A £13m upgrade of the Oxford Tube service is now going ahead after being postponed due to coronavirus.

Owners Stagecoach in Oxfordshire announced the investment earlier this year in new coaches which run from Oxford to London.

Then in June bosses said the investment in 34 new coaches would be put on hold due to falling passenger numbers as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more: Oxford Tube upgrade is now on hold

Now it has announced that the investment will go ahead before Christmas.

The new coaches will offer passengers charging points and reading lights, free Wi-Fi, foot rests for added comfort and seat belts.

The coaches will also have diesel Euro 6 engines which limit exhaust emissions.

Oxford Mail:

The Oxford Tube in High Street

Five of the coaches are being fitted with solar panel systems by UK company Trailar.

The 3mm solar panels will be fitted to provide clean solar energy to power all on-board electrical equipment and will led to a combined annual saving of over 7,500 litres of fuel.

Chris Coleman, managing director at Stagecoach in Oxfordshire, said: “This major investment into Europe’s most frequent express coach service will ensure that we can provide our customers with a more comfortable and modern service.

“The last eight months have been amongst the most difficult we have ever faced – Covid-19 has turned the world upside down and public transport continues to be impacted.

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“But we are committed to continuing to invest in areas where we believe it’s important and we are delighted to be launching the first of our new coaches today.

“Public transport will continue to play a huge role in the country’s economic and sustainable recovery.

“We are confident that this continued investment will help us to encourage more people to ditch their cars and use our comfortable new coaches for their journeys between Oxford and London.”

Oxford Mail:

Oxford Tube staff hand out pastries to customers

New on board information screens will be fitted and used to keep customers up to date with changes to their journey and estimated times of arrival.

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The 34 Plaxton Panorama coaches have been built by Alexander Dennis in Scarborough.

The service runs up to every 15 minutes and operates 24 hours a day.