An amazing day out
The long overdue brand new double deck fleet for the revitalised Yorkshire Coastliner operation, arrived on time as part of a preview launch display outside the impressive York Minster. These impressive vehicles are the first of the new generation of Coastliner buses. The £2.3 million pound investment has again risen the bar for long distance bus travel, in terms of passenger comfort and individual service standards.
After many months of planning and subsequent delays with various issues, with some teasing sneak behind the scenes photographs with three Coastliner drivers winning a visit across to Wrightbus in Ballymena. The stage was now being set for the final finishing touches to the new fleet of buses, with typical flourish of Best Impressions ‘creative desire’ the new image was approved and brought to life. A new fresh two-tone blue livery, ten new rear end advertisements, the new #Yorkshire’s Amazing day out, new look timetable and the now standard Transdev features of, Wi-Fi, USB power, high specification seating and luxurious interiors. The first of the ten vehicles arrived at Burnley, with the new vinals and finishing touches applied. Transdev York Twitter announced to the UK that a special preview would be held at York Minster on December 8th 2016.
After a recent cold and crisp spell of weather, December 8th was very mild for the time of year, the early rain had gone, as the sun appeared. As a few enthusiasts, had gathered by Lendal Bridge to see which of the new buses would be arriving. Shortly before midday 3631 and 3632 had ventured around the block, passing the railway station then onto Lendal Bridge and towards the Minster.
3631 BT66MVO and 3632 BT66MVP travel along Museum Street in York, heading for the York Minster, venue for the special preview event. Both vehicle catching the eye of the public who were going about their business.
A Minster view
Both buses continued onto Duncombe Place, here the vehicles were positioned into place, as the Minster was to form the stunning backdrop for the event. Transdev’s CEO for the UK operation, Alex Hornby was mingling with the public and enthusiasts, before turning to more civic duties. York City Councillor Mr. Ian Gilles was present to join in for photographs with the local press, and members of the public, also the Transdev team were invited to join in the photoshoot. Later two local thespians arrived dressed in medieval costumes, one jester and one warrior. Both had their moment with drivers Adam and Michael, with some interesting poses.
Transdev’s marketing team were on hand to ensure a full promotion of the new buses, timetables, Coastliner rock and beach balls were given away.
Beach balls at the ready, the Transdev team posed for photographs with York Councillor Mr. Gilles and Alex Hornby Transdev’s CEO.
After the group photographs, Mr Hornby stayed around before departing for another meeting. Leaving his trusted Transdev team to ensure the day ran well. Drivers Adam and Michael were very accommodating with everyone’s request, as the public ventured onto the buses. The instant reaction was of sheer wonderment of the high standard of the finish to the vehicles. Many people were surprised at the wood effect flooring the seating and glazed roof. One couple commented ‘ It’s just like those 36 buses they have in Leeds, very smart’.
Inside the new Coastliner’s
Upon entering the vehicle, the customer is greeted with a friendly welcome from the interior vinals and the teak-wood effect floor. Two luggage racks are immediately after the entrance on the right. The Staircase has a glazed panel, which illuminates, with the new Coastliner logo embossed into the sheet. The wheelchair and buggy zones are well proportioned with three tip-up seats in each bay. Cloth moquette is used on the Estaban Civic V3 high backed seating in the lower saloon. The four rear seats are VGA style seats with the new look tables, and USB power sockets, these eliminate the dirty shoes on the rear seats issue. A new Coastliner logo takes the space on the rear window area, thus completing the lower saloon.
The lower saloon with wood effect floor and ceiling panels, the glazed staircase glass with Coastliner logo, buggy and wheelchair zones and the comfortable Civic V3 seating.
Taking a walk up the stairs, after looking the various Best impressions adverts and designs, the passenger is presented with VGA high backed airline seating, with a pleasing cloth moquette finsh, very comfortable indeed. Look further down the saloon, the passenger is introduced to the social seating areas with tables, power sockets and USB charging points. It allows space for laptops, tablets and mobile phones, the plug sockets will allow laptops to be charged during the journey. There is even a bin in between this social seating arrangement. The Coastliner buses are long distance travel services, so no single seats in the upper saloon, all are double seats with amble legroom. Again, unlike the lower saloon the rear most seats have five spaced out seats in the VGA style.
Two social seating areas allow for the modern-day commuter to continue with their mobile life, with USB and Socket charging points. However, there are no at seat individual tables on the buses.
The spacious uncluttered upper saloon with glazed ceiling, amble legroom and social areas with the equally comfortable VGA airline seats, all adding to the new Coastliner experience.
As with the yearlong investment for the 36 Riding Redefined twin decks, Transdev’s creative team, along with Alex Hornby, collaborated with Ray Stenning’s Best impressions design team. This time to refresh the Yorkshire Coastliner brand and breathe new life it to this vital link to the Yorkshire coast from the major cities served by Transdev’s buses.
Ray Stenning is a man on a design mission, not only to improve the look but to refresh, rebrand and in some cases, reinvent the bus and railway industries liveries and information leaflets. Across twenty years in the business Best impressions have delivered a constant fresh feel to some bus fleets, Bournemouth, Oxford, Reading, Trent and Wilts & Dorset to name but a few, have all been given a Best impression make-over.
For the Coastliner fleet, Alex Hornby and Transdev requested a batch of ten 11.5 metre Volvo B5TLs with the Volvo D5K euro 6 specification engine couple to the 6 speed ZF Eco-life gearbox. Again, following on from the successful order for the fourteen 36 Riding Redefined twin decks, Wrightbus of Ballymena won the tender to build the ten bodies needed. The various adaptations for the fleet included double glazed windows, a glazed upper saloon roof, high specification seating, wood effect floors and ceilings, with new social seating areas, rear lower saloon tables and the now standard USB sockets and super-fast 4G Wi-Fi. All linked with the modern 'next stop' announcements and scrolling 'next stop' screens, along with fourteen CCTV cameras for extra passenger and Transdev staff saftey. With these improvements, the new look for Coastliner had begun, which also saw a new look improved timetable leaflet featuring new maps, drivers profile and a short history of the previous vehicles on the service, with a guide to the places visited by the east coast routes, the timetable is packed with useful information.
Creating Desire, the Best Impressions livery and design for the new #Yorkshire’s amazing day out’ Coastliner buses. Posed outside of the equally impressive York Minster are 3631 & 3632 awaiting the general public to cast their eyes over. Overall impressions of the day's activities saw very favourable comments and remarks upon the look and feel of these impressive vehicles. The freebees needless to say were popular choice amongst the people who had ventured to visit the display.
As the event closed it was confirmed that 3631 and 3632 would be out along the Coastliner routes from Monday December 12th 2016 all being well. By four O’clock the buses were packed and ready to leave the Minster area, after a very successful day. 3631 was taken to Fulford Road depot for final checks and 3632 was driven to Malton, so the engineering team could give the bus a closer look. Currently five of these new vehicles are over in Yorkshire, with the remaining five due to travel across from Northern Ireland in the few days, as the new fleet is phased into service.
That’s not all folks, Transdev plan to completely replace the other Yorkshire Coastliner buses during 2017, which will make the Coastliner fleet the youngest fleet in the country. Yorkshire Coastliner had this title during 1988 and into the 1990’s as newer buses replaced older units and in 2005 the fleet was renewed with single and double Volvo buses with Wrightbus bodywork.
As Alex Hornby, always says ‘exciting times ahead’
Yorkshire Coastliner, making Yorkshire’s amazing day out complete.
Coastliner Features: -
3632 pauses on Duncombe Place before an early evening trip across to Malton depot, looking very smart, clean and fresh in the new Coastliner livery.