The first six B8RLE vehicles were delivered over the last week of July 2021 and have already entered service with Whitelaws. There will be a further six delivered at end of August 2021 to go into service on 1st September 2021.
A further eight buses will be delivered over the course of 2022, with four in March and another four planned for September. The final vehicle is planned for delivery in March 2023 to tie in with Whitelaws’ 50 years of operation celebrations.
The first new vehicles have been working on Whitelaws’ popular 250 service so far, but as more B8RLEs are added over the next year, the vehicles are expected to be utilised across the operator’s network.
Whitelaws’ new 10.8 metre additions have been specified with the latest onboard equipment including a tyre monitoring system, nine camera CCTV system, COVID ready driver protection screen, Next Stop destination equipment and a new look e-leather interior.
Sandra Whitelaw commented, “We are absolutely delighted with our new vehicles and are sure they will deliver a safe and pleasant environment for our valued customers. The B8RLE itself is a matured, tried, tested and reliable product. It’s a vehicle we have operated in the past and has a presence in our current coach fleet, albeit not in the 10.8 metre MCV variant.”
Sandra continued, “It offers us a robust chassis to deliver our services across what is a very mixed operating environment. In its Euro VI format, the product has achieved Low Carbon Certification which was a must for our business having moved to 100% low carbon delivery on local service by October 2017. This was a vital component to maintain, as we await a move towards zero emissions as the market allows.”
“The Volvo aftermarket support is as equally as important as the product being the right one for the business,” continued Sandra. “Volvo have a proven track record of high standards of back up and support and that was another key determiner for us.”
Sandra Whitelaw also enjoyed the process of working with Volvo’s new Regional Sales Manager, Jennifer McGill, “It has been a pleasure to work with Jennifer and we were delighted that her first handover in her new role within Volvo was with Whitelaws. This marks the next chapter of our long history with Volvo and we look forward to working with Jennifer to deliver a 100% Volvo product in our bus fleet and across our whole fleet.”
Jennifer McGill added, “I’m honoured to continue the excellent long-standing relationship Volvo has with Whitelaws. This is a highly significant delivery and order plan for a key business partner. I was delighted to agree the delivery with Sandra and the Whitelaws team and we’re delighted that they are the first operator to place the 10.8 metre B8RLE with MCV eVoRa bodywork into operation.
“We’re also delighted that Whitelaws are well on their way to being a complete Volvo operator again and look forward to being a key part of the company’s exciting 50th year celebrations in 2023.”