Iveco Bus and Courtside Conversions are delivering 20 new 17-seat wheelchair-accessible Iveco Daily minibuses for Devon County Council’s fleet.
Iveco Bus secured the contract following a competitive tender run through the YPO framework agreement, which helps local authorities access best value for their taxpayers.
The new vehicles offer greatly improved passenger comfort, together with lower fuel costs and reduced emissions thanks to Euro 6 engines.
The deal saw Tiverton-based Courtside Conversions, part of the Iveco Busmaster advocate programme, selected to carry out the bespoke conversions.
Each M2 category minibus is built to the council’s precise specification – and it follows the supply of six similar Daily minibuses via Courtside Conversions in 2016.
Daniela Pleiss, Senior Procurement Officer at Devon County Council says: “We evaluated the full range of suppliers that submitted a bid, and it was Iveco Bus and converters Courtside Conversions which ticked all of the right boxes and could offer the exact specification we wanted.
“Their proposal also offered the best value, and we had confidence in the product to meet our requirements over a long life in service.”
Each of the new 17-seat Daily 50C15 minibuses has a gross vehicle weight of 5-tonnes, and is fitted with tracking for up to six wheelchairs to be secured on board.
Access is via a nearside passenger door featuring a cut-in triple step entrance with safety grab rails on both sides, or via an inboard tail-lift at the rear doors for wheelchair passengers.
Delivered by Hendy Van & Truck in Exeter, the minibuses have been built with ultra-efficient on-board LED lighting which can be controlled by the driver, a glass emergency lift-up roof vent in the centre of the saloon and a fuel-burning heater to keep the passenger area warm in colder weather.
Large windows offer excellent passenger views, with roller-blinds fitted to all side windows. Ancillary equipment includes a reversing bleeper with night-time ‘silent’ function, four audio speakers in the saloon, plus high-level rear lights for maximum safety on the road.
Devon County Council will use the vehicles for school transport – with each minibus equipped with folding school bus signage at the front and rear.
Like all Iveco Daily vehicles, the vehicles offer a comfortable and modern cabin for the driver, with an ergonomic dashboard layout, supportive driver’s seat featuring Iveco’s stylish new blue upholstery, leather steering wheel and multiple storage compartments, says the manufacturer.
Visibility and manoeuvrability are also excellent, making them suitable for all road types across the county, it adds.
Power is provided by a 3-litre Iveco diesel engine producing 146hp between 3,000 and 3,500 rev/min, and up to 350Nm of torque between 1,200 and 2,600 rev/min. Driven through a six-speed manual gearbox, the driveline ensures plenty of power for even the hilliest local terrain.
Courtside Conversions joined the Iveco Busmaster programme in spring 2017 and has been performing high quality conversions for customers across the UK since 1996.
It is a family business which offers a fully tailored service, specialising in minibuses primarily for local authorities, schools and charities, as well as bespoke private commissions.