After nearly six years [2004 post] of highly intensive service, Wilts & Dorset is part through its programme of refurbishing its Volvo B7REL/Wrightbus Eclipse Urban cross-Bournemouth More M1/M2 fleet.
W&D states that it’s spending £100,000 on the refurbish-that-isn't which, at a little over £3,000 per bus, isn’t actually much. There’s no need for expensive interior replacements. The main improvement is the More 2 livery, which sees a lighter and less sombre blue. The plainer red rear swoop looks a little 1990s when compared to the attractive original rear leaf effect but the new livery is more practical, even if the buses look a little ordinary, indeed stark by today’s standards. They remind me of the version of Hants & Dorset red without the white stripe relief. And More’s two frontal red “ears” look slightly odd.
i Picture of More 2 livery here. (Images below are of More 1 livery)
Not the best shot but it does demonstrate the fading left when old vinyls need replacingThere’s absolutely no doubt that outwardly the buses were beginning to look a little tired. Actually, some of them were battle scarred almost from day one. Since 2009, there was vinyl fading following route and frequency changes. The buses’ red had begun to fade. Some panels haven’t matched.
W&D has replaced the original Stenning rear advertising with simpler messages. Going are the remaining inspired “Looks like a bus, Works like a dream” (fading) vinyls, and their associated fluffy bunnies, penguins, dolphins and butterflies. And gone, too, are the single side messages “More style, more comfort, more choice” in favour of a number of simpler but larger messages different on each side, such as “Enjoy more”, “More frequent” and “Get out more”.
What about More M5/M6? This on-off-on More service between Poole & Canford Heath is barely recognised by W&D as part of the More brand. It never gets the media exposure of its more successful Poole-Bournemouth-Boscombe/Castlepoint sibling. He M5/M6 certainly isn’t mentioned on the Morebus website. Not that the microsite’s been updated since 2009. And the repaints don’t even refer to Morebus.com at all, not that I can see. It seems that Morebus.com has joined the discarded flotsam without any particular use, now bobbing unattached around the web.