Director of Hodge’s Coaches, Martin Hodge, said: “We were looking for coaches with a smaller capacity, greater manoeuvrability and enhanced fuel economy. The vehicles we chose needed to service a wide variety of work, which includes transport to central London where tight junctions and narrow, busy roads make access tricky, and the B8R SC5 made perfect sense for this kind of transport.
“We bought a new Volvo B8R Sunsundegui SB3 72 seat school coach last year and it has performed really well for us with great feedback from customers and drivers, it was the success of that vehicle that led us to place the order for our two coaches this year.”
The new ULEZ regulations in London require that all operators meet the recommended CO2 emissions standard. Purchasing these two Euro VI Volvo B8R coaches will help ensure Hodge’s Coaches has a greater number of ULEZ compliant vehicles.
Retail Bus and Coach Manager for Volvo, Richard Mann, said: “It not unusual to sell a new and used coach in the same deal, the new SC5 they bought features 41 seats, whereas the 2016 pre-owned SC5 has 39 seats with a rear floor mounted toilet.
“The fact that the two coaches offered different seating capacities appealed to Hodge’s Coaches as it allows them to cover a greater variety of customer requirements.”
One of the key advantages of the Volvo B8R SC5 is that it has a small, compact and flexible design, but with 41 or 39 seats on a 10m chassis, it still provides the passenger and luggage capacity required for touring and airport transfers. It is highly flexible and equally suitable for driving around country lanes or tight city centre streets.
Both vehicles ordered by Hodge’s include reclining seats, three-point seat belts, climate control with individual passenger service units in the racks above the seats for ventilation and lighting and draw curtains. The B8R chassis also includes a range of safety features such as electronically controlled brakes and driver support systems.
Hodge’s Coaches has been operating for nearly a century with a number of loyal customers of more than 40 years. The company runs its fleet of 25 vehicles from its base in Sandhurst serving the surrounding areas of Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey. Hodge’s base has excellent links to nearby motorway networks and offers trips to London, the South Coast as well as airport transfers.