A NEW open-top bus route is coming to Dorset as the county prepares for an influx of summer visitors.

First Wessex has announced a new addition to its fleet of buses as it prepares to adopt its summer service from May 30, with frequency uplifts and extended bus services to accommodate the additional users during the peak tourism season.

From Sunday, the new open-top X52 Jurassic Coaster will start operating between Monkey World and Bridport via Wool, Lulworth Cove, Weymouth, Abbotsbury and West Bay.

This follows the success of the open-top 501 Portland Coaster that started operating earlier this month.

The X51 bus which operates between Dorchester and Axminster via Poundbury, Bridport and Lyme Regis, will be extended into Weymouth this summer, with every journey passing by Weymouth College.

Carol Sim, operations manager at First Wessex, said: "By increasing frequencies, introducing a new X52 and extending the X51, improving the frequency along the Jurassic Coast, the summer service timetables will offer more travel opportunities, better connections, new destinations and more reliability for our customers.

"We look forward to welcoming more visitors than ever to Dorset to enjoy the world-renowned scenery and fantastic local attractions."

Dorset Echo: Fleet of First Wessex vehicles Picture: Matt RamseyFleet of First Wessex vehicles Picture: Matt Ramsey

Over the past few months, the team at First Wessex has been revamping the appearance of its entire fleet in preparation for the summer. At the beginning of the year, a new logo was introduced and work has been ongoing to repaint the fleet of local buses in green and yellow.

Carol said: "The whole reason to update the look of our fleet was because we know that we have to keep earning our customers’ trust and custom, and more so after a long period during which many people shunned all but essential travel.

"This staycation summer is looking like it's going to be a great one for Dorset and we are expecting lots of new tourist exploring the region for the first time. During what has been one of the most testing periods for us as a local bus operator, our team have still managed to find spare capacity and energy to develop a new comprehensive look for our business to welcome existing and many new bus users on our buses."

First Wessex and Jurassic Coaster summer bus guides will be available from the driver and from the tourist information centres.

For more information, visit www.firstbus.co.uk/wessex-dorset-south-somerset