First offers a reminder of the past with its Potteries Minton flooring

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A fleet of refurbished vehicles features an unusual interior design thanks to a partnership between four organisations which has ‘exceeded all expectations’ in the Potteries. Twenty-five 11.5 metre Wrightbus Streetlite single-deck buses showcase the design, with a full interior refurbishment and new paint finish to the exterior. The buses are scheduled to be completed by mid-April and an official launch is planned for 12 April at Hanley bus station.

Once all 25 buses have been completed they will be used on routes 3 and 4 serving in Hanley, Burslem, Kidsgrove and Tunstall.

The initial idea was brought about through a conversation with Ray Stenning of Best Impressions and local First Potteries Managing Director Nigel Eggleton, before getting Altro and Bus and Coach World involved. The complex flooring design was said to have proved a challenge to produce and fit but through the close collaboration, the partners said the end result is a statement and perfect tribute to the Minton legacy from years gone by in the Potteries area. A special mention went to Billy Greenwood, who fitted the flooring at Bus and Coach World.

Nigel said: “I am really pleased with the new livery and floor design and I am sure it will be very well received by our customers across the Potteries area. This project is a great example of how when you pull on the experience, ideas and industry knowledge to produce something a little bit different, you can achieve great things. I want to thank Ray and the teams at Altro and Bus and Coach World for their commitment and dedication in delivering a quality finish that we can now showcase to the residents of the Potteries who I am sure will be proud of their new bus offering”

David Brailsford, New Product Introduction Manager at Altro said: “When Ray Stenning of Best Impressions approached us to discuss the designs for the flooring on the First Potteries project we were thrilled. To be involved in such an exciting development to create unique vehicles that reflect the heritage of the Potteries was an amazing opportunity and a great chance to showcase the Altro Transflor Metris Custom printed flooring. We were able to replicate Ray’s designs and bring them to life in digitally printed flooring. Working closely with the First Bus, Best Impressions, and the installation team from Bus and Coach World, the designs came together to support the creation of a unique and stunning fleet of vehicles that really put the Potteries on the map.”

Rob Hilton of Bus and Coach World added: “This was a great project to work on and certainly a first in relation to the floor design. I am really pleased with the trim on the seats and colour coordination which really compliments the Minton floor design.

Ray commented: “Local bus services are exactly that – local, bespoke and with an artisan bent. Synergy with and tribute to local energies, character and zeitgeist can bring relevance, meaning and pride, encouraging ownership and use. So it was entirely appropriate to pay tribute of the great tile-making traditions of the area and, using modern technologies, recreate a Minton style tile floor for these buses that run right through the heart of the Potteries towns. Inspired by these iconic patterns and working with the expert team at Altro, who were keen to make sure our designs not only looked ace but were totally practical. This uncannily realistic floor makes a bold statement of local pride by First Potteries for the travelling public of the area. Best Impressions creates desire for bus travel in style, even though people will just walk all over it!”

First Potteries Managing Director Nigel Eggleton with one of the refurbished buses. FIRST