Arriva North West is to receive nine Mellor Strata bodied Mercedes-Benz Sprinter minibuses for its Macclesfield and Winsford operations. Replacing larger Optare Solo midibuses that have difficulties negotiating tight residential routes.
The nine new vehicles, which will be built by Rochdale-based firm Mellor Coachcraft, are the first minibuses to be ordered by Arriva North West. They are expected to operate on local bus services in Macclesfield and Winsford from June this year.
Despite their much smaller size, these new Mellor Strata minibuses will be equipped with the same onboard extras which have been gradually introduced to much larger vehicles in Arriva North West’s fleet in recent years.
With room for up to 22 passengers seated and one wheelchair, the seating will be provided by Isringhausen with their Civic model which will be trimmed in E-Leather. Passengers will also be able to enjoy the use of complimentary WiFi and USB charging points for their mobile phones and tablets. There will also be an ergonomically designed assault screen for the driver.
Mellor Coachcraft managing director, John Randerson, said: “We’re excited to be announcing this new order from Arriva which will further enhance service provision in the Cheshire area. In particular, there is no compromise to internal space with the majority of passengers seated for their journey. In addition, the array of onboard features are equal to those fitted on most large sized single deck buses, so despite the bus being smaller, our customer has not had to sacrifice any of the benefits today’s bus passenger wants and indeed expects.”
Arriva North West engineering director, Phil Cummins, said: “We’ve selected these nine Stratas specifically for their passenger capacity, which meets our local service requirements perfectly and we’re really looking forward to our new working relationship with Mellor. The fuel economy performance offered by the vehicle was another reason for us choosing the Strata, as keeping our fuel costs to a minimum is very important, as is the case for any national operator today. The bus is also very easy to maintain, which means much less time in the garage and more time out on the road serving the local community.”
At the time of writing, it is not known which of the local services the new minibuses will be used on, however, we will update this article as soon as we know more.