After an almost total pause in the delivery of new coaches, the dawn of the 21-plate on 1 March saw a modest number handed over. Don’s of Dunmow is among those recipients, having purchased a Mercedes-Benz Tourismo L from EvoBus (UK).
The Tourismo was originally due for delivery to the Essex operator in 2020, but EvoBus agreed to defer handover after the COVID-19 pandemic broke. It has 61 seats along with PSVAR compliance. Combine that with a lot of Don’s work being to within the M25, and strong backup for the Mercedes-Benz marque when in continental Europe, and it is an attractive and versatile high-capacity addition.
Accessibility a boon for Don’s of Dunmow with new Tourismo
Accessibility is key to the new vehicle. While its general purpose once demand returns as a front-line tour and private hire coach will not bring it into scope of PSVAR, an accessibility certificate means that the Tourismo will be able to earn its keep on rail replacement duties around that work. It also gives additional flexibility to the operator’s existing home-to-school transport resource.
While Don’s has PSVAR-compliant buses, the Tourismo is the first accessible coach in its fleet. Because of that, it hopes that the newcomer will open additional sources of revenue. Director Steve Harvey explains that the operator’s website is currently being revamped, and once complete it will include promotion of the Tourismo’s accessible nature.
The new coach is also Don’s first vehicle from EvoBus for many years. Steve notes that the service provided has been good, and he comments that for the money, “the customer gets a good package with impressive build quality.” While any minor issues encountered during the warranty period will be dealt with by a mobile technician, routine inspection and maintenance will be undertaken in house.
New coach’s high capacity will be useful on school hires
What the Tourismo has not done yet is displace an older coach.
That may happen later, but Steve is mindful that oversupply on the used market could impact the value of any vehicle that is disposed of presently.
The high capacity of the Tourismo is a boon to Don’s operation, he continues.
The operator has two other coaches that seat over 60. The new addition will in due course often find itself used on school trips, where larger vehicles command a worthwhile premium over those that carry fewer passengers.
A chunk of the Tourismo’s time will be spent abroad when allowed, and ski tours to countries including Andorra and Austria will form part of its workload. It is set to be busy when demand returns.