Lit­tle and Of­ten is key to new ser­vice

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - New Bus Service - By Molly Mile­ham-Chap­pell

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 ken­tish­ex­press@thek­m­group.co.uk

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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

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