Big deal for Ashford as buses get ‘little & often’
Have you seen some silver and blue minibuses on your travels around Ashford lately? You must have!
That's because a fleet of smart new Mercedes minibuses hit the road in Ashford in February. Stagecoach has launched the high-spec minibus service, branded ‘little & often’, which provides buses every five or six minutes along routes serving the hospital, town centre/rail station, Kennington and Park Farm.
Little & Often - the facts
- This represents a £2.8 million investment in the 30 new minibuses
- They are the first minibuses to accept contactless payment in the south east
- The routes boost the frequency of bus routes serving the hospital, town centre, Kennington and Park Farm
- The new ‘turn-up-and-go’ service is the only one of its kind in the UK
- The new minibuses come with faux leather seats and ‘Euro 6’ specification low-noise engines - representing the very latest in clean engine technology
Stagecoach has also introduced ultra-convenient payment options so that customers don’t need to carry cash to buy a ticket. The new service accepts contactless payments made with debit and credit cards, as well as Apple Pay and Android Pay.
The ‘Little & often’ buses run from about 6am to 11pm every day including Sundays and bank holidays. Whereas three buses an hour used to run on the existing route B from Park Farm, this is now ten buses per hour. Kennington and Willesborough are also benefitting from the ‘little & often’ service, with up to 12 buses an hour running to and from the hospital.
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've introduced little & often – a new turn-up-and-go bus service.” He added, “What people want is convenience, and that’s what little & often is all about; quick and reliable bus travel from where you are to where you need to be - when you need it.”
The borough council has welcomed the faster and more reliable bus journeys as a sign of more positive investment in Ashford’s transport network and another successful business investing in the borough.
More information is available on the Stagecoach website at www.stagecoachbus.com