A Reading Buses ADL Enviro300-bodied Scania achieved a top speed of 80.73mph and an average speed of 76.785mph on the banked circular track at Milbrook proving ground in Bedfordshire last Tuesday (May 19) – achieving a land speed record for a service bus.
The Reading Bus – in its distinctive ‘ cow’ livery – runs on biomethane Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), affectionately branded as ‘cow poo power’. Other than this, the bus has had no alterations or modifications from its standard specification
Martijn Gilbert, Chief Executive Officer of Reading Buses, said: “This is fantastic, what a great advert for biomethane – which is growing in popularity each day. 34 vehicles – 20% – of our fleet are now CNG powered and we can’t wait for vehicle suppliers to widen their product range so that we can take even greater advantage of this carbon-neutral and cost-effective solution.”
With help from their ticket machine supplier, Ticketer, Reading Buses also issued the world’s fastest bus tickets, remotely sold while the bus was in motion.
Over 80 tickets were issued, some when the bus was travelling at well over 70 miles an hour. Reading Buses say they will sell them as souvenirs at their Open Day on June 14 when the fastest bus will be on display.
Martijn paid tribute to Scania who supplied the mechanical and technical support to help make the bus the fastest in the world and also to Gas Bus Alliance who supplied the biomethane fuel on the day.
“Without our sponsors, suppliers and supporters, we really could not have achieved this today. And a big thank you to John Bickerton our Chief Engineer whose idea it was.
Paul Davey, Commercial Director of Michelin Solutions, said after the event: “We have never been asked to fit tyres for a bus travelling at such high speeds before, but the fact we could is testament to the quality of the Michelin tyres we supply.”
The event gained widespread media coverage, including important regional BBC television news.