100 years of service of the East Kent Road Car Company was marked at the annual South East Bus Festival and heritage transport show held at the Kent Showground at Detling. The sixth annual event attracted over 5,000 visitors. To mark the occasion, MD of East Kent’s successor company, Stagecoach South East, Philip Norwell, unveiled two buses specially dressed in commemorative liveries; a single deck vehicle wrapped in the original East Kent maroon and cream, and a double deck bus featuring a commissioned design to mark the centenary year. From this week both buses will be in general service around east Kent. On 7 August 2016 in the actual anniversary week, the company will be showcasing buses and memorabilia at the Herne Bay bus rally. Stagecoach will also be opening a new ‘state of the art’ bus depot near Herne Bay later in the year.
Philip Norwell said, ‘The Company began operating buses half-way through the First World War. Back then we had a fleet of 72 vehicles operating a million miles a year; today we have nearly 500 buses and coaches running over 21m miles a year. Having reached the milestone of 100-years it’s clear that this is the story of a company firmly rooted in the communities that it serves. It’s the story of a business that adapts in innovative ways to changing times and continues to invest in the service it provides. Now, at the company’s centenary, we celebrate our history while looking forward with confidence to the challenges of the future.’
. . . and invests £6m in South East
Stagecoach South East MD, Phillip Norwell, has announced a £6m investment in 30 new ADL Enviro400 MMCs double deckers on Scania chassis for his fleet. He said, ‘We continue to see an increase in the number of people using buses in east Kent and we want to ensure that they benefit from modern, comfortable and environmentally friendly vehicles. Thirty brand new high-spec double deckers will be joining our fleet in a few weeks time.’