Orders for high capacity school contract coaches and buses on the up
The market for new and used vehicle is back to being buoyant – that was the message from BASE Coach Sales when CBW caught up with the firm’s General Manager Nick Dodgson last week.
It comes in the wake of a order worth over £1m from Scottish firm Festival Travel for six MOBIpeople Explorer2-bodied MAN RR8 coaches for local authority contract work. Festival Travel has selected a 70-seater DDA-compliant specification, with Prime Buckingham seats, three-point belts and PLS side entry wheelchair lift, with space for one wheelchair. A seven-camera CCTV system has also been specified.
Having recently acquired a MOBIpeople Explorer2 in time for the new season, Gloucestershire-based KB Coaches has ordered a second 70-seater.
“Since the launch of the Explorer and Midi-Explorer last November we have been delighted with the level of interest in both products,” enthused Nick.
“The latest order for six DDA-compliant 70-seat Explorers for Festival Travel in Scotland, is the largest single order to date for MOBIpeople and BASE. It takes us to 21 customer orders since the launch.”
One if not both coaches are expected to form part of the BASE display at the Coach & Bus Live show, which takes place at the NEC, Birmingham between September 30 and October 1.
Asked about the current lead time for a new MOBIpeople coach, Nick replied: “Slots for late 2015 delivery are currently being filled.”
Turning to used vehicles, Nick said refurbished former National Express Caetano Levante-bodied Scanias are proving popular with operators for contract work. Two-axle models are available either as 57-seaters or 55 with a wheelchair lift. By contrast, 14-metre tri-axle versions can accommodate up to 70 seats or 69 with a wheelchair lift.
With the new academic year only weeks away, Nick said high-capacity double-deckers seating up to 80 are also “proving very popular.”