RAYLEIGH residents and bus users in the Southend area will now be treated to a stunning aerial image of Rayleigh town centre on the back their bus.

‘The Pride of Rayleigh’, an Arriva bus on the One service, was launched this week, adorned with the image taken by town council chairman Ian Ward.

The photo was taken looking down from the tower of Holy Trinity Church at the top of Rayleigh High Street and features the town’s windmill in centre stage.

Mr Ward was delighted at seeing his handiwork on the bus for the first time.

He said: “I’m extremely proud of having provided the unique photograph of Rayleigh which sits on the number 1 bus named The Pride of Rayleigh.

“It is a unique concept to give buses individuality and I applaud the enterprise of Arriva in the way they localise the services they provide to our community.”

The bus is one of 16 new vehicles purchased in 2013 as Arriva invested £2million in new stock for the One service that links Rayleigh with Southend and Shoebury, running every ten minutes.

Mark Francois, MP for Rayleigh and Wickford, helped launch the bus with Mr Ward and praised the service Arriva offers.

He said: “May God bless this bus and all who ride in her!

“Buses are very important to my constituents and so it is good to see Arriva investing in modern vehicles in order to provide local residents with an up to date and reliable service.”