First Potteries is to reintroduce the Mainline brand to buses in North Staffordshire in a collaborative approach between the operator, flooring specialist Altro, Best Impressions and Bus and Coach World. It will see the identity applied to 25 refurbished Wrightbus StreetLites.
Work on those buses is scheduled to be completed by Bus and Coach World by mid-April. They will carry a three-tone orange livery and be utilised on the operator’s 3 and 4 service groups in the north of Stoke-on-Trent and into Cheshire, and into Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Centrepiece of the interior work is development of a new flooring design that echoes the traditional tiled approach used in pubs, terraced houses and other buildings in North Staffordshire. The operator describes it as “a statement and perfect tribute to the Minton legacy from years gone by in the Potteries area.” It is installed as part of the refurbishment work by Bus and Coach World.
First Potteries Managing Director Nigel Eggleton (pictured, above) says that the project is “a great example of how, when you pull on the experience, ideas and industry knowledge to produce something a little bit different, you can achieve great things.”
Altro has used its Transflor Metris Custom digitally printed flooring to replicate designs created by Ray Stenning of Best Impressions. Altro New Product Introduction Manager David Brailsford says: “The designs came together to support the creation of a unique and stunning fleet of vehicles that really put the Potteries on the map.”
Adds Mr Stenning: “Local bus services are exactly that – local, bespoke and with an artisan bent.
“It was entirely appropriate to pay tribute to the great tilemaking traditions of the area and, using modern technologies, recreate a Minton-style floor for these buses that run right through the heart of the Potteries towns.”
The Mainline brand was previously used by First Potteries’ predecessor in the years following deregulation for a service that ran via all six towns of Stoke-on-Trent and which was a precursor to the current operator’s 3 group of services.