Transport

Published: November 18, 2019 | Updated: November 18, 2019

Transport boss expresses pride in Morebus operation at official opening of £2.5m depot

David Brown, Go-Ahead’s Group Chief Executive (left) and Andrew Wickham, Managing Director, Morebus, taking the strain with one of the depot’s advanced bus lifts.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

The boss of transport giant Go-Ahead has heaped praise on its Morebus operation as he attended the official opening of a new £2.5m bus depot in Bournemouth.

David Brown, Group Chief Executive of the FTSE 250 company, said he was “very proud” of the Dorset bus operator which forms part of Go South Coast.

He added: “It is a very professional operation which is enjoying some of the best passenger growth in the country. That speaks volumes in itself.”

David Brown and Andrew Wickham with a plaque marking the opening of the new £2.5m bus depot.

Mr Brown and Cllr Vikki Slade, Leader of BCP Council, joined Andrew Wickham, Morebus Managing Director, and invited guests – including dorsetbiznews –  for the grand opening of the new state-of-the-art bus depot in Southcote Road.

The depot, described as one of the most advanced in the UK, is on the site of the former Excelsior Coaches operation.

It has a number of custom-made facilities including a new bus wash as well as some of the latest engineering pit technologies.

The depot houses a large number of the bus operator’s local fleet of low emission buses.

They include the fleet of ADL Enviro 200 buses operating the M1 route between Bournemouth and Poole.

Its five new double decker ADL Enviro 400 vehicles, used on the 13 route to Wimborne, via Ferndown, are also based there.

All the vehicles have the latest low emission Euro 6 engines.

The whole of Morebus’ Unibus service – operated on behalf of Bournemouth University and Arts University Bournemouth – is also now fully run from the new facility.

Mr Wickham said the company was “thrilled” to be opening the new depot.

The new bus wash which is just one of the state of the art facilities at the new depot.

He added: “Since acquiring Excelsior Coaches in October 2016, we have been keen to develop our site here in Southcote Road, so that it provides excellent facilities – not only for our buses and coaches, but also for our team.

“Now we have fully-equipped rest quarters for our drivers and operations staff, including a large rest room with catering facilities, and new shower facilities for those working shifts – as  well as this wonderful bus wash, which is ready and waiting to ensure our vehicles are squeaky clean when operating our services across Bournemouth and the surrounding  area.”

Mr Brown said: “The investment in the rebuilt depot represents our commitment to the local community, and to our colleagues as they work to provide customers with clean, frequent, reliable and comfortable journeys.

“The new low emission vehicles support the environment while giving people more reason to choose the bus.”

Mr Brown, who was appointed Group Chief Executive of Go-Ahead in 2011, said Morebus enjoyed a good working relationship with BCP Council.

“They recognise the value of sustainable transport and the role buses can play in reducing congestion and improving air quality,” he added.