THIRTY-TWO new eco-friendly buses have been rolled out across key routes in Basingstoke to help reduce the town’s carbon emissions.

Operators Stagecoach have invested £5.3 million into the fleet which will run 70 per cent of the network across the town, on six of the key services.

It came on the same day as a timetable revamp that will see more frequent services in the evenings.

The new Euro 6 buses were rolled out in a ceremony at the Top of Town on Monday, with Stagecoach South’s managing director, Edward Hodgson, and deputy leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Councillor Simon Bound, on hand to cut the ribbon.

Mr Hodgson said: “Basingstoke has long been one of our busiest hubs, which makes it the perfect location for such an environmentally friendly fleet. We have combined greener vehicles with additional features that provide the latest in passenger comfort, and improved services to run more frequently and later into the evening - on all main routes we are running services until midnight on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.”

Cllr Bound added: “In Basingstoke and Deane we have been bold and set ourselves the ambitious target of achieving a carbon neutral borough by 2030 and this only be achieved with the support of everyone working together to reduce our impact on the environment.

“This new fleet of Stagecoach vehicles is a really positive step in the right direction and one that we can all build on to encourage greater use of public transport and the development of more sustainable methods of travel.”

The new buses release fewer emissions than the average diesel car - despite having 15 to 20 times the capacity.

This provides a significant carbon dioxide saving for passengers.

On top of this, the buses feature USB charging points for passengers, as well as Wi-Fi.

Mr Hodgson continued: “Not only are we fully committed to reducing our collective carbon footprint across the South of England, but we want to show how buses can actually help us move towards a low carbon Britain.

“By taking the bus more often, the people of Basingstoke can significantly reduce their carbon emissions.”

The new timetables were introduced on Sunday, which saw the route 9 service, only brought in earlier this year, scrapped and replaced by an improved service 8.

The route will offer more frequent service to Buckskin and Kempshott Lane, but not serve Brighton Hill.