Anthony’s Travel installs air filtration systems in UK first

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Anthony’s Travel’s Richard Bamber says that installing the systems has helped future-proof his fleet

Anthony’s Travel of Runcorn has become the first operator in the UK to install both the Hispacold eCo3 and PEPA-F air filtration systems on its entire coach fleet, says supplier Airconco.

Both systems were originally designed pre-Covid, with the Hispacold system having been on the market a decade. It was designed to purify the air of most pathogens (including viruses, bacteria and fungi) known at the time, but has since been tested on Covid-19 in Spain; the results showed a 99.7% effectiveness against it.

The PEPA-F meanwhile can trace its roots back to 2014’s Ebola outbreak. It’s an additive solution intended to be incorporated into air filters to kill pathogens. Again, it has now been tested against Covid-19, the trials demonstrating a 99.99% effectiveness.

UK distributor Airconco says the systems are easy to install in most coaches, and adds that Scottish operators may even be able to get hold of funding to install the systems thanks to the country’s Public Transport Retrofit Fund.

Richard Bamber, Managing Partner at Anthony’s Travel, explained why the firm has chosen to adopt both systems: “Early into the pandemic I was aware that a lasting legacy of the pandemic will be a heightened awareness of hygiene, which would in turn create anxiety for travellers. We have a moral obligation to allay as much as possible any fears to ensure their travel experience is an enjoyable one.

“Our client feedback has quantified that there is pent up demand for travel; a series of lockdowns has greatly affected passengers and when these restrictions are lifted indications are that demand for domestic coach travel will be high.

“However on the flipside, the longer the pandemic continues the more concern it is creating about, when we eventually return to some kind of ‘normal,’ what life will be like – especially among senior citizens and some of our more vulnerable clients who are now quite anxious about venturing out again.

“For passengers to feel confident to travel it’s imperative that we endeavour to provide as safe a passenger experience as possible. This has always been our ethos and we have previously invested heavily in Alcolocks, CCTV, telematics and tyre and wheel management systems to enhance our service and protect our passengers. Therefore, the fitment of eCo3 units and PEPA-F complements our continued investment.

“We had requested information on a variety of systems offered for coaches and after a period of assessment we felt confident Airconco, which is a long term supplier partner, had the right solution with the double protection of the eCo3 air purifiers and the PEPA-F filters.

“Importantly we operate a number of different vehicle bodies to which Airconco have been able to provide bespoke-made filters for all, which is very reassuring.

“When the time is right for passengers to start freely travelling again they need to be able to make an informed choice at the time of booking that the coach company provides as safe as possible of an environment to travel.

“We all have a duty of care to control the spread of Covid-19 and other airborne viruses. Many of our clients are aware we have already fitted these systems and the feedback has been great; we do not view this as yet another expense but an investment – we are ‘future proofing’ our business and providing comfort for our clients.”

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