A BUS firm launched its upgraded Knutsford to Altrincham '88' service at Tatton Park this week.

The improved service, rebranded ' GHA Gold', aims to appeal to commuters seeking an alternative to making the journey by car and those travelling on via Metrolink to the city centre and beyond.

GHA Coaches have invested in a fleet of four new Enviro 200 buses to cover the route, with leather seats, tables and free WiFi, and super-low level entry for easy access.

The first bus in the morning will leave Knutsford at 6.40am, getting to Altrincham, via Wilmslow at 7.35am. The last bus to depart in the evening from Knutsford's bus station leaves at 6.25pm.

If you want to pop into Knutsford in the evening, the final bus of the day into Knutsford arrives at the bus station at 7.20pm.

Guests from local transport groups and businesses en route were welcomed by Stephen Bryce, general manager at GHA Coaches, and were treated to a short ride around the park onboard one of the brand new buses before enjoying afternoon tea in the mansion.

The service, which took to the road for the first time on Monday, October 27, will be more frequent, calling half-hourly at most stops.

Cheshire East Council, who awarded the five-year contract to GHA, hopes that the new service will appeal to more commuters as well as shoppers wishing to travel by sustainable means, reducing traffic congestion and CO2 emissions.

Wilmslow East Clr Rod Menlove, also a member of the Environment Agency Liaison Group, said "I welcome this initiative as it has the potential to appeal to a new customer base drawn from the business community who habitually currently use a car.

"The interconnectivity with the rail network is the key point and I am pleased that the request for a stop at Wilmslow railway station has been met. With a service of this high quality, why bother to travel by car."

Special introductory fares are on offer for the first four weeks of the service and commuters can enjoy travelling for up to 50 per cent less. In addition, System One is valid from Wilmslow to Altrincham.