Vandals hit top new buses on prime route

Patrols: One of the new gold line buses
Patrols: One of the new gold line buses

Vandals are forcing a bus operator to take action on one of its prime services.

Stagecoach says the vandalism is happening across the Preston to Bolton 125 route.

The operator has just introduced a range of top quality buses on the high frequency route as part of a new multi-million pound investment to services.

It is understood at least one incident involved school pupils on one of the new ‘Gold’ buses in Chorley in which a leather seat was burned last week.

Elisabeth Tasker, managing director of Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire, said: “Due to vandalism on the 125 service, we have increased the number of inspectors on the route.

“Although anti-social behaviour of this kind always has a negative and destructive impact on the wider community, it is doubly disappointing in this instance as we have recently upgraded the Stagecoach fleet which services this route, as part of a £4.5 million investment to improve our services in this community.

“This new range of gold buses are best in class and feature elements designed to ensure people have the most comfortable, convenient journeys possible including new leather seats, free Wi-Fi and USB charging ports, so we hope people will continue to be able to enjoy the benefits they provide without having their experience spoiled by a small minority.

“We take this sort of vandalism very seriously and have high-quality audio CCTV within our vehicles which allows us to identify anyone vandalising the buses or carrying out any kind of anti-social behaviour, and will prosecute accordingly.”

The Stagecoach 125 travels from Preston to Bamber Bridge, Walton Summit, Clayton Brook, Clayton Green, Chorley, Adlington, Horwich, Doffcocker and Bolton and back.

Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire announced this summer that it had seen passenger numbers grow by more than 2.6 million people from 2014 to 2015.

Passenger journeys rose by 6.6 per cent on last year to about 42,052,000.

This Gold luxury buses also feature Euro 5 standard engines, designed to help cut exhaust gas emissions.

Stagecoach Bus is one of the UK’s major employers, supporting around 24,000 jobs across the UK and 1,209 jobs in Merseyside and South Lancashire.