Stanley Travel goes electric

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Durham contract for zero emission ‘Cathedral Service’ passes to Stanley Travel

Stanley Travel has taken over the Durham County Councilcontracted ‘Cathedral Bus’ service linking the railway station and university at Mountjoy. The route uses three local authority-owned Optare Solo EVs, which were the UK’s first current-generation electric local service buses when they were introduced in 2010. The contract had previously been operated by Yourbus.

Stanley Travel has rented a pair of diesel Solo SRs from Dawsonrentals for six weeks while work is completed on the three electric buses to restore them to peak performance. They have a range of 70 miles.

Two vehicles are required to maintain the schedule, the third being available for a changeover during the day if required. A former RH Transport diesel Solo has been acquired to provide additional backup.

Director Ian Scott explained to CBW that once in service, the electric buses will be re-charged and garaged at Stanley. Their daily schedule including the distance to Durham is 62 miles. Ian added that the contract is for three years with an option for a two-year extension.

Stanley Travel’s O-licence is for 35 vehicles and it now operates 34. It sold its local bus operation to Go North East some years ago, but has subsequently grown a new network, a mix of local authority supported work and its own commercially operated Stanley town service.

Its full-size coach operation is now 11 coaches, including a 14-metre Van Hool Astron used on Glenton Palmer work and a newly delivered MAN-engined Van Hool TX16 Alicron, which was exhibited by dealer Moseley (PCV) at the recent Coach & Bus Live show. On that note, Ian said he has been impressed by Van Hool build quality and is very pleased with the 12-13mpg that the TX16 is returning.