First trials Optare Metrodecker demonstrator

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The Metrodecker is operating on First Rotherham’s X78 service from Sheffield to Doncaster
The Metrodecker is operating on First Rotherham’s X78 service from Sheffield to Doncaster

Optare has handed over a pre-production 11.1m Metrodecker demonstrator vehicle to First Bus for a series of extensive trails which will see the double-decker put through its paces operating on route X78 from Sheffield to Doncaster.

The X78 route is a service route used by First Bus for extensive testing of all vehicles from major bus manufacturers.

Mark Munday, Technical Director at First Bus, commented: “We are pleased to be working with Optare to put the Metrodecker through its paces in South Yorkshire.

“First Bus is committed to continual improvement in environmental performance and is keen to test the fuel efficiency benefits for itself.”

Robert Drewery, Commercial Director at Optare, said, “After an extremely successful trial at Reading Buses where we saw best in class mpg performance, both Optare and Ashok Leyland see great potential for the Metrodecker.

“I am delighted that the Metrodecker will be setting out to prove itself on a real world trial with one of the largest group operators in the UK. We will be monitoring its performance closely and we look forward to the feedback from First Bus.”

The Optare Metrocity will also undertake a similarly rigorous in-service programme in Halifax with First Bus this summer.