Volvo Buses


High capacity Volvo double decks prove a winning formula

Volvo’s tri-axle double deck buses are continuing to prove popular with operators looking to maximise capacity on private hire contracts. Kinch Coaches of Wiltshire and Provence Private Hire of St Albans have both invested in Volvo B9TLs with Optare Olympus bodywork.

Kinch Coaches celebrated their 10th anniversary by investing in their first new double deck which they use for school trips into London and movement of troops to and from RAF Brize Norton. The Optare Olympus bodied vehicle is specified with Volvo’s Euro 5 incentive compliant D9B engine coupled to a ZF Ecolife gearbox and thanks to a high spec interior, the double deck bus boasts a truly coach like feel.

The 12.4m vehicle has 100 seats, all of which are fitted with three point belts, with three tables located to the rear of the lower deck. The upper saloon has been specified with an automatic chiller unit which maintains saloon temperature at below ambient. The vehicles also feature bonded double glazing, bronze tinted windows and PA system, as well as Mobitec LED destination equipment and a Look twelve camera CCTV system.

“As soon as we saw that Volvo were doing a high capacity double deck we were interested,” explained Managing Director, Tony Kinch. “The majority of our vehicles are Volvo, simply because we believe it is the best chassis on the market. Add to that a vehicle which can take 100 passengers, rather than 50, and the decision is a straightforward one!”

The new bus will enable Kinch Coaches to reduce the vehicles required when undertaking school trips to London “On a 100 seater bus, we can accommodate three classes plus accompanying adults,” said Tony. “Not only do we make savings on fuel and staffing costs, but the school pays less for their trip – it’s win-win all round!”

The bus’ other main use will be for movement of troops to RAF Brize Norton from their bases at Tidworth and South Cerney. “Again, we will be able to do these trips with one vehicle rather than two,” explained Tony. “And as many of these transfers are done in the early hours of the morning that will make us more popular with the drivers!”

In fact, so impressed are Kinch Coaches with the tri-axle B9TL, they have already placed an order for another. “We’re a growing business,” said Tony. “In ten years we’ve grown to a fleet of 19 vehicles and are increasingly busy with school and military contracts, as well as private hire. If this continues, the high capacity double deck could become a key feature of our fleet, so watch this space!”

The Volvo tri-axle double deck is the second for Provence Private Hire (PPH) having found their first one – purchased a year ago – ideal for use on school contracts, day trips and private hire. 

“We hadn’t bought Volvo for around 20 years but as soon as these high capacity buses became available we were interested,” explained Managing Director, Andy Hayes. “Our first tri-axle has enabled us to cut the number of vehicles we send out on school contracts, creating valuable savings for both us and the schools, so when it came to buying again the decision was an easy one.”

The 100-seater boasts the same engine and gearbox specification as the Kinch bus while the three tables to the rear of the lower deck contribute to the coach like atmosphere. Passengers have the benefit of a separate air conditioning unit on the upper deck to ensure comfort throughout as well as bonded double glazing, green tinted windows, PA system, Mobitec LED destination equipment and a Look seven camera CCTV system.

The new bus has met with a favourable response from drivers and passengers alike. “It looks great, the drivers are happy, and it’s proving reliable in service,” said Andy Hayes. “And having two high capacity vehicles has enabled us to make further savings in running costs, so we’re delighted with our decision to buy Volvo again!”

Established in 1979, family run PPH operates a fleet of 30 vehicles which undertake school contracts, private hire business, and European work.

27th July 2009

Caption for photograph:
Image 1: Kinch Coaches first double deck – a Volvo B9TL with Optare Olympus bodywork.