Seven Brand New Open Toppers for the Lakes

Seven Brand New Open Toppers for the Lakes
One of the seven brand new Volvo B5TLs with Wrightbus Gemini 3 bodywork.Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire

Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire has introduced a smart fleet of seven brand new part-open-top Lake Sider buses for the picturesque 599 service throughout the Lake District.

Seven brand new part-open top double decker buses have started to enter service in the Lake District this week. They carry a new ‘Lake Sider’ livery, designed by Ray Stenning and his creative team at Best Impressions.

They will replace the current Dennis Trident 2 open-top buses used on the former Lakes Connection branded 599 service that have operated the route from Kendal depot since 2009. The displaced Dennis Tridents are due to move to other regional Stagecoach fleets, with one example, V221 MEV (17221) having already landed in East Kent.

One Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Trident 2 will remain in the Lake District, The White Lady will be retained for private hires and to provide extra capacity at peak times.

The seven new Euro 6 rated Volvo B5TLs with Wright Gemini 3 bodywork are quite an unusual purchase for Stagecoach. Yes, Stagecoach has bucked its traditional buying trend; previously open-top buses have been created using older donor ‘deckers. It is also a departure from its normal buying policy that tends to concentrate on Alexander Dennis products.

In the lower saloon, the buses feature high-backed seating, ideal for when the weather isn’t so great. On the upper saloon, they feature comfortable plastic seating which is ideal for all-year-round operation, if needs be. They also come with audio-visual equipment, free onboard WiFi, USB charging points and space for two bikes on each bus.

In a first for a Stagecoach regional fleet, they feature white LED destination screens, with a full-length destination screen, rather than just the route number, at the rear.

Come rain or shine, an open top experience on the new Lake Sider buses are a greener alternative to travelling along Windermere and offer spectacular panoramic views between Grasmere and Bowness.

The new Stagecoach Lakesider buses will be in Manchester on Monday 24th July 2017, Liverpool on Tuesday 25th July 2017 and Preston on Wednesday 26th July 2017, with staff on board to offer free tickets and travel advice for visiting the Lake District.

If you’ve taken any photos along the way then you could win free travel from Stagecoach. Send your pictures via email or tweet them to @StagecoachCNL.

If you’re thinking of going on the Lake Sider 599, here is a link to the timetable.

Tom Harrison

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