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July 05 2017
By Mike Morgan

Mike is the Associate Editor at routeONE magazine has been a full-time road transport journalist for over 40 years and was routeONE’s founding editor in 2003.

New generation Route One

Top-spec buses for Arriva Buses Wales flagship route receive top-level endorsement from Welsh transport minister

Praise indeed: Ken Skates impressed with new buses

After a £3.2m investment, Arriva Buses Wales welcomed 13 of the most high-spec double-decker buses into its fleet at a ministerial launch event on Thursday (29 June) at Water World in Wrexham.

The new Falkirk-built Euro 6 ADL Enviro400 City buses with Cummins/Voith driveline are not only among the first in Arriva’s revised Sapphire livery, but represent the second generation of the premium brand to operate on the high-profile Route One corridor between Wrexham and Chester.

The mayor of Wrexham John Pritchard was on hand as Ken Skates AM, Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, cut the ribbon to mark the introduction of the new fleet.

Simultaneously he named the first bus Steve Maddocks, after a member of Arriva’s Wrexham team who died earlier this year.

Praising the investment, the minister said: “This is a very special occasion, putting into context the part played by the bus.

“People will access public transport more if they can rely on a quality service and these buses serve an incredibly important economic artery.”

The buses are Arriva Bus Wales’ highest-spec yet

Weighing 11,295kg, the 69-seat vehicles have leather high-backed coach-style seating with seatback tables and individual USB ports, three ‘conference area’ tables with charging facilities on the upper deck, free 4G wi-fi, glazed roof panels, Hanover display screens, and audio announcements to help visually-impaired passengers and those new to the route.

Arriva Buses Wales (ABW) Managing Director Michael Morton acknowledged the significance of ongoing fleet renewal, which leads to the cascade of high-specification vehicles. He says: “Continual investment is part of our being.”

ABW’s Wrexham-Chester service was the inspiration for the name of this magazine back in 2003. Then it was operated by step-entry Volvo Olympians on a half-hour frequency. It has since seen regular upgrades, leading to the introduction of nine (later 11) heavily refurbished mid-life Enviro 400 buses on Arriva’s first Sapphire specification route in 2013 and an increase in frequency to every 15 minutes throughout the day, 10 minutes at peak.

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