Stagecoach has officially launched its new Thanet Loop fleet with a celebration in Margate.
The firm now has 24 new buses, at a cost of £4million, on the isle’s roads.
The bio-diesel single deckers are equipped with ‘Euro 6’ cleaner and greener engines that meet the Government’s Low Carbon Emission Bus specification and London’s new Ultra Low Emission Zone standard.
At the launch Joel Mitchell, Managing Director at Stagecoach South East, said: “Thanet is hugely important. So many people in the area use the buses and our drivers are part of the community.”
The new buses are also equipped with WiFi and USB charging points as well as next stop audio visual announcements.
Mr Mitchell, who said he was celebrating his 20th year in the transport industry, took on the role at Stagecoach after almost 20 years working in rail.
He said: “Stagecoach is about investing in people and looking after employees and customers.”
Guest at the launch included mayors of Ramsgate, Margate and Broadstairs and county and district councillors.
Ramsgate mayor Raushan Ara said: “This is very good news. I had been in touch with Stagecoach regarding audio visual announcements after receiving a message from a Ramsgate resident so I am pleased to see the new buses have this facility.”
Joel Mitchell gives Stagecoach in numbers
The Loop carried more than 4 million passengers in 2018
Buses running around every 8 minutes Mondays to Saturdays and every 10 minutes on Sundays.
The new ‘Euro 6’ buses are 95% more environmentally friendly than the old fleet
Loop buses travel 18,000 miles per week
Stagecoach is one of the biggest bus operators in the UK, running around 7,000 vehicles in nearly 100 towns and cities in the UK.
Stagecoach South East headquarters runs some 470 buses and coaches and employs more than 1,200 staff serving over 42 million passengers per annum.
Sixty per cent of long term unemployed people are bus users
A 10% improvement in access to bus services nationally would mean 50,000 more people in work
Bus access accounts for 29% of expenditure n city centres
A 10% improvement in connectivity in the most deprived rural areas would result in increased income for 22,500 people
Shame they forgot about the old 56 bus and is now renamed 37 . the 56 was an essential service now replaced by the 37 which has a abysmal timetable. No buses for nearly 3 hours in the afternoon. Essential for the older population.
I see a couple of Mayors, but not the Mayor of Margate?
I was at this presentation, but had to leave earlier for another mayoral engagement in Cliftonville, followed
by a welcoming speech at the Turner Contemporary for Kent schools event.
Its a shame they cannot provide a decent service after getting rid of the 56 and replaced with 37 that turns up when it wants or not at all, they are more people who are not on the loop service what about them
Be nice if one of these could go via the 19th hole so we can get to the Broadway again.
Why not electric busses.? Are Stagecoach so out of date. Still old people running old dirty vehicles.Do they not know that they can get a days use out of an electric bus with rapid charge.
All that money spent and they have the Gaul to take services away from the more isolated areas ! Where’s the community spirit ! O h sorry perhaps we don’t matter
I want the competition commission to allow other companies to bid for services.
Recently put up all fares its £5 to go to Ramsgate.
Knowing what I know I detest stagecoach…
“A 10% improvement in connectivity in the most deprived rural areas would result in increased income for 22,500 people”
So why are services being reduced and cut?
Would like to clarify. Stagecoach didn’t cut the funding or services, but KCC did.
I watched 4 new loops all come along together in Northdown Road on way to Broadstairs causing traffic jams as road all clogged up. Why can’t they pace themselves out a bit as they are supposed to be every 8 minutes, but not altogether! Then tonight near 11.00 pm whilst waiting for the loop in Ramsgate it sails straight past without stopping. What is wrong with the drivers ?
Those who live near the Loop route have an excellent service but in many other parts of Thanet bus services are poor or non existent, especially in the evenings or on Sundays & Bank Holidays.
Waited 40 minutes on Sunday for a Loop bus then 3 came at once. Waited 30 minutes today for one going to Broadstairs then 25 minutes coming back!
Congratulations to Stagecoach for this new fleet and the Loop in general. Yes, cuts to services come from KCC and Govt-imposed austerity.
As for bunching, it’s a marvel they keep going. Thanet is suffering appalling delays from road works; they’re everywhere.
I think it is rather silly when (particularly in Northfown Road Cliftonville) the buses engines cut out to save whatever while at stops when there are loads of vehicles (I counted 15 the other day asstd cars,Van’s and trucks behind them unable to pass all with engines running.To me doesn’t make sense.
They are always fucking late most of the drivers are rude they take breaks they dont have or need they talk to long swapping over and they dont enforce the rules that sre on the walls let the buses get overcrowded when there is an more empty bus behind it but nope want to be the hero and dont let anyone get to their seat before taking off. DISGRACEFUL service