Oxford Tube, Europe’s most frequent coach service, has placed a huge order for 34 new Plaxton Panorama coaches.
The new vehicles were replace all of the Stagecoach-owned company’s current vehicle fleet and will operate a service that connects Oxford with the capital with departures as often as every 8-10 minutes during busy times.
It is the biggest order yet for the double deck coach which is built at the Plaxton factory in Scarborough on a Volvo B11RLE chassis.
The new coaches will offer the latest in passenger comfort with on-board features including wireless and USB charging, reading lights and extendable tables complete with mobile device and cup holders throughout, in addition to extra leg room and reclining seats.
The coaches have also been designed to improve the service for those with additional accessibility needs with a more seamless boarding process for wheelchair users.
Five of the new coaches will be fitted with roof-mounted solar panels in a trial designed to reduce auxiliary energy loads on the engine, bringing down emissions and delivering greater fuel efficiency. The energy harvested in solar panels can be used to power electronics on board the new coaches.
Mark Ballam, Coach Commercial Manager at Alexander Dennis, said, “This new order is a resounding confirmation of the concept of the Plaxton Panorama, which has been designed to offer operators unrivalled flexibility.”
Chris Coleman, Managing Director at Stagecoach in Oxfordshire, added, “The new solar panels are an innovative way to look to other sources of energy to power the on-board features and part of our overall strategy to offer more sustainable travel options for our customers.”