Built on the proven Volvo B9TL Euro 5 chassis, the UNVI Urbis 25 bodywork affords the Somerset operator two doorways and two internal staircases. As a result the completed vehicle is half a metre longer than its main competitors, at a little under 12 metres in total.
Bath Bus Company (BBC) is part of French-owned RATP Dev UK group and operates tours in association with the World-wide CitySightseeing organisation. BBC is a long standing and loyal Volvo Bus customer, with almost its entire 30-strong open top tour bus fleet built on the Volvo chassis.
“It was the attractive combination of Volvo Bus and UNVI Urbis 25 bodywork that resulted in our placing this order” explained Bath Bus Company Managing Director, Martin Curtis. “With these new buses we can increase the speed that passengers embark and alight at our busiest city centre stops.
“These buses will be unique to Bath and indeed the UK and Ireland,” he continued. “Similar vehicles are being used as left hand drive tour buses by our wider organisation in Greece, Italy and Spain, but these will be the first right hand drive examples to this specification in the UK.
“We carry up to half a million passengers per year,” added Martin Curtis. “In summer, we have a departure every six minutes with Bath one of the busiest city tours in the country. However, Traffic Regulation Conditions within the city boundary strictly control vehicle types, routes, bus numbers and stop dwell times. Therefore these new vehicles should significantly increase our opportunity for quick and safe passenger flows.
Each of the new vehicles feature 76 passenger seats, with 53 seats on the upper deck and 23 seats on the lower deck. There is also additional space for wheelchairs, as well as ramped access.
“An additional benefit with these new buses is that our technicians are already experienced in maintaining other Volvo vehicles on a daily basis, so are extremely familiar with the way the Volvo systems work,” he concluded.
The driveline on the new vehicles is the familiar transverse-engined layout featuring the Volvo D9B six cylinder engine and automatic gearbox. Rated at 260hp, the engine provides a quick response to the driver and good fuel economy.
“Bath is a World Heritage City,” explained Volvo Bus Regional Sales Manager, Phil Fletcher. “It attracts a lot of visitors throughout the year and many of these people are keen to do the city open top bus tour.
“This means that Bath Bus Company have a large amount of customers to cater for at peak times, but vehicle waiting time is restricted in key locations, therefore they were looking for an optimised vehicle solution.
“We were able to offer our proven Volvo B9TL chassis with the dual doors and staircases thanks to UNVI Urbis 25 bodywork. This presents greater opportunity for passenger movement, which was their main requirement. Additionally the vehicles are Euro 5 standard, so have reduced emissions, compared to other vehicles in the fleet,” he concluded.
25 February 2014