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Colourful design gets the student vote for campus bus route

An eye-catching new bus aims to promote positivity on Brighton & Hove Buses’ route 25 to the University of Sussex campus. 

Around 700 Sussex students voted on two designs by local artist Lois O’Hara, who is known for using bold colours and wavy patterns to help people feel energised and improve well-being, in a project commissioned by the bus company.  

The clear winner was the artist’s distinctive wave design in pink, blue and orange.

Lois approached Brighton & Hove Buses because she wanted a large-scale canvas on which to promote positive mental health, a theme which often comes up in her work, as do motion and fluidity.   

“It was just a natural connection, really,” Lois said. “The fact the bus moves around is a visual tie-in and a bendy bus is even better. I hope it will encourage people to get on the bus and hopefully they’ll want to talk to people on the bus.  

“I was shocked that so many people voted. I think people liked the ability to have a say. It was a really good idea.”   

The new bus was revealed on Wednesday (20 March) during the University’s One World Week celebrations.

Brighton & Hove Impetus - a  charity that connects people to reduce isolation - and University of Sussex student counsellors provided a walk-in advice service on the day for students suffering from loneliness. 

An October 2018 UK study by BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mind and the Wellcome Collection

found that 16- to 24-year-olds were more likely to report feeling lonely than older people. In fact, 40%, said they felt lonely often or very often, compared with 29% of 65 to 74-year-olds and 27% of those aged over 75. 

These numbers are no surprise to Sussex student Roxanne Lavanchy. “Starting university and studying can be very stressful and isolating,” she said. “It can seem as if everyone is having a wonderful time when you are struggling. If you are feeling lonely and isolated, talk to a friend, to family or someone at university. You are not alone!”  

Brighton & Hove Impetus CEO Jo Crease added: “Social isolation and loneliness can affect anyone, at any age. By working together, we can raise awareness of the issue, and help build the connections we all need to thrive."

Brighton & Hove Buses’ Managing Director Martin Harris said: “I hope this exciting project will get people talking to each other on the way to university, whether that’s on the bus or elsewhere, and help connect people who are struggling, to local support services.”  
The new bus is part of Brighton & Hove Buses’ Chatty Bus campaign, which began in January 2019 when people were invited to have a cuppa and a chat in the Chatty Bus, which parked at Churchill Square. Impetus gave advice and signposted people to other local support services.  

Posted on behalf of: Transport
Last updated: Thursday, 21 March 2019


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