Free wi-fi on new Park and Ride buses in Canterbury

Contributed by editor on Sep 28, 2013 - 08:50 AM

Brand new top-of-the-range buses with free on board wi-fi come to Canterbury’s Park and Ride service from Saturday 5 October – and they’ll be on the road longer too.

The vehicles have distinctive new livery showing a cityscape panorama and have been built to meet the latest European standards on emissions, making them among the cleanest and greenest buses on the road. They also have the ability to ‘kneel’ to the kerb to allow easy access for pushchairs, wheelchairs and disability scooters.

It’s all part of the city council’s new five-year Park and Ride contract with Stagecoach, who won a competitive tender earlier this year to take over the service from Kent Top Travel. The improved service continues to be a key part of the council’s strategy to tackle congestion and air quality issues in the city.

As well as the new buses, the hours that Park and Ride operates are being extended under the new contract.

Passengers will be able to use their tickets on ordinary Stagecoach buses that run past the Park and Ride sites when the normal service ends at 7.30pm.

In November and December, there will be later Park and Ride buses on a Thursday and a Sunday service from all three sites.

And after Christmas, there will be a permanent Sunday service running from the New Dover Road and Sturry Road sites.

The council’s Executive member for transport, Cllr Peter Vickery-Jones, said: “Our Park and Ride service continues to go from strength to strength and has now carried more than 17 million passengers into the city centre since we launched the first site back in 1991.

“Since then we have continued to invest in it, bringing on new sites and the latest technology in bus travel, and it has developed into one of the best Park and Ride services in the country. We’re very pleased to now be entering a new chapter of the story with our partners at Stagecoach.

“We hope people enjoy using the new buses and take advantage of the free wi-fi and the extended hours of service.”

The standard Park and Ride service runs between 7am and 7.30pm, Monday to Saturday, with buses approximately every eight minutes at peak time. There are two single decker buses and one double decker bus on each route.

Park and Ride costs £3 a day for a car and up to six passengers. Frequent users can get a 20 per cent discount using a pre-payment card, which can be applied for online.

© Hawkinge Gazette and Channel Coast News 2013

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