Brighton bus design aims to promote positive mental health

Brighton & Hove Buses' staff, Impetus volunteers and artist Lois O'Hara (centre)
Brighton & Hove Buses' staff, Impetus volunteers and artist Lois O'Hara (centre)

A striking new addition to Brighton & Hove Buses’ fleet was revealed amidst a volley of paint during Sussex University’s Holi festival celebrations on Wednesday.

The bus, commissioned by Brighton & Hove Buses, was designed by local artist Lois O’Hara, with the aim of helping people feel energised and promoting positive mental health.

Sussex University students with the new bus, which has 'togetherness' written on the side

Sussex University students with the new bus, which has 'togetherness' written on the side

The final design was chosen by Sussex University students.

It’s already out on the road serving route 25, which covers Brighton and Sussex Universities.

The new bus is part of the bus company’s Chatty Bus campaign, which aims to help combat loneliness and isolation by showing how bus travel connects people and communities.

Volunteers from Brighton & Hove Impetus, which connects people to reduce isolation and improve well-being, were on hand during the bus launch to give advice on local support services.

Artist Lois O'Hara

Artist Lois O'Hara

They also spoke to students who wanted to become Impetus volunteers, visiting those who need a bit of extra help and support out in the community.

The Holi festival, a Hindu festival all about love and togetherness, was part of Sussex University’s One World Week celebrations.

Brighton & Hove Buses’ managing sirector Martin Harris said: “We’re delighted to work with the university, Impetus and Lois to help tackle what is a serious and growing problem for many people in our city: isolation and loneliness.

“Lois has done a fantastic job designing a bus that we hope will make people feel good when they see it.”

Around 700 Sussex University 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.

Speaking about the project, Lois said: “It was just a natural connection, really. 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.”