This year sees the largest investment in new buses in North Wales since deregulation in 1986 says Arriva Buses Wales, with yesterday’s launch of 15 state-of-the-art new single deck buses for southernmost Cymru Coastliner services 5/X5/5C between Llandudno and Caernarfon.
The introduction of these vehicles marks a £2.5 million investment in the first phase of their investment package for the North Wales coast by Arriva Buses Wales.
The 15 brand new VDL SB200’s with Wrightbus Pulsar 2 bodywork feature a Cummins ISBe6 engine coupled up to a Voith D854.5 gearbox and feature Euro 5 emissions. Internally they feature 44 Cymru Coastliner e-leather covered Esteban Civic V3 seats, LED saloon lighting, free onboard WiFi provided by Icomera, full front, side and rear Hanover Displays LED destination equipment as well as Hanover Displays audio-visual “talking buses” technology onboard.
For our enthusiast readers the registrations are as follows, CX14 BYB (3165), CX14 BYC (3166), CX14 BYD (3167), CX14 BYF (3168), CX14 BYG (3169), CX14 BYH (3170), CX14 BYJ (3171), CX14 BYK (3172), CX14 BYL (3173), CX14 BYM (3174), CX14 BXO (3175), CX14 BXP (3176), CX14 BXR (3177), CX14 BXS (3178) & CX14 BXU (3179).
In 2012 we reported that Arriva Buses Wales had invested £2 million in 10 state of the art Wrightbus Gemini 2 DL’s for the northernmost Cymru Coastliner services 11, 11A, 11C, 11F, 11X and X11 which operate between Rhyl/Holywell and Chester/Mold out of Rhyl depot. They were fitted out with many extras like e-leather seating which have the Cymru Coastliner name embroidered into the tops of the seats, full rear LED destination displays and on-board WiFi connections.
The central section of the route between Llandudno and Rhyl is provided by buses on service 12, also run out of Arriva’s Rhyl depot. In July 2014, as part of the Cymru Coastliner service, 20 brand new double deck Alexander Dennis E40D’s with Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 bodywork will be launched on service 12 under Arriva’s luxury bus brand Sapphire, but there’ll be more about that later in the year.
The Cymru Coastliner brand has a long and varied history, originally introduced back in 1965 by Crosville Cymru, the more recent incarnation of the brand by successor Arriva Buses Wales follows with heavy investment into the series of routes operated under the brand. The original Cymru Coastliner route would take you on a scenic journey from Caernarfon as it made it’s way through Bangor, Conwy, Llandudno, Rhyl and Prestatyn and along the North Wales Coast then following the Dee Estuary and on to Chester city centre.
Up until recently the 5 and X5 services were usually operated by a mix of VDL SB200’s with Wrightbus Commander or Wrightbus Pulsar bodywork based at Arriva Buses Wales Bangor depot. The Commanders were previously employed on the now withdrawn TrawsCambria services X32 from Bangor to Aberystwyth and X94 from Wrexham to Barmouth, whilst the Pulsars were a mix from Wrexham on their now upgraded Sapphire 1 service and Llandudno’s 12 service between Rhyl and Llandudno.