Arriva has signed a new contract with Watford borough council to introduce a new digital Demand Responsive Transport service to the town from March 2020. The contract will last four years, with the option of a two-year extension. The scheme aims to provide an easier way to travel that will reduce the need for private car ownership.
“We’re delighted to be working with Watford, who should be applauded for their forward-looking approach to addressing connectivity issues,” says Alistair Hands, commercial director. “We’re in conversation with a number of other local authorities and interested third parties to explore the role that DRT can play as part of the mix in encouraging uptake of public transport.”
This is the fourth DRT service Arriva has introduced in the UK since 2017 and follows operations in Liverpool and Leicester.
The new service will mean improved connectivity between Watford Junction and local points of interest including Watford town centre, Croxley business park and the tourist attraction of Warner Brother Studios, home of the Harry Potter studio tour.
Seven buses, that can seat up to 15 people, will be introduced within a defined operating zone. Journey prices will range from £1 to £2.50 per mile with weekly passes available too. The service will run Monday to Thursday 6am to 10pm, Friday and Saturday 6am to 11pm and on Sundays from 8am to 9pm.
The buses are fully accessible, with front kerbside double door access and a low-level fold-out wheelchair ramp. Passengers can pre-register as a wheelchair user. There will also be space for pushchairs. Journeys can be booked via a smartphone app using technology provided by ioki.
Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor, adds: “Introducing new, greener ways to travel around the town is one of my top priorities. I am confident that ArrivaClick will be a real success in our town, offering a great alternative to the car.”