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April 16 2018
By Mel Holley

A former routeone editor, Mel has more than 30 years’ experience in road and rail transport journalism.

Irizar UK passes a milestone with
its 350th integral delivery

Irizar has delivered its 350th integral coach to the UK market - in the shape of one of a pair of i6 coaches - marking a major milestone for its operation that started in the UK in 2011.

The identical 53-seater 13.2m tri-axles, funded by Santander Corporate Bank, have been delivered to Lucketts Group subsidiary Southampton-based Coliseum Coaches, as the Hampshire-based operator realises its growth plans. 

Coliseum Coaches MD Tony Lawman says the new coaches are “vital to help the company cope meet increasing demand for its services,” which include private hires, day trips, schools work and away-match travel for Southampton FC supporters.

“We set out our ambitious growth plans just over a year ago and we’re anticipating a significant rise in demand for our services from this summer as a result,” he adds.

Irizar (UK) Director Steve O’Neill says: “We are delighted that such a landmark vehicle as this has been delivered to an operator of the calibre of Coliseum Coaches.

“Our forward order book is very healthy, with new coaches being delivered almost daily.

“The Irizar (UK) operation is looking forward to reaching the next significant milestone on its journey with the delivery of the 400th integral coach due before the end of the year.

“The combination of Irizar design and craftsmanship, and advanced engineering from DAF and ZF is proving a winner for British coach operators who are turning to us in increasing numbers as they seek to update their fleets with modern, luxurious, reliable, fuel-efficient and environmentally-friendly vehicles.

“This is thanks not only to the superb quality of the Irizar product, but also the magnificent service that we have offered to our UK customers from day one.”

Each coach has 53 reclining seats, complete with seat-back tables, magazine nets, multi-position arm-rests, and iLeather headrests and piping. Other luxuries include fixed central sunken toilets, continental doors, Hispacold integrated climate control systems with Spheros independent auxiliary pre-heaters, dash-mounted fridges, Bosch audio systems, Actia DVD-players with front and centre LCD monitors, and hot-drinks machines.

Safety features on both coaches include three-point belts on all seats, smoke alarms in toilets, additional rear marker lamps, reversing cameras and sensors, and reversing alarms.

Drivers enjoy heated seats, powered pantograph lockers with LED lighting, and the support of AEBS and LDW systems.

Advanced DAF MX-11 291 396 hp engines driving through ZF EcoLife six-speed automatic transmissions with integral Intarder retarders power both vehicles.

Charlie Disney, Asset Finance Relationship Director, Santander Business Banking, said: “We are impressed by Coliseum Coaches’ growth plans and the momentum they have in the market. Santander is delighted to be able to be part of such an important step of their long-term planning with this expansion of its fleet and look forward to working with the team to support its ambitious renewal programme in the coming years.”

Coliseum is a member of the Guild of British Coach Operators and holds CoachMarque Accreditation from the Confederation of Passenger Transport.

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