North Yorkshire independent Abbotts of Leeming has taken delivery of two Optare Solo SR midibuses for use on a new tendered contract with the county council. The buses are being used on a six day a week service connecting Northallerton with Stokesley.
The 9.7m Solos are SlimLine models, which at 2.3 metres wide is ideally suited to the narrow country roads making up much of the route. Passenger capacity is 34 on fixed Rescroft CT Lite seats plus two tip-ups in the wheelchair space located directly behind the driver’s compartment, accessed using the manual fold-out wheelchair ramp.
Clifford Abbott, owner of the 70 year old family firm, said: “We already run a number of Optare Solos and find the model to be reliable and good on fuel. Early feedback from our passengers shows that these new buses are proving popular with them and our drivers find them easy to handle too, especially on country roads, where the narrower width is helpful.”
Abbotts have chosen the 6.7 litre six-cylinder Cummins ISBe engine to power their Solos. This delivers 201 bhp (150 kW) at 2500 rpm which is ample power to make light work of the hilly terrain in the area. The engine meets Euro 5 standards through the use of SCR technology and AdBlue as a re-agent. Torque is 750 Nm at 1500 rpm.
The transmission is the Allison 2100 Series fully automatic five speed featuring a lock-up torque converter for improved fuel efficiency. An electro-magnetic retarder is also fitted and operates automatically through the brake pedal to assist smoother retardation, reduce power consumption and also add to better fuel returns.