seat belts, a tachograph and high backed
seats fitted in its newest Optare Versa
service bus has brought added flexibility
to its use by Surrey independent operator
Safeguard Coaches of Guildford.
company, which next year celebrates its 90th
anniversary, will normally use the Versa
on its busy town circular routes 4 and 5,
which take in the Royal Surrey County Hospital.
But with seat belts and a tachograph fitted,
the bus can also be made available for private
hires by local schools where the journeys
are short. Added comfort comes from the specification
of high back Rescroft CT Lite seats with
an integral head restraint.
feature of the Versa that will to appeal
is easy accessibility
for people with disabilities. Wheelchair
access is by a simple fold-out ramp with
a gentle gradient resulting from the low
access height of the vehicle, especially
when ‘kneeling’, and which leads
to a spacious wheelchair bay immediately
to the rear of the right hand front wheelbox.
Director Andrew Halliday says that this brings
the added advantage that where
a school party includes a person in a wheelchair,
the entire party can travel together in one
vehicle. He adds that the company strongly
supports safer school bus transport through
its membership and active support of the
campaigning organisation BUSK.
This is now the fourth Versa in our fleet
and these additional features allow us to
use it alongside the other three on regular
service work but we are also able to take
it off that from time to time to use for
private hires, particularly school parties
on local trips,” he says.
“ Since Versa is a model that we already operate,
it also helps to ensure that we have a greater
degree of commonality across the fleet. From
our experience we know that we have a tried
and tested product that our drivers and passengers
like and which delivers good fuel efficiency.”
new Versa is an 11.1 metre model powered
by the six-cylinder Cummins ISBe engine of
6.7 litre displacement and which is Euro
5 emissions compliant. With a power output
of 201 bhp (150 kW) at 2,300 rpm, this can
cope easily with the local hilly terrain
without compromising on fuel economy. The
engine is matched to a five speed Allison
2100 Series automatic gearbox that has an
inbuilt lock-up torque converter which, along
with a Klam electro-magnetic retarder, also
aids fuel efficiency.
is for 37 of which 34 are fixed and three
in the wheelchair bay.
Mobitec LED destination equipment has been
Sales Director, John Horn, comments: “We’re
delighted that Safeguard has again chosen
Versa based on their good experience of the
model in service.
flexibility of our assembly processes at
our Sherburn facility meant that we were
able to meet their specific requirements
in respect of the seating and the tachograph.
And this has given Safeguard the added flexibility
to use the bus in different ways that could
contribute to delivering a better and faster
return on their investment.”
its large coach fleet, Safeguard operates
nine buses on local services in
and around Guildford of which eight are
further information please contact:
John Rawlings - Torque PR
(0)1306 871 338
M: +44 (0)7847 371 436