• With the meerkat bus are Crawley Mayor, Councillor Mullins, staff from Tilgate Nature Centre, Crawley Borough Council, Metrobus and Starfish Design.

Meerkats on the route 1 bus . . .

One of our buses has been redesigned so it’s covered in giant meerkats in celebration of Tilgate Nature Centre’s valuable conservation work with endangered species.

We teamed up with the Nature Centre – home to more than 500 animals – for the redesign and launched the meerkat bus together with Mayor Brian Quinn this week.

Metrobus Head of Commercial Nick Hill said: “We wanted to create a second striking one-off bus after we launched one earlier in the year that celebrated 70 years of Crawley New Town.

“The Tilgate Nature Centre was an immediate contender. We chose the meerkats as they’re cheeky, full of personality and are really popular with visitors. We’ve also extended the route 2 service at weekends to Tilgate Park so we really hope that both these initiatives help to attract even more visitors to the centre.”

Councillor Chris Mullins said: “The meerkat bus looks amazing and is already creating a stir as it’s driven around town. It’s a brilliant advert which will help to attract even more visitors to the Nature Centre and Tilgate Park. I’d like to thank everyone at Metrobus for their generosity and work in transforming the bus.”

Our marketing team worked closely with Tilgate Nature Centre to come up with the design but also to include animal facts in the interior coving panels.

The bus is now in service and will mostly run on the 1 route between Bewbush and Broadfield via Southgate and town centre, although it could appear anywhere on our network. The meerkat design will remain in place for around three years.