New Elites for Red Arrow

trentbarton’s non-stop Red Arrow service between Derby and Nottingham is getting a £3m boost with nine new Plaxton Elites, the operator’s biggest ever per vehicle investment. Each have free 4G Wi-Fi and tables at every seat, as well as USB charging points, bike storage, extra wide reclining leather seats and additional leg room. The new coaches will begin picking up passengers at Derby Bus Station, the Queens Medical Centre and Nottingham Victoria Bus Station from 25 October.

It is 20 years since the first Red Arrow launched. At first, the service ran once an hour. By 1997 it was every half hour and the frequency doubled again to every 15 minutes in 2003 when late evening and Sunday services also began. Free Wi-Fi was installed in 2010, when coaches started running beyond 03.00 on Friday and Saturday nights. It now runs every ten minutes at peak times between the two city centres and is the operator’s flagship route. Including the additional Derby to Chesterfield Comet link, there were 1.38m Red Arrow passenger journeys in 2014, a 10% increase on 2013. Over a million journeys have been made already this year. Each week the Red Arrow fleet’s 50 drivers clock up a total of almost 25,000 miles on the road. The coaches on the Derby-Chesterfield leg are also being updated, with low floors and free Wi-Fi. It has never needed public subsidy.

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