to the benefits Park and Ride has already delivered reducing congestion and pollution by limiting the number of cars in the city centre.”
Alex Jones, Managing Director for First Essex, said: ”I am pleased to be announcing a further £1.7m investment in nine brand new buses into the First Essex bus network. Through working with our partners at Essex County Council this investment and commitment will further improve the journey experience for customers travelling on the Park and Ride service.
“I’m sure the high specification built into these new buses will be well received by customers. With E-Leather seating, Free Wi-Fi, air conditioning and audio announcements confirming what bus stop is approaching, it will provide customers with confidence and comfort when travelling on the service. In addition, our team of 16 friendly dedicated drivers will provide a smooth, stress free journey for customers to enjoy.”
The new vehicles will be fitted with Euro 6 engines, a strong commitment to improving air quality within the city. Test results show that running eight Euro 6 buses produces the same amount of certain exhaust emissions, including nitrogen Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) and Particulate Matter (PM), as running one bus with a Euro 5 engine.