A NEW bus route serving Southampton City Centre has been launched.

Bus passengers will find it easier than ever to travel between Southampton city centre, Woolston and Thornhill following the launch of Bluestar's 19 route.

Bluestar representatives met with Southampton City Council cabinet member for place and transport and deputy leader, Jacqui Rayment, to celebrate the launch of the new bus service.

The brand new route serves the eastern side of the city every 15 minutes between 7am and 7pm on Monday to Saturday, and every 30 minutes on a Sunday.

“Bluestar 19 provides local people with more choice, this side of Southampton - whether they are commuting, shopping or visiting,” said Bluestar managing director, Andrew Wickham.

“We developed the route based on customer requests and travel patterns - and the route will be served by our brand new British built single decker buses, with free WiFi, USB chargers and each sporting the very latest low emissions Euro 6 engine.”

Last year, Bluestar launched its a new £7m fleet of low emission buses in order to bring the firm up to speed with the new clean air zone restrictions set to be introduced in 2019.

Each of the vehicles sports the latest Euro 6 low emissions engine - the newest and cleanest standard for diesel.

They also unveiled Bluestar's groundbreaking filter systems which operate on top of buses in a bid to boost cleaning pollution in Southampton.

Bosses believe the filter, placed on top of the Bluestar 7 vehicle, will take approximately 99.5 per cent of small, harmful particles in the air.

Councillor Jacqui Rayment added: “I welcome the introduction of this new service - which provides local people with excellent links between Thornhill and the city centre.

“It provides opportunities for more people to use sustainable transport, which would contribute to a reduction in congestion - and may also help to further improve air quality here in Southampton.”

The route will go to Southampton Central Station north side; the City Centre via Vincents Walk; Westquay; Woolston via Bridge Link Road; Sholing via Drove Road; and Thornhill via Fairfax Court.

Bluestar 19 falls within the operator’s promotional city fare zone, so passengers are eligible for a weekly ticket of just £8 - which gives them access to other Bluestar routes including the 7, 16, 17 and 18.

Single, returns, day and and monthly tickets are also available and the timetable for the route is available on Bluestar's website.