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26 Nov 2019

Arriva to bring new digital transport solution to Watford

Arriva to bring new digital transport solution to Watford: DRT, Watford

  • Further growth for ArrivaClick as new service set to launch in March 2020
  • New flexible bus service combines the cost effectiveness of public transport with the convenience of a private taxi 
  • The fourth such service to be launched by Arriva in the UK since 2017

[London, 26 November] Arriva has signed a new contract with Watford Borough Council to introduce a new digital Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) service to the town from March 2020. The contract will last four years, with the option of a two-year extension. Residents and visitors will benefit from a new and easier way to get around, that will reduce the need for private car ownership and provide a more environmentally friendly way to travel.

Alistair Hands, Commercial Director, said: "We’re delighted to be working with Watford, who should be applauded for their forward-looking approach to addressing connectivity issues. 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 builds on existing operations in Liverpool and Leicester. It’ll form part of Watford council’s wider strategy to develop an integrated approach to improving sustainable transport options throughout the town, which also includes a bike hire scheme.

The new service will mean improved connectivity between Watford Junction, only 20 minutes away from London Euston, and local points of interest including Watford town centre, Croxley business park and the major 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, DB's smart on-demand mobility business.

Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, said: “Introducing new, greener ways to travel around the town is one of my top priorities. I am delighted to be announcing a demand responsive bus scheme for Watford and am confident that ArrivaClick will be a real success in our town, offering a great alternative to the car. I am looking forward to welcoming the first buses to Watford and joining local people next year in using them to get around.”

Notes to editors

About ArrivaClick

ArrivaClick is an intelligent minibus service that responds to demand. It offers the convenience of a taxi with the cost effectiveness of a private vehicle, providing a corner to corner service that takes passengers where they want, when they want. Customers travel in style with free Wi-Fi, charging points, tables and leather seats making it ideal for commuters and visitors.

ArrivaClick was launched as a pilot in Sittingbourne, Kent, in 2017. Services were extended to Liverpool in Summer 2018 and to Leicester in the Spring of 2019. You can find out more about ArrivaClick on the Arriva UK Bus website.

A survey of 1,400 ArrivaClick customers in Merseyside showed that 40 percent of Click customers switched from single use cars and taxis. 9 out of 10 customers would recommend it to family and friends. Full release on the Arriva Group website.

This is the second time a local authority has part funded ArrivaClick. In September 2019, Arriva commenced a DRT service in Speke, Merseyside, to look at how demand responsive transport can help to complement the existing public transport network. You can find out more on the Merseytravel website.

About Arriva

Arriva is the leading provider of passenger transport in Europe, employing around 53,000 people and delivering around 2 billion passenger journeys across 14 European countries each year.

It is part of Deutsche Bahn, one of the world’s leading passenger transport and logistics service providers.

Arriva operates in the Czech Republic; Croatia; Denmark; Hungary; Italy; the Netherlands; Poland; Portugal; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia, Spain; Sweden; and the UK.