MOREBUS has opened a £2.5million depot – described as one of the most advanced in the country – for looking after its vehicles.

The company set up the depot at the former home of Excelsior Coaches in Southcote Road, Bournemouth.

It will use the base to maintain and clean the buses on its M1, 13 and Unibus routes.

The depot has a bus wash and some of the latest engineering pit technologies.

David Brown, chief executive of parent company the Go Ahead Group, joined Morebus managing director Andrew Wickham and BCP council leader Cllr Vikki Slade for the opening ceremony.

Mr Wickham said: “We are thrilled to be opening these wonderful new facilities here in Bournemouth.

“Since acquiring Excelsior Coaches in October 2016, we have been keen to develop our site here in Southcote Road, so that it provides excellent facilities – not only for our buses and coaches, but also for our team.

“Now we have fully-equipped rest quarters for our drivers and operations staff, including a large rest room with catering facilities, and new shower facilities for those working shifts – as well as this wonderful bus wash, which is ready and waiting to ensure our vehicles are squeaky clean when operating our services across Bournemouth and the surrounding area.

“I was delighted to be joined by the CEO of our parent company, Go-Ahead Group, David Brown, and leader of BCP council Cllr Vikki Slade to launch Morebus’ impressive new Bournemouth home. It was also a great opportunity to show invited guests everything we have worked on here, to make this depot one of the most advanced in the country.”

Morebus said it had made a total investment of £2.5m in the site, which it acquired when it bought Excelsior Coaches in 2016.

It said the depot would offer custom-made facilities for a large number of its fleet of low emissions buses. Those include the ADL Enviro 200 buses operating on the M1 route from Bournemouth to Poole and the five double-decker ADL Enviro 400 vehicles which run the 13 route to Wimborne via Ferndown. All sport the latest Euro 6 low emission engines.

The whole of Morebus’ Unibus service, operated on behalf of Bournemouth University and Arts University Bournemouth, is also run from the new depot.

Go-Ahead Group chief executive David Brown said: “The investment in the rebuilt depot represents our commitment to the local community, and to our colleagues as they work to provide customers with clean, frequent, reliable and comfortable journeys. The new low emission vehicles support the environment while giving people more reason to choose the bus.”