Largest coach order in the history of the Oxford Tube is due to start entering service on the Oxford to London service this summer
Oxford Tube has announced plans to replace and expand its fleet with brand new coaches this summer.
The £13m investment – the biggest the service has ever seen – will introduce 34 brand-new Plaxton Panorama coaches and is the first major upgrade for the Oxford Tube service since 26 new Van Hool TX27 Astromega coaches were introduced in July 2014.
Customers of the express coach service will soon benefit from wireless and USB charging, reading lights and extendable tables complete with mobile device and cup holders throughout. The 77-seater coaches will continue the Oxford Tube standard of having extra legroom and reclining seats. The new coaches will also feature two bespoke cycle storage spaces, making storage and securing of cycles easier for its customers.
New onboard information screens will be fitted and used to keep customers up to date with changes to their journey and estimated times of arrival. An enhanced complimentary WiFi service will also be available throughout the new vehicles.
In addition, the new coaches have been designed to improve the service for those with additional accessibility needs with a more seamless boarding process for wheelchair users.
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.
The 34 Plaxton Panoramas are currently being built at Plaxton’s Scarborough factory and are due to be introduced into service this summer. Each will continue to carry the recognisable red branding of Oxford Tube, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.
Chris Coleman, Managing Director at Stagecoach in Oxfordshire, said: “We are extremely excited to share this news with our customers and our staff. Our teams have been working behind the scenes to ensure that every opportunity to enhance the customer experience has been taken.
“Technology has moved forward so quickly and with the improvements being made to onboard messaging and WiFi I am sure that both regular and new customers will be happy that we have taken on board their feedback for the new coaches.
“The new solar panels are an innovative way to look to other sources of energy to power the onboard features and part of our overall strategy to offer more sustainable travel options for our customers.
“This year is proving to be an exciting one for the Oxford Tube. We recently introduced our express link via Baker Street and now we’re investing in a new state of the art fleet.
“The new coaches will offer customers the latest in comfort and design features will make the journey even more comfortable, enjoyable and convenient for those travelling with us.”