During early December 2014 Arriva Yorkshire was given Alexander Dennis demonstrator vehicle YX64VOO, an E400 MMC (Major Model Change) chassis and newly improved bodywork, featuring some 200 plus changes and modifications. This bus was used by Reading Transport pending delivery of their batch of ADL E400MMC buses, also being used during the November 2014 Euro Bus Expo held at the NEC in Birmingham.
Your author had a good look around one demonstrator of the new ADL E400MMC, while the bus was displayed as part of the 'EYMS Big Bus Day' 2014. The interior was pleasant and roomy, with plenty of leg room for taller passengers. The seats are made from e-leather and are grey with red patches, very comfortable, coach seat style, apart from the thinner seats placed upon the moulded sections. Today December 17th 2014, the author managed to sample the new look ADL product, finding it working the high profile Arriva service 110 Leeds-Wakefield-Kettlethorpe-Hall Green. One feature which is worthwhile was the demisting/air blowers on the upper saloon front windows, a must during the winter months. The ride was pleasant and comfortable, with compared to the Wright/DAF DL2s there were considerable less rattles in the saloon. Unless the bus was driven over some of the uneven roads along the journey from Kettlethorpe terminus to Wakefield. There was no rattle/vibration from the new look windows, which ordinary passengers didn't notice how the windows are attached to the vehicle. The engine noise was not an issue in the upper saloon, the staircase has also been reduced in size, giving enough room for a few more seats. The steps were two up, five rising and one meeting the upper saloon floor. ADL have continued with the use of formed fibre-glass and plastic mouldings for the standard sections of the E400MMC body, which gives extra stability for the body, without adding to much weight. Braking wise the bus was smooth and juddering, the doors opened without much noise, the stopping bell sound was, well rubbish. The interior lights were bright and enclosed within the ceiling coving panels as were the grab rails, which made little noise. Some of the seats also had under seat lighting using red LEDs, which added to the saloon décor.
Photographing this impressive vehicles was straight forward, just standing in a few fave spots in Wakefield city centre, and a few shots taken at Kettlethorpe. Arriva Yorkshire have some 32 ADL E400MMC buses on order, for delivery during the early part of 2015, for the 110 service. These will either be in the MAX livery and standard or hopefully the high specification Sapphire livery brand.