King’s Lynn based independent bus operator Norfolk Green has invested £750,000 in the first of a new fleet of double-deckers as it continues to grow its passenger numbers.

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The significant investment heralds the start of a makeover for the company, which has also seen it launch a new mobile-friendly version of its website.

Managing director Ben Colson said: “These best-in-class modern vehicles will help us raise the bar in terms of passenger comfort and safety. We have already made big strides in terms of improving our services, and I look forward to introducing even more new buses in the years ahead.

“Norfolk Green is determined to play its part in the provision of an integrated transport service for the rural and urban communities we serve.”

The company said visits to www.norfolkgreen.co.uk had increased by about two thirds over the past year, with those from mobile devices up by over 300pc year on year, with these now accounting for over a third of all visitors.

The new site, to which users will be directed if they use a smartphone, will also enable users to search for next bus times from their nearest stop, by detecting their location.

The next stage will be to import real-time bus running information from the satellite tracking system that covers the whole fleet.

“While our website was designed to make it easy for visitors to find their bus times and fares, the surge in visits from people on mobiles has led us to offer a streamlined version that works better for smaller screens, and to give fast, accurate information to people on the move,” added Norfolk Green commercial manager Rob Bennett.

“We decided to go for a mobile version of the website, rather than developing an app, as this would have been a much longer process and would not guarantee to cover all types of mobile device.”

The two low-floor Alexander Dennis Enviro400 buses took to the road at weekend on the King’s Lynn to Hunstanton and Spalding routes. Each seats 79 passengers and they also have underseat ‘mood lighting’ and wood-effect laminate flooring.

The buses were built in Falkirk, in Scotland, by Alexander Dennis Ltd.

The investment comes as Norfolk Green has created a new silver and two-tone green livery. One of the buses has postcard-effect murals of Sandringham and Hunstanton, while the other is decorated with tweets from customers about why they love using the buses.

The new buses will be joined by two more identical vehicles next spring.

annabelle.dickson@archant.co.uk

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