Warrington Borough Transport, which trades as Network Warrington, has taken delivery of six Optare Versa diesel-electric hybrids for use on its Centrelink town centre services and across the network. The buses were purchased with the help of a grant in excess of half a million pounds from the government’s Green Bus Fund.
Warrington’s Deputy Mayor, Councillor Peter Carey, formally accepted the Versas from Optare Sales Director, John Horn, at a ceremony outside the town hall on Monday 19th November.
Network Warrington Managing Director, David Squire said: “We are proud to be introducing these stylish and environmentally-friendly Optare Versas into the town as they will assist the Council’s climate agenda in terms of reduced emissions and less fuel use.
Diesel power for the 11.1 metre Versas is from a Mercedes-Benz OM904LA Euro 5 engine delivering 130kW. This drives a generator to provide power to the roof-mounted ultra capacitors, which are also topped up through regenerative braking.
Drive to the axle is through twin electric motors and a summation gearbox. This arrangement is expected to deliver fuel savings of up to one third compared to a conventional diesel driveline, as well as significantly reduced CO2 emissions, lower noise levels and a smoother ride.
Esteban Civic V3 seats have been specified for enhanced comfort and passenger appeal with a seating capacity of 39, including three tip-ups in the wheelchair/buggy bay and two inward facing seats over the front left wheelarch. A further 21 standing passengers can also be carried.
These are also Network Warrington’s first buses to feature an audio-visual next stop announcement system. “This gives customers information on the next bus stop and is particularly useful for those customers who are visually or hearing impaired, or who are unfamiliar with the area,” says David Squire. Mobitec LED destination equipment is fitted to front side and rear.
Speaking at the handover event, John Horn, Optare Sales Director, said: “I am delighted to once again be supplying buses to Network Warrington. This is a follow-on order from the six Solos that they took last year and which are performing well. These Versa hybrids will deliver better fuel efficiency and will also help to improve air quality in the town through their low emission levels.”
Note to Editors: Warrington Borough Transport (WBT) trades as Network Warrington and its 110 buses operate four million miles a year carrying some nine million passengers. The company was named UK Bus Operator of the Year and Shire Bus Operator of the Year in 2008.