London Hire has reported strong success among local authority customers in its accessible minibus-based mobile support vehicle product. It was conceived to raise awareness of COVID-19 and to provide an area administer tests and vaccine doses, but has quickly expanded its reach to capture wider health and wellbeing matters.
One bespoke example was recently supplied to Lambeth Council. It is focused not just on COVID-19, “but is also geared up ready to support Lambeth residents in all manner of health-related topics and areas that the council wants to promote,” says London Hire Area Sales Manager John Shier.
He adds that the conversion starts with a coachbuilt Treka Mobility+ accessible minibus that includes a lift, climate control and sensory lighting. On the Lambeth vehicle, to that was added:
- Four tables with protective Perspex screens
- Eight seats
- Window blinds
- An inverter running six double electrical sockets with USB charging points
- A ack-up mains charging connection
- An antibacterial fogging machine
- A 32in monitor and bespoke stand
- A cooler unit
- Full vinyl wrapping.
Mr Shier says that the Lambeth Council vehicle took approximately four weeks to supply, with a further three days required to fit the wrap and the TV stand and unit. Each mobile support unit supplied by London Hire comes with a full maintenance package, including routine inspections and equipment servicing, “echoing the level of support that we provide with all of our rental vehicles,” he adds.
“For the local authority customer, the same processes and procedures are already in place that they have with us on our accessible and LCV hires.”
Besides London boroughs, London Hire has placed the model with customers in the North West of England and Scotland. Mr Shier adds that he is working on five more such vehicles, all with different specifications.
“Each one built is bespoke to each customer. To date, no two vehicles have been the same. This has been both a challenge and rewarding at the same time with sourcing different specification products.
“What it has taught us is that as specialist as an accessible vehicle is, there is scope for far more uses and opportunities than originally planned, perfectly demonstrating the versatility of the minibus.”
Lambeth Council says that its vehicle will be deployed where COVID-19 vaccine take-up is lowest. Residents will also be able to visit the minibus to speak to a clinician or a COVID Wellbeing Ambassador, or to collect testing kits. The accompanying team members also give information, advice and guidance on a wide range of offers and opportunities that support health and wellbeing in the borough.