Thirteen New Buses for Chester to Wrexham Sapphire Service

A gallery of the brand new Alexander Dennis Enviro400 City buses in Wrexham.Macauley Pugh

Arriva Buses Wales has upgraded its high-quality ‘Sapphire’ operation in North Wales by introducing thirteen brand new double decker buses to route 1 between Chester and Wrexham.

Arriva Buses Wales’ 1 service between Chester and Wrexham was the first Sapphire route to be introduced by Arriva back in April 2013. With the service growing in popularity over the last few years, it has prompted Arriva Buses Wales to make a £3.2m investment in thirteen brand new buses for the service.

The number 1 is now one of 15 routes throughout the UK that have been upgraded to Sapphire standard. The new buses will operate on service 1 up to every 10 minutes Monday to Saturday daytime. Arriva’s Sapphire service guarantees that passengers will be eligible for a refund if they are dissatisfied with the punctuality, frequency and cleanliness of their journey.

The new buses are thirteen brand new Alexander Dennis Enviro400 MMC double decks on the Alexander Dennis E40D chassis. They feature Cummins ISB6.7 engines coupled up to Voith D854.6 4-speed gearboxes and produce emissions to the Euro 6 standard. Stop-start technology is also specified to further reduce emissions.

As part of the upgraded luxury service, passengers continue to enjoy spacious E-Leather seating, USB charging points and free WiFi. The new fleet also come fully equipped with “talking buses” technology, meaning buses are fitted with bilingual display screens and audio announcement equipment, that has been specially designed for the visually impaired and those unfamiliar with the route.

Upgrades to the specification versus the older buses include seat-back trays with reading lights, at-seat bell pushes, improved USB charging points, tables and sun roofs – making the top deck feel spacious, light and airy. The high-specification is certainly a step up from the previous allocations, which used former Cross River Express Alexander Dennis Enviro400s dating from 2008.

Michael Morton, Area Managing Director at Arriva: “We’re exceptionally pleased to welcome such a significant number of buses to the Wrexham depot. The Sapphire service was developed as a result of extensive consumer research, looking at what passengers want when travelling by bus. So we are delighted to be able to respond to that by giving our customers a service they have requested and to help improve the perceptions of travelling by bus.”

Arriva’s Sapphire brand was launched back in 2013 and since then Arriva has upgraded 174 buses, as well providing their staff with comprehensive training to ensure passengers receive the best possible standard of customer service to match the high standard of the vehicles.

For our enthusiast readers the registrations are, CX17 BYA (1000), CX17 BYB (1001), CX17 BYC (1002), CX17 BYD (1003), CX17 BYF (1004), CX17 BYG (1005), CX17 BYH (1006), CX17 BYJ (1007), CX17 BYK (1008), CX17 BYL (1009), CX17 BXN (1010), CX17 BXO (1011) & CX17 BXP (1012).


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  • […] Arriva Buses Wales have agreed to, just like last year, offer patrons a day’s free travel on the Sapphire 1 bus route between Chester and Wrexham. […]

  • Paul
    29th June 2017, 7:38 pm

    Great to see so much investment in Wales/Englands border region, lived in Wrexham for many years and had the old Bristol single deckers and Bristol Lodeckers, with conductors, then the Bristol VRT,s, then whatever Wright Bros had , a few Daf SB 200,s On the Barmouth Chester Service, Leyland Olympians, then Volvo Olympians , even Leyland Tiger Coaches, on the Barmouth to Manchester 94 Service, now all sadly gone for good.

    Well done ARRIVA.



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