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With the return of schools to something like normal, Jonathan Welch takes a look at the Irizar i4 in 80-seat format

We’ve test driven a lot of coaches recently here at CBW, taking a look around the new and used markets at some of what the industry has to offer. But most of those have been touring or executive-specification coaches. This time, we look at something a little different, Irizar’s PSVAR-compliant 80-seat i4. The i4 is aimed at the home-to-school and school trip segment of the market, which in many areas is no longer happy to accept the hand-me-down coaches or work-weary but cheap double-deckers it once did. Many schools, especially private ones, are increasingly demanding when it comes to transport, in terms of style, safety and comfort, and it would seem to be of benefit in the longer-term too for operators if they provide a good quality vehicle, which leaves a lasting good impression and creates desire to travel by public transport in future.

There have been a number of different approaches to this over the years. Yellow school buses were seen as an answer to the safety aspect a number of years ago, with the likes of West Yorkshire Metro and FirstGroup introducing fleets of them. As laudable as that initiative was, the vehicles were at best utilitarian – and consequently a cheap option. Difficulty of supervision means that double-deckers are often unpopular for school outings, despite being able to carry two classes for the price of one bus. Against that background, the Irizar i4 seems to offer a sensible and practical alternative, with its 3+2 seating arrangement accommodating 80 people.


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