Stow Disability Association held an official handover ceremony for its new accessible minibus where David Hardacre of Stanford Coachworks handed over the keys for the Volkswagen Crafter to Lord Ashton of Hyde.
The event was staged at Stow Disability Association’s regular meeting place, the Cotswold village hall at Adlestrop, near Morton in Marsh.
The CR50 4325mm wheelbase high roof Crafter features a sixspeed automated gearbox, a speed limiter calibrated to 62mph, power steering and is specified with 16 seats (including driver’s seat) of which 12 are detachable to allow access for up to three wheelchairs.
The minibus floor utilises Unwin tracking for wheelchair security and seating configuration, Taraplus non-slip flooring and interior and headlining trim finished in soft carpet material.
Wheelchair passenger access is via a Ratcliff RUL35AL automatic underfloor passenger lift. The system comes with a sealed lift cassette and protrudes slightly at the rear, offering a step for able bodied passenger access.
“From our first contact with Stanford Coachworks the help, advice and communication was first class,” explains George Hill, Chairman and Trustee of Stow Disability Association.
“The minibus was built exactly to our specification and fits our needs precisely; all the disabled members of our association say it is exactly what was required.
“Our passengers really like the side access door with the drop down step. When it was first used people were amazed at how easy it was to board using this step with the attached hand rails.”
Stow Disability Association has thirteen full members and up to fifteen associate members. Two members are wheelchair users and up to five associate members are also wheelchairs users, making the vehicle a much needed asset. The minibus is used at least twice a week by the Stow Association for its own purposes. They also offer the vehicle to other local organisations, residential and nursing homes.
Stanford Coachworks offers its clients advice and guidance on legal requirements for its conversions, bodywork, interior and engine options.
Mr. Hill concluded: “Nothing was too much for them, we appreciated their advice and Stanford Coachworks has kept in contact with us since the delivery to ensure our satisfaction; they are the experts and it showed.”