For Woodstones Coaches’ Managing Director, Richard Meredith, the new combination represents both an environmental first and the opportunity to continue the positive relationship established with Plaxton and Volvo, “With the cessation of production of the B7R, we looked at a variety of products, none of which were ideal for our needs.
The new Volvo B8R with the Plaxton Leopard body gives us the features we need and the opportunity to standardise long-term. With our previous experience, we have the confidence in the support from both Volvo and Plaxton to be its first customer. The new coaches will also set a new environmental standard locally, so although our coaches are red, orange, yellow and white on the outside, they will be very green underneath.”
Supplied by Volvo Coach Sales in Coventry for registration in March 2014, the 12.8 metre vehicles feature the new 7.7 litre D8K Euro 6 engine employing SCR technology and a ZF six speed automatic gearbox. They also feature 57 reclining seats with three point belts and a CCTV system, which combines internal and reversing cameras. Electronic destination displays will be fitted to the front, side and rear.
The all new stainless steel framed Plaxton Leopard provides a lower floor height alternative and features a pivot entrance, improving boarding times. Designed for day hire and short duration touring with up to 59 passengers, the Leopard can also feature 3+2 seating for high capacity operations such as home to school transport.
Delivery of the new coaches will mark the start of a new phase for the Woodstones’ six coach fleet, whilst retaining the respected Volvo Plaxton combination. In the past ten years, the company has standardised on the Volvo B7R with Plaxton Profile coachwork, investing in 22 vehicles with 53, 57 or 70 seats including some of the last of the type to be registered in 2012. The company policy is to replace a third of the fleet every year and the well maintained low mileage three year old vehicles are popular on the secondhand market.
Woodstones Coaches have been operating since 1957 in Kidderminster, moving to modern purpose built premises on Hoo Farm Industrial Estate in 1983. The six coaches are engaged on a variety of contract and private hire work across the West Midlands to which the Plaxton Volvo combination is well suited.
Ian Downie, Volvo Bus Coach Sales & Product Director commented, “Woodstones Coaches are a long-term Volvo Bus customer. We are delighted they have chosen to invest in our new Euro 6 B8R coach product, which also features new Plaxton Leopard bodywork.”
10 October 2013
Caption for image:
Pictured (Left – Right) – Kevin Wood, Business Development Manager, Alexander Dennis – Plaxton; Richard Meredith, MD, Woodstones Coaches; Brian Walker, Volvo Coach Sales; Ian Downie, Coach Sales & Product Director, Volvo Bus