THIRTEEN is unlucky for some. But bosses at Thamesdown hope that the number will prove otherwise for them.

The bus firm has unveiled its brand new buses - 13 of which will appear in Swindon this month - complete with on-board wi-fi, contactless ticket payment and USB charging.

Thamesdown Transport is pitching the buses as an “extra early Christmas gift” for the town.

The single-decker buses have been built in Britain by firm Alexander Dennis. The low emission buses seat 35 passengers and boast free WiFi USB charging points for power-hungry smartphone users.

Andrew Wickham, Thamesdown Transport's managing director, said: “We are tremendously proud of these new vehicles - not only are they better for the environment, equipped with low emissions Euro 6 engines, but they’re also the first in the region to offer a special ‘social seating’ layout.”

The seating was an “innovative” feature of the buses, Thamesdown said. It would provide a “comfortable space for friends and family to travel together”.

Mr Wickham said: “This inventive horse-shoe arrangement means a lounge-type environment for our customers.

“We’re also providing individual USB points at all 35 passenger seats, so those on-board can charge their smartphones and handheld devices. And new on-board technology also includes free wi-fi and contactless ticket payment facilities.”

The improvement followed feedback from passengers.

Mr Wickham said: “Our customers here were very clear about the enhancements they wanted to see on buses in and around Swindon, and we have listened to them.

“We have invested more than £2m in these new buses for our number 5 route - and we’re looking forward to seeing them out and about, transporting those who use our services whilst living in or visiting Swindon.”

The new buses will be seen on Swindon’s streets from later this month.