A fleet of new buses that were named after local High Wycombe legends including Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth have officially been launched by Arriva.

Five new environmentally friendly buses are set to be introduced on the route 33 line from Castlefield to Totteridge and residents were encouraged to nominate a High Wycombe hero to name each bus after.

Votes were cast and the five local legends were named as Dr Frances Alexander, Peter Cartwright, Benjamin Disraeli, Ricki Akhter Hussein and Gareth Ainsworth.

Each were presented with an award as the new buses were unveiled in a special launch ceremony at Adams Park on Friday, September 11.

The local legends and their families saw the buses for the first time at the event and got to take a look around the inside of the new vehicles, which are kitted out with free WiFi to encourage more residents to use the service.

Dr Frances Alexander, head of the Wycombe Environment Centre and spokesperson for sustainable issues, served the town as district councillor and mayor for many years.

She said: “I am hugely honoured to have a bus named after me. This is down to people who voted for me and I am so very touched. I had no idea I would get nominated.

“When I found out it was an eco bus, of course I said yes. It seemed very fitting with my work with the Wycombe Environment Centre.”

Bus enthusiast, Peter Cartwright, who was born and bred in High Wycombe, has dedicated his life to town in his role as county councillor, district councillor and mayor.

An anonymous nomination letter to Arriva credited Mr Cartwright with working round the clock to save bus services from being cut in High Wycombe.

He said: “I feel very honoured. I have had a huge interest in buses since I was 11 and I even own three vintage buses myself. It was very unexpected but it is nice to know that residents appreciate my work in the community.”

Ricki Akhter Hussein, who was selected for his charity work in the town, said: “It feels awesome and actually a little bit overwhelming. It is a historic day for me and my family and I think Arriva’s initiative is very commendable. I am getting honoured alongside people like Gareth Ainsworth but in particular, Benjamin Disraeli.

“This is from the people of High Wycombe and they have made me who I am today.”

Rachael Warren from the National Trust attended the ceremony and collected Benjamin Disraeli’s award. Disraeli, who lived at Hughenden Manor, was Earl of Beaconsfield and Prime Minister twice.

Ms Warren said: “My colleagues and I are so excited about this; it is absolutely wonderful to know that even 130 years since he died, Benjamin Disraeli is still having an impact on people and he is still so significant.”

Wycombe Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth said he was humbled at being named as a local legend.

He said: “It is an amazing honour for someone who enjoys their job and is lucky to have their job. To have something like this happen is fantastic and it’s a great feeling. It can be a difficult job sometimes, we have been through some tough times so it is nice to know that people still support us.

“This is not just for me, it is for the whole of Wycombe Wanderers. Every player, every fan and all the staff deserve the recognition.

“Wycombe is a great community to be a part of and it is very humbling to be called a hero.”

Arriva’s Operations Manager, Paul Smith said: “We are very proud to unveil our brand new buses. Route 33 is a real prime route in High Wycombe and we want to improve the comfort and connectivity for our passengers.

“We are delighted to recognise the achievements of our five local heroes.”