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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Stagecoach looks to the past to mark bus services centenary

A century of public bus services in Cumbria are being celebrated with a nostalgic return to 1912.

Stagecoach has commissioned two new buses to be decorated in the original red, cream and gold livery of the first vehicles which provided public transport for residents 100 years ago.

One bus will operate on services in Carlisle over the coming months.

The other will serve passengers in west Cumbria, where the Whitehaven Motor Service Company originally launched services in 1912. It became Cumberland Motor Services within 10 years when in 1921 services were extended to operate routes in the north of the county, namely Carlisle, Silloth and Keswick. Stagecoach (North West) took over the bus company in May 1991.

Nigel Winter, managing director of Stagecoach in Cumbria and North Lancashire, said: “Staff are as dedicated today as they ever have been in striving to maintain the best standards of customer service.”

He added that public transport operators such as Stagecoach continue to play a “key role in minimising social and economic exclusion”.

They also have “increasing green credentials” as investment helps to improve the Stagecoach vehicle fleet and car drivers are encouraged to take the bus instead.

Mr Winter added: “This would not be possible without the commitment of staff, who have been challenged over the years to maintain customer service in the most difficult, and at times harrowing, of circumstances.

“The floods of 2005 and 2009 brought out the very best in staff and reminded us all of the dedication and professionalism that underpins this company.

“In the 100th year of service the pride, dedication and professionalism of staff is surely as strong today as it ever has been in the company's long history.”

Stagecoach (North West) plans to hold its annual open day in June in west Cumbria this year where transport enthusiasts will be able to go behind the scenes of a local bus depot.

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