A BUS is taking passengers on a nostalgic trip down memory lane in celebration of one of its longest serving routes in Southend.

Arriva is marking the centenary of Southend’s route one service, which travels from Shoebury to Rayleigh.

One of the buses has been wrapped in a special livery, giving a nod to vintage buses from years gone by.

The bus was officially unveiled by Southend mayor John Lamb at Arriva’s Southend depot yesterday. 

A celebratory cake was also cut to commemorate the impressive 100 year anniversary of the first ever journey.

Mr Lamb said: “When you see it, it really is so fantastic.

“It is painted in the old livery colours with the Southend crest on the front and side of the bus, you do have to see it in real life to appreciate how good it does look.

“I was a little taken aback when I saw it because of how fantastic it is, the new bus has even been hand painted.

“It does look great, but will look even better once it is on the streets doing the route.

“I just kept thinking how amazing it would look if we had all the buses painted this way and the whole route was in the livery.

“Arriva have been amazing, it has been a lot of hard work but it has been worth it and hopefully the public appreciate it as much as we do.”

To mark the event Mr Lamb, and his wife Pat Lamb were invited to the official unveiling alongside a host of council and Arriva representatives.

This weekend Arriva will run shuttle buses, with the vintage design, to and from the Southend Village Green Festival at Chalkwell Park.

Festival goers can travel for £1 each way if they showed their festival wristband.

The bus resumes the normal service on Route One from Monday.

Colin Wright, general manager for Arriva Southend, said: “We are extremely proud of the services we provide, not just in Southend but across the entire region.

“One hundred years is an incredible milestone to reach, and we’d like to thank everyone for their valuable contributions in keeping the service running for so long, both past and present.

“We hope that the vintage design will spark some nostalgia for our passengers.”