First Potteries boosts fleet with 10 Wrightbus StreetLites

First Potteries launched 10 Wrightbus StreetLite Maxes on3 October, the North Staffordshire operation’s first new buses since a batch of Scania OmniCitys in 2006.

Nine of them, to enter service this week, are Cummins-powered Euro 5 versions but the 10th will be a Euro 6 model equipped with a four-cylinder Mercedes-Benz OM934 engine, one of the first Euro 6 StreetLites built.

All have Voith four-speed gearboxes and Wrightbus’ Micro Hybrid system, which the manufacturer claims reduces fuel consumption by 9.2% compared with a conventional StreetLite.

The Euro 6 bus will join its sisters at Potteries’ Adderley Green garage next month after being displayed on Wrightbus’ stand at Euro Bus Expo at the NEC from 4 to 6 November.

It is to be one of a handful of Euro 6 buses trialled nationally by First.

The launch of the StreetLites, at Hanley bus station, was attended by members of the media, stakeholders and representative of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, with the bus shown to the public afterwards.

“This has been described as one of the first steps in the rehabilitation of First Potteries and represents an investment of 2m,” says First Midlands Regional MD Nigel Eggleton. “The early indications are that more new buses should come here in both 2015 and 2016.”

The 11.5m StreetLite Maxes carry a version of First Potteries’ standard livery, with colour coded fronts and Raspberry Routes branding for the 6 group of services.

They are well-specified internally and seat 41, four fewer than the maximum permitted.

Seats are finished in full leather and the buses’ handrails match their raspberry fronts.

Wi-Fi, although not yet fitted, will follow in due course, adds Mr Eggleton, who says that it has proved a “great success” since roll-out on 40 existing buses in the Potteries fleet.