Oxford Tube begins £13m fleet overhaul

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A fleet replacement programme for Stagecoach in Oxfordshire’s 24/7 express service is about to go live

Passengers on the Oxford Tube are set to enjoy the latest in passenger comfort and convenience as the wheels are due to start turning on Stagecoach’s £13 million investment into new coaches on the Oxford Tube.

The first two coaches will start carrying passengers from Saturday 28 November with the entire fleet being replaced by early 2021.

On board features include at seat wireless and USB charging, reading lights, free WiFi, foot rests, three-point seats belts, on-board information screens and two bespoke bike carriers in the rear luggage area.

All of the new coaches will be fitted with Volvo B11RLE Euro VI diesel engines developing 460hp, though five of them will also sport solar panels to deliver greater fuel efficiency by powering all on-board electrical equipment.

Chris Coleman, Managing Director at Stagecoach in Oxfordshire said: “This year has been extremely challenging and so it is great to end it on a high with the introduction of our new Oxford Tube fleet.

“December is typically one of our busiest months as many travel to the capital for a spot of Christmas shopping, and to enjoy the festivities of the Christmas markets and lights. Although this month won’t be quite the same, we are still really excited to welcome passengers on board and look forward to the New Year when more customers can experience the new and improved Oxford Tube fleet. Not only does this apply to local residents visiting London but also to visitors from the capital who, when the time is right, can travel to Oxford in style and enjoy the many attractions and hospitality our own city has to offer.”

Oxfordshire County Council leader Councillor Ian Hudspeth said: “This level of investment in public transport in Oxfordshire is to be welcomed. The new vehicles are an attractive mode of transport to reach the Capital and will draw visitors to Oxford too.”

Seven out of the 34 Scarborough-built Plaxton Panorama double-decker coaches have so far been delivered to Stagecoach in Oxfordshire, with delivery at a rate of two every Friday. However, due to having a reduced PVR (Peak Vehicle Requirement) on the service at the moment, some of the batch are set to go on loan to other Stagecoach operating companies, a representative from Stagecoach Oxfordshire told CBW: “We can confirm that some of our new Oxford Tube coaches will be on loan elsewhere in the company in the short term. Our service is currently running to a reduced operation and subsequently does not require the same number of vehicles at this time. This is not a permanent reallocation and as soon as our service levels require additional vehicles the coaches will be returned.”

Oxford Tube coach driver, Gavin Francis is seen with Managing Director, Chris Coleman and Oxford Tube Manager Rob Hough. STAGECOACH