New Dorset bus service prepares for pioneering green scheme

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By This is Dorset | Wednesday, October 19, 2011, 07:00

A new bus service between Poundbury and Dorchester town centre will start running on Monday.

The number six bus, operated by Dorset County Council and supported by West Dorset District Council and the Duchy of Cornwall, will run Monday to Saturday between Queen Mother Square in Poundbury and Dorchester South railway station, with stops including Dorset County Hospital and Trinity Street.

The service creates a new link between Poundbury and the centre of Dorchester, providing regular journeys for local residents to the hospital, town centre shops and workplaces and connecting with regular rail services to and from London.

The number six service will operate using low-floor diesel buses until the end of the year.

In the New Year, however, the service is set to become fully electric – the first of its kind in the South West.

Earlier this year, the county council and district council were awarded £166,000 by the Department for Transport to help purchase two fully electric-powered vehicles, which will be used to operate a zero-carbon emission service.

The clean, green machines made by British manufacturer Optare will come into service in early 2012 when the latest model, boasting an extended battery range, becomes available.

Peter Finney, Dorset County Council Cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "We are delighted to be able to work in partnership with West Dorset District Council and the Duchy of Cornwall to create this new service for Poundbury.

"The launch of the electric service in the New Year is something to look forward to but, in the meantime, residents and visitors will be able to enjoy this new link between Poundbury and the town centre.”

Robert Gould, Leader of West Dorset District Council, said: “I am glad we have been able to help start a new bus service between Poundbury and the town centre.

"Hopefully this will help reduce traffic congestion and make it easier for residents to get about."

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