A NEW Edward Elgar-themed bus route will run from the city centre and serve Warndon via Brickfields, Blackpole and Tetbury Drive.

First Buses’ new route is named ‘Nimrod’ after the composer’s famous piece and consists of five buses which have been given fully refurbished interiors including flooring, seating and charging points.

First Bus Group partnered with the Elgar School of Music and The Firs – the composer’s home and now a museum - for the bus launch.

The school performed three 40-minute sets of Elgar’s music composed of piano, strings and vocals outside the Guildhall on Friday.

Worcester MP Robin Walker, speaking at the Guildhall, said he hoped the new scheme would encourage people to use the bus.

He said: “I really hope it will encourage more of my constituents to use the bus, which of course is more environmentally friendly than driving and will help to make sure that we get more regular bus services in Worcester, which I know is a priority cos I hear from many constituents about how they want more regular bus services and more bus services running in the evening.”

He went on to say: “The key is you need people on the buses to make that work and I think this smart new fleet will encourage more people to use them.”

In addition to this refurbishment, the whole fleet of buses are being retrofitted with more eco-friendly engines, to help improve air quality in the city.

Managing director for First in the Midlands, Nigel Eggleton, said: “The Salt Road vehicles are already done, and we’re working through the fleet now to get them up to the highest possible standards of emission.

“We’re over halfway through [the fleet] now,” he added.

Mr Walker says the new bus route comes alongside several other transport improvements within and without the city boundaries.

He highlighted works at Shrub Hill station, Worcester Foregate Street Station and the creation of Worcestershire Parkway as well as a project to dual the Southern Link which will help connect the M5 to the west of Worcestershire, and Herefordshire and provide a bypass to Worcester City Centre.