Mary King and horse-drawn bus from the past launch fleet for the future
Olympian Mary King and a horse-drawn omnibus yesterday led the procession as Stagecoach launched its new double-decker buses for the Sidmouth–Exeter route.
The company has invested £1.5 million in eight new vehicles for the 52 route, which also takes in Seaton and Honiton, and is popular with both locals and tourists.
London 2012 silver medallist Mary King, who lives nearby, and a vintage horse-drawn omnibus, from Stagecoach co-founder and chief executive Sir Brian Souter's personal collection, led the new vehicles along The Esplanade in Sidmouth.
Michelle Hargreaves, managing director of Stagecoach South West, said: "Once again I am delighted to announce further investment in our South West fleet.
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"Again and again we have been able to demonstrate that, despite the challenging economic climate, we are still spending on new buses to provide an even better service to our customers," she added. Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for highways and transportation and chairman of Sidmouth Town Council, said the service had been "a real success story".
He added: "This new investment from Stagecoach is very welcome and shows confidence in this thriving route.
"These are state of the art buses which should attract more passengers to explore and see what Sidmouth and other towns along the route have to offer."