Little and Often is key to new service
The wheels on Ashford’s new minibuses have finally started going round and round, with the launch of the new fleet at the weekend.
The Little & Often service run by Stagecoach, which has 30 Mercedes Sprinter vehicles operating on major routes in Ashford, had its public launch at the designer outlet on Saturday.
The launch party saw performances from cabaret dance group The Show and competitions.
Actress Rita Simons, best known for her role as Roxy Mitchell in EastEnders, also helped launch the new minibuses.
The service began running for the first time on Sunday.
The bus company invested £2.8 million in the vehicles, which have faux leather seats and Euro 6 specification low-noise engines, demonstrating some of the latest clean engine technology.
State-of-the-art ticket machines also allow travellers to pay using contactless credit or debit cards, the first to do so in the South East.
Cllr Gerry Clarkson, leader of Ashford Borough Council said: “We know that frequent and well connected bus services help keep car use down.
“This new venture underlines the commitment we have as part of the town’s growth strategy to work in partnership with Stagecoach.
“Faster and more reliable bus journeys, fewer cars, and less pollution is better for everyone in and around our town.
“Ashford Borough Council therefore welcome this positive investment in Ashford’s transport net- work which is also the sign of another successful business investing in the borough.”
Philip Norwell, Stagecoach South East managing director, said: “We’re always looking for better ways to help people get around town.
“That’s why, working with Kent County Council and Ashford Borough Council, we’re introducing little and often.
“What people want is convenience, and that’s what little and often is all about.”
It is hoped that the new service will ease congestion as an alternative to the car.
For more information about the service and changes, visit www. stagecoachbus.com
What do you think of the new ‘Little & Often’ minibus service? Write to Kentish Express, 34-36 North Street, Ashford, TN24 8JR or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor George Koowaree and Mayoress Gloria Champion with Stagecoach South East managing director Philip Norwell
Dance troup The Show helps to launch the minibus service
Actor Rita Simon stakes things a
Mayor George Koowaree with Mayoress councillors