8:30am to 6:00pm weekdays, 9:00am to 5:00pm Saturdays
Published 20 August 2007
A brand new fleet of environmentally friendly buses will take to the roads around Congleton on Monday 20th August. Operated by bakerbus, the new vehicles have been introduced under a restyled town service contract, awarded by Cheshire County Council.
Although fares have been set to attract more passengers onto the buses, the service will run free of charge for the first week, allowing everybody the opportunity to see how using public transport may well be a viable alternative to using their cars.
All of the previous town services, covering Banky Fields, Bromley, Buglawton, Mosley and West Heath have been incorporated into a new Beartown Bus network, with its distinctive 'green' branding based on Congleton's historical Wakes bear mascot *. A key feature of the service is reliability, six days a week and frequency, appropriate to the time of day - see bakerbus.com/timetable/pdf/ttbeartown.pdf for timetables.
As well as replacing earlier generation step entrance minibuses, the new services have been standardised, offering set fares for return journeys across the town network. The new vehicles - three Plaxton Primos, selected for this route are wheelchair friendly with seating for up to 28 passengers - 15 of which are accessible without climbing any steps. Although light and spacious inside, the compact size and tight turning circle of the Primos make these buses ideally suited for operation within Congleton's narrow town centre streets and its residential areas.
bakerbus is not new to Congleton. The company has provided previous town services and it continues to operate other routes with connections through to Stoke-on-Trent, Crewe, Macclesfield and Biddulph.
Commenting on the new service, Phil Baker, Managing Director of bakerbus said: "We are delighted to have been chosen to operate the new Beartown Bus network. This is an attractive and high quality service, which has been designed especially for Congleton residents.
"The new buses are economical and they have lower exhaust emissions than previous generation vehicles used on the Congleton town services. I am sure that the modern styling and convenience will be more than enough to charm the travelling public out of their motor cars."
* Note to Editors
Congleton's bear was a major attraction at the town's 'Wakes' but in 1662 the bear died suddenly just before the annual festival. It was essential to have a replacement bear straightaway, and some money set aside to buy a new bible, was allocated for this. There is no evidence that the bible was delayed because of this but the memory lives on.
Photo shows Cheshire Council members with Phil Baker by the first Beartown Bus
[ The photo is available to download in a print-friendly full resolution version from here ]