Warrington’s Own Buses’ brand new buses for their new “The Cheshire Cat” route network have now entered service, five years after the company’s last new buses were delivered.
As we previously reported, Warrington’s Own Buses ordered thirteen Alexander Dennis Enviro200 midibuses in January of this year. The new “Cheshire Cat” buses have now entered service, and represent the final component of a wider improvement package for the bus network in the south of Warrington.
The first bus, 201, entered service on Tuesday 18th April. On the following Saturday (April 21st), the new buses were formally launched at a special Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at the Golden Square Shopping Centre. The event was sponsored by the manufacturer of the buses, Alexander Dennis.
At the launch, which included complimentary gifts, characters from Alice and Wonderland and face painting, members of staff from Warrington’s Own Buses and Alexander Dennis were on hand to answer queries from passengers.
There is capacity on board for up to 35 seated and 42 standing passengers, and to assist them with their journey, audio and visual next stop announcements have been specified.
Complimentary WiFi is also available, which passengers can enjoy from the comfort of their dual purpose seat. The modular seating is fitted with a smart blue and red cloth moquette to match the new standard livery, with the seat backs featuring an “entertainment pod”.
The “pods” consist of a USB charging point, a reading light and a retractable stand for mobile phones, with “pods” on seat backs adjoining the aisle also fitted with a stop request button. The seat backs have been covered in fabric, with e-leather on the side panelling.
At the rear of each bus, there is a new “communal area”, where a wraparound sofa replaces the usual modular seating, which has been specified based on from feedback from Warrington’s Own Buses’ customers. The interior is also fitted with wood effect flooring and glazed roof panels, with the latter in my opinion giving the passenger space a very bright and spacious feel.
Underneath, these new 11.5 metre long single deckers are powered by a Euro VI emissions compliant Cummins ISB4.5 litre four-cylinder diesel engine, which is coupled up to a Voith transmission.
In addition, a “The Cheshire Cat” timetable booklet has been released, with all of the route timetables and nearby attractions included in one guide. Bus stops along the network have also been updated with the new branding.
Routes which come under “The Cheshire Cat” are as follows:
CAT5, CC5A and CAT6 to Altrincham and Lymm.
CAT7, CAT8, CC8A and CC9B to Dudlows Green, Appleton Thorn and Hatton.
CAT9 and CC9A to Northwich.
Although there are thirteen new vehicles, only eight have been outshopped with the new two-tone blue and orange “The Cheshire Cat” livery. The remaining five sport Warrington’s Own Buses’ new two-tone red and blue livery, both of which were designed by Ray Stenning of Best Impressions.
For our enthusiast readers, the details of these vehicles are as follows:
CH04 CAT (201), CH06 CAT (202), CH12 CAT (203), CH56 CAT (204), CH57 CAT (205), CH58 CAT (206), CH59 CAT (207), CH62 CAT (208), YX18 KTP (209), YX18 KTT (210), YX18 KTV (211), YX18 KUA (212) and YX18 KUB (213).