Sports team and corporate travel specialist Ellisons Travel Services of St Helens has added two 14m Irizar i8 integral coaches to its fleet, bringing to 17 the number of its vehicles supplied by Irizar UK (01909 500514).
The tri-axles each seat 57 with generous legroom, and the first to be delivered is currently undergoing a thorough shakedown, says MD Andy Magowan, who adds that it is satisfying the high standards that Ellisons sets for all of its coaches.
“We always carefully gauge our replacement vehicles, so the first i8 integral we have had delivered is being worked hard,” he explains. “The feedback from our customers has been very good so far; it has passed every test.”
The bar is about to be raised further when the i8 integral carries the England rugby union squad. “They are really big guys, who need easy and quick access to their seats and to be comfortable. The i8 integral, with its flat floor, ticks a lot of boxes,” adds Andy.
Both coaches have a very high specification, with DAF’s MX-13 engine coupled to ZF’s AS-Tronic automated gearbox. Electronic handling and safety aids including Lane Departure Warning are fitted, along with road and reversing cameras. Internally, they have a toilet, luxury i8 seats with drop-down tables, drinks machine and DVD system.
After a summer of demanding work, Ellisons plans to convert one of the i8 integrals to VIP specification. It will act as a spare, ready for the new season of work. “Perhaps one of the 18 football teams we supply transport for will take it up,” says Andy.