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Published on Wednesday 01 February 2023

Residents are set to benefit from a decision by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council to award contracts for three essential bus services to Morebus.

Following a competitive tender process, Morebus will now operate the following services;

Service 18 (From Wednesday 15 Feb)

Bournemouth, Westbourne, Upper Parkstone, Sea View, Foxholes Estate, Canford Heath, Waterloo Estate, Broadstone and West Way.

Service 33 (From Wednesday 15 Feb)

Bournemouth, Boscombe, Queens Park, Bournemouth Hospital, Southbourne and Christchurch.

Service 36 (From Wednesday 15 Feb)

Kinson, West Howe, Bournemouth University, Glenferness Avenue, Bournemouth and Talbot View Estate.

These services are currently operated by Xelabus, until Tuesday 14 February.

The start dates for the Morebus contracts means a vital continuity of service for all passengers. The timetables for each service will not change.

Morebus will also continue to operate the following school bus services;

Service 46 (from Monday 20 Feb)

Throop, Moordown, Winton, Charminster, Bournemouth Station, Boscombe and Pokesdown to Avonbourne Academies.

Service 81 (From Monday 20 Feb)

Charminster, Castlepoint, Townsend and Littledown to Avonbourne Academies.

Service 744 (from Tuesday 21 Feb)

Poole Old Town and Baiter to Oakdale Junior School.

These new contracts replace temporary arrangements which were introduced by the council for six months to ensure services remained for residents following the sudden demise of the previous operator Yellow Buses in August 2022.

Councillor Mike Greene, Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and Transport, said: "We are delighted to award these important bus contracts to Morebus and have pulled out all the stops to ensure that these vital routes remain in operation.

"Reliable public transport is essential to the success of any area. It was vital that we found a way to keep buses that directly serve places such as Fernbarrow Estate and West Way in Broadstone running smoothly.

"Our hard work on this – and close partnership with Morebus – means there will be no break in service and that it’s now possible for residents to travel sustainably around our area using one company."

Andrew Wickham, Morebus managing director, added: "I am delighted to add these important public routes to our network across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole - and to continue operating the school services we were entrusted with last year.

"Our team has been doing a tremendous job, since adding new routes in 2022, following the end of Yellow Buses’ operation here.

"We are delighted to be working with BCP Council to not only safeguard these school and public services, but to ensure taking the bus is an attractive alternative to travelling by car. This will play an important role in reducing congestion and improving the air we breathe on the south coast.

"In order to do this, we have invested heavily in new buses with low emissions Euro 6 engines over recent years, each featuring the latest in on-board technology - including usb chargers for smart phones and tablets, and tap on, tap off payments. Our pioneering app also offers technology so powerful, those travelling with us can save their regular journeys, mark bus stops or routes as their favourites, track exactly where their bus is at any given time and, of course, buy their tickets.

"We won’t rest on our laurels though - and will continue to look for new ways to improve our offering here.

"I am delighted that Morebus will now be providing a comprehensive service across the region, giving people better value-for-money and a joined-up bus network our customers - old and new - can rely on."

Morebus has also been awarded the contract for the Route ONE Town Centre from Poole Bus Station to the Hospital, Train Station, Quay and Baiter Park. This service will also remain unchanged.

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