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Driving their way to success - University unveils new uni-link buses

Published: 
15 July 2004

The University of Southampton has invested more than half a million pounds on four new state-of-the-art uni-link buses to improve its uni-link service for University students and Southampton residents alike.

The buses were unveiled at the University last week, and University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bill Wakeham, was among the first to step on board.

"These buses are a further step in the improvement of our services to our students and will enable more effective and efficient linkages between our various Halls of Residence and campuses," commented Professor Wakeham. "The fact that the buses are of a high specification and at the forefront of technology is, of course, consistent with what we are striving for in the University generally. We are also pleased to be able to share the service with the wider community in Southampton."

At the weekend the buses took part in a cavalcade of transport through Southampton city centre, joined by a number of historic buses and an open-top double-decker with a band playing onboard.

The University's Transport Manager, John Waugh, commented: "We were delighted to introduce our buses to both the University community and the general public. The four new uni-link double-deckers certainly attracted a lot of attention as they made their way through the city."

Meanwhile, new figures reveal the University's uni-link bus service is a record-breaker. Passenger numbers soared by 23 per cent last year on the popular routes that link the University's campuses, the city centre and the General Hospital. Figures from the Confederation of Passenger Transport show consistent growth for uni-link over three years, making it the third fastest-growing bus network in the UK.

"Our team of drivers, under the leadership of George Fair, will welcome more than 1.5 million passengers this year," added John Waugh. "It is the warmth of that welcome and the value that we place on people having the best possible journey, that makes sure that number continues to grow. The new buses will provide everyone with an even better quality of journey with better conditions for the staff.

"The City's travelling public deserves the best possible public transport and it is a pleasure that, with the resources from uni-link's improving revenues, we can invest in the future. And it does not stop with the new buses. We are already planning further service improvements for the autumn, to be announced soon."

Each new £166,000 bus features some of the latest technology such as recorded announcements and visual information displays at each stop. The £1 flat fare will continue to apply and buses have separate in-and-out doors, plenty of room for standing passengers and luggage at the front, and low floors for people with mobility problems.

The uni-link bus service is a partnership between the University of Southampton and Minerva Accord.

Notes for editors

  1. Digital images of the new buses are available from the University's Media Relations office.
  2. tel. 023 8059 3212; email press@soton.ac.uk
  3. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University has over 19,200 students and 4,800 staff and plays an important role in the City of Southampton. Its annual turnover is in the region of £250 million.

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