Stagecoach in Hampshire have just taken a delivery of three Scania N230UD/Enviro400s. The first of the type for the old Hampshire Bus lands, these buses will upgrade Stagecoach's buses on the Activ8 service, connecting Andover and Salisbury.
These buses have already been branded in what I personally call the "Activ8 Bubbles" livery - I'm sure it has got a proper name. This is Scania 15806 (GX12DXU) pictured heading around Andover's Folly roundabout on Sunday - the second day of the buses in service.
The second one I managed to photograph on Saturday was sister 15805 (GX12DXT), pictured here in Andover along West St. Activ8 is a route jointly run with Wilts & Dorset. The two companies operate a half hourly frequency between Andover and Salisbury, meaning one of the brand new Scanias turns up every hour at either end.
The other end of the route - Scania 15806 arrives in Salisbury with a morning Activ8. It is pictured in Rollestone St, just about to turn into Salisbury bus station.
Stagecoach have been busy upgrading Activ8 in the last six months - recently they have also introduced half hourly shorts connecting Andover with Tidworth. This brings this section of the route a 15 minute frequency. The short Activ8s are operated by Dart SLFs, such as 35260 (GX56OGL). These also have very subtle branding for Activ8 but no "bubbles" - I think they'd look quite good on the Dart.
More photos to come from Salisbury and Andover over the week, along with BRT updates, massive news for the bus services in North Devon and more...
Note: If anyone knows what the proper name for the Activ8 livery is, please feel free to leave a comment and get in contact!