Posted: Wed 1st May 2013 Takes A Ride On New ‘Sapphire’ Buses for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Last Friday reported the arrival of Arriva’s new Sapphire double decker buses which will be used on the Wrexham to Chester route.

The new buses were officially launched in an event held in Queens Square on Friday morning. Nine buses were launched in a £650,000 investment, which officially started their service on Monday.

There are many new ‘key features’ on the buses, including new high back seats, CCTV, customer charter, extra standard of cleanliness, audio / visual announcements and frequent service. test rode one of the new buses on the Wrexham to Chester route yesterday to see how they compared with the previous models.

Inside the buses are a lot more modern and spacious. The biggest changes made have been to the seats, with the high back leather seats offering far more comfort than before. There’s also a lot more leg space available compared to the previous buses,

On the top deck there are more seating options, with a row of two seaters on the left hand side, and a row of single seats on the right.

Arriva Sapphire

View of the seating arrangements on the top deck

One element that has sparked discussion among passengers is the new audio / visual system that tells you when you are approaching a stop and when you have arrived at a stop. This is a feature that has been added in to prevent people from missing their stops. This does take some getting used to, as the updates are constant. However on the journey back we found ourselves getting used to them!

Another new feature on the Sapphire buses is the free Wi-Fi system. The Wi-Fi itself is pretty fast and easy to set up. As with connecting to all new Wi-Fi systems, you have to register your details before you can access the system. It’s straightforward to use, and you only have to register once before the system remembers your device. There has been mention of connectivity drop outs on areas around Pulford, yet when we tried we were able to use the connection with no problems.

There are also charging points next to some of the chairs for you to connect your phone chargers or laptops in, however we didn’t see anyone using them on our trip! We are told that on some journeys they have not been active, however Arriva Wales have said that is going to change.

Arriva Sapphire

There’s phone and laptop chargers next to many of the seats

The service also provides a ‘no quibble’ money back guarantee if you’re unhappy with the service. However after testing the Sapphire buses out, we can’t see much to complain about!


Have you used the new Sapphire buses yet? You can follow the discussion on the new Sapphire buses on our forums by clicking here

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