A lasting impression

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Ray is known for his flamboyant style, both in his designs and his fashion. BEST IMPRESSIONS










Jonathan Welch continues his conversation with industry ‘legend’ and designer Ray Stenning about the finer points of good design

In last week’s issue, we spoke to Ray Stenning about how he became the industry ‘legend’ he is today, and the events which led him to form Best Impressions, known for the smorgasbord of liveries and brands it has created over the years. One design that didn’t see the light of day was a design concept which Ray worked on with coachbuilder East Lancs back in the early 1990s. Drawings show a hint of Northern Counties in the windscreen, a touch of Alexander Royale around the upper deck windscreen, and thin headlights which are not too far from some East Lancs products from around the turn of the millennium. In all, a not unattractive design for a high-floor double-decker, but it was not to be.

And while he may only be responsible for how they look, I asked the potentially controversial question of what Ray makes of modern bus design in general. “Some modern buses are not very nice to travel on,” he opined. “For example wheel arches at the back intruding awkwardly into the seating area, so your knees are under your chin. You wonder why manufacturers don’t consider this; but I know why, it’s because some designs put engineering concerns first. But think about it, the whole purpose of a bus is to carry people comfortably, Engineering should fit around that. You shouldn’t be failing on the first test. We worked with Alex Hornby at Transdev and ADL to specify a slightly raised floor at the rear to eliminate the problem and make it much more pleasant for passengers.


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