(Dublin) Donnybrook’s New GTs on 11 & 54A [25Aug2013]

Donnybrook Garage has taken delivery of the first twenty of the eighty Volvo B9TL / Wright Gemini buses on order for Dublin Bus this year.  Further deliveries are now in progress to Ringsend.

Here we see some of the Donnybrook batch in action on routes 11 and 54A.

 

GT88a

GT88b

Above: GT88 seen from the front and rear in Suffolk Street, Dublin, on Saturday 24 August 2013.

The buses are built to Wright’s Gemini II specification, however Dublin Bus has requested that they have the older style of Gemini I front panelling for commonality of spares with their earlier Wright deckers.

Route 11 switched over to GT operation from Friday 23rd August.

GT84

Above: GT84 is seen at Fortfield Drive, near Kimmage, heading outbound.

Originally the 54A was a cross-city route and came south just as far as this point, however over the years it has lost its northside section, while being continually extended to the south, the extensions allowing it to remain viable while the main 54 service was discontinued.

GT82

GT82 is seen at the same spot, heading inbound.

The buses are the first in the fleet to carry the new Irish style of registration with a three digit year prefix rather than two – so instead of being 13-D, these buses are 132-D to signify that they were delivered in the second half of the year.

As of 2009, the company no longer pays for registration numbers to coincide with fleet numbers.

(NEWS, World) Volvo sells 200 hybrid buses to Bogota, Colombia [13Aug2013]

 

VOLVO Press Release

Volvo sells 200 hybrid buses to Bogota, Colombia

Volvo hybrid chassi

 

Volvo Bus Latin America has sold 200 hybrid buses to the Public Transportation System of Bogotá, capital of Colombia. The buses will be operating the city’s BRT system TransMilêmio. The chassis will be manufactured in Volvo Buses’ plant in Curitiba, Brazil.

 

“With this acquisition, the city of Bogota definitively enters the age of electromobility and takes a major step in adopting a sustainable urban mass transit system, both from an economical and an environmental stand point”, affirms Luis Carlos Pimenta, President of Volvo Bus Latin America.

 

The buyers are Consórcio Express, acquiring 156 vehicles; and GMovil, acquiring 44 vehicles. The deal includes, in addition to the chassis, a 12-year battery protection contract and a five-year service agreement. The buses will be bodied by Busscar and Superpolo in Colombia.

 

“Our hybrids are the best option on the market and this deal consolidates Volvo’s leadership in electromobility not only in Europe, but also in Latin America. Once again, we are breaking paradigms and offering the market a new solution in transportation. This is a breakthrough order for us and we expect more orders to follow”, says Luis Carlos Pimenta.

 

The hybrids, which will start operating in Bogota in December 2013, will expand the coverage of the city’s Integrated Public Transportation System. Part of the route will be on the TransMilêmio trunk lines (dedicated lanes) and part will be on the regular street grid, where there currently are no feeder lines. The buses will have doors with access steps on the right hand side and bus-floor level doors on the left side, to allow boarding and debarkation at the Transmilêmio stops.

 

The city of Bogota is working towards putting in place an urban transport system based on clean energies, creating a new class of compensation for hybrid or electrical drive vehicles.

 

 

 

Total vehicle maintenance included

With the onset of production of hybrid buses in Curitiba in June 2012, Volvo established a new business model. The sale of the hybrids includes a solution package that ensures peace of mind for carrier operators. The package includes total vehicle maintenance, from filter and oil changes all the way to repairs.

 

“In the same format as deployed for the 100 percent diesel vehicles, Volvo Buses now has a full service plan that covers our hybrids, offering operators support and availability at a fixed cost per kilometer”, explains Euclides Castro, urban bus manager at Volvo Bus Latin America.

 

The company signs a battery contract for monthly installment payments to cover any form of battery repair or changes until the end of the vehicle’s lifecycle.

This ensures a linear cost, free of risk for the customers.

 

 

Less fuel, less emissions

Volvo’s hybrid buses consume up to 39 percent less fuel and emit 39 percent less carbon dioxide than conventional diesel buses.  In addition, the vehicles issue 50 percent less particles and nitrogen oxide (NOX).

 

Volvo’s hybrid bus runs entirely on electricity, quietly and emission-free, from standstill to a speed of 15-20 km/h. At higher speeds the bus receives additional power from a small 4-cylinder diesel engine running on biodiesel. The energy generated during engine braking is stored in the on-board batteries and is used to power the bus’s electric motor and auxiliary systems.

(News) Volvo Bus Break Even Despite Challenging Market [24July2013]

Rover's new Volvo B7R / Sunsudegui  (photo by Volvo Bus)

Rover’s new Volvo B7R / Sunsudegui (photo by Volvo Bus)

Volvo Press Release

Volvo Buses – breakeven in spite of low market volumes

 

Volvo Buses reported an operating profit of SEK 11 M in the second quarter 2013. Order intake in the second quarter totaled 2326 buses, which was 13% higher than the same period last year. Volvo Buses continue to strengthen its position as a world leader in hybrid technology, with the launch of the plug in hybrid bus.

Global bus market still on low levels, but some signs of improvement

In 2013, the European market is expected to remain on the same level as in 2012 and is still under severe price pressure. In India demand is much lower on the coach market, and in the city bus segment the Indian government has announced government grants for purchases of buses, JnNurm, valid 2013-2016. In China higher quoting activity is expected in Shanghai during 2013.

In North America there are indicators of a recovery, both on the transit and coach market. In South America the Finame incentives continue to support market growth. Tender activity in Brazil is expected to improve towards the end of the year.

Weaker market hampers volume growth

Deliveries during the second quarter of 2013 amounted to 2,050 buses, compared to 2,117 units for the same period in 2012, which is a decrease of 3%.

Order intake in the second quarter totaled 2,326 buses, which was 13% higher than the same period last year. Volvo Buses continues to strengthen its position as a world leader in hybrid technology. During the second quarter the new plug in hybrid was introduced in field tests, followed by the launch of ElectriCity, a planned co-operation between Volvo Group, the City of Göteborg and other regional stakeholders. The objective is to introduce fully electric buses in 2015, along with creation and trial runs of new bus-stop solutions, traffic-routing systems, safety concepts, energy supply and business models.

Breakeven in the quarter

Net sales in the second quarter decreased by 20% to SEK 4,008 M (5,040). Adjusted for currency fluctuations, sales decreased by 16%. Buses reported an operating income of SEK 11 M compared to an operating income of SEK 188 M during the second quarter of 2012. Compared with the second quarter of 2012, operating income was negatively impacted by changes in currency exchange rates in an amount of SEK 63 M. Earnings in the second quarter of 2012 were positively affected by VAT credits in Brazil of SEK 50 M relating to previous years. Operating margin was a positive 0.3% (3.7).

A cost reduction program is in focus in Volvo Buses to offset the negative market development.  Concentration of manufacturing of complete buses in Europe to Wroclaw, Poland, has been fully implemented. Manufacturing of Volvo buses in Säffle, Sweden was discontinued during the second quarter.

Volvo-Logo

Last 53A runs, but dockland service improves [21April2012]

It was the end of an era today (21st April 2012) as the long-established 53A bus service ran for the final time in Dublin’s docklands,  bringing to a close a once frequent service which had dwindled in recent years to just a handful of isolated journeys. However daytime service in the North Wall area is set to improve, with the introduction of an all day projection of sister route 53 into the area, rather than a handful of extended trips operated at present.

Under the new regime route 53 will run through Alexandra Road in North Wall hourly from 7am to 7pm, and for the first time will be projected eastwards to provide a link to the Irish Ferries Terminal, which until now has only been serviced by premium-priced special buses (numbered 53B) timed to connect to ferry arrivals and departures.

Overall the 53 is losing half its daytime frequency and its evening service, but gaining the extension to the Ferry Terminal and will now have a standard hourly clockface timetable whereas before departures were timed at different random intervals.

Route 53A, which ran via North Wall Quay (rather than via the East Wall 53 route) ran for the last time with the 1305 departure from Alexandra Road, and a number of transport enthusiasts and local residents were there to commemorate the passing of this little piece of local history.

Volvo B7TL / ALX400 AV37 operated the final journey, and is pictured above.

Below, from an earlier era, we see KC138, one of the Irish built GAC single-deckers used on the route from 1984 to the turn of the century.

Quick Pic: Olympian Twilight

Dublin’s once vast fleet of Volvo Olympians is dwindling rapidly, and the 64 or so still in service represent just 10% of the original Olympian numbers. All are due to be withdrawn this year, in order to reach a promised target of having a fully lowfloor accessible fleet by the end of 2012.

Those remaining are split between Harristown, Summerhill, Donnybrook and Ringsend depots, and can most often be seen on routes such as the 17, 44, some peak-hour 16s and 41s, and as seen here, all-day service on the 15A and 15B routes.

RV603 is seen on a winters evening approaching The Ferryman public house on the south quays.

NEWS: Record Year For Volvo Buses In 2011 (03/Feb/2012)

 

Volvo Bus has reported a record year for sales worldwide in 2011, despite difficult market conditions.

The manufacturer’s end of year sales report states::

Deliveries were up 29%, which means 4200 units delivered in the fourth quarter. Volvo Buses  delivered almost 1000 more units  than the same quarter of 2010, though hard market conditions. Net sales increased by 19% in Q4, mainly due to South America.

Weak markets in North America and Europe, growth in South America

During the fourth quarter, the European bus market was at the same low levels as in 2010. In North America, the total bus market remained weak. The city-bus market declined 17% in 2011, when cities’ investments in new buses were very restricted. The coach market in North America increased 25% from an exceptionally low volume in 2010.

In South America, demand remained strong, with approximately 30% higher volumes in heavy buses, compared with 2010. In Mexico, the total bus market increased from very low levels in 2010.

The market for heavy buses in China grew 13% in 2011, compared with the year-earlier period.

Record deliveries in fourth quarter

Deliveries in the fourth quarter of 2011 totaled 4,172 buses, up 29% compared with 3,230 in the year-earlier quarter. South America accounted for the largest increase. Order intake for the fourth quarter amounted to 3,941 buses, up 7% compared with 3,677 in the year-earlier period.

During the quarter, Volvo Buses signed its largest order ever in Columbia, 688 buses for Bogota. A new bus range, consisting of one city bus and two coaches, was launched in India.

Sales and earnings increased

Net sales for the fourth quarter increased 19% to SEK 6,680 M (5,602). Adjusted for currency fluctuations, net sales rose 22%.

Operating income improved to SEK 295 M (221). Compared with the year-earlier period, operating income was positively impacted by higher volumes, and improved market mix. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2010, operating income was negatively impacted by changes in currency exchange rates in an amount of SEK 22 M. The operating margin increased to 4.4% (3.9).

• Deliveries increased 29%

• Continued negative market trend in North America and Europe, but growth in South America

• New bus range launched in India

Net sales by market area Fourth quarter Year
2011 2010 Change in % 2011 2010 Change in %
Europe 2,225 1,581 41 7,009 6,242 12
North America 2,167 1,885 15 7,541 7,200 5
South America 1,001 582 72 2,721 1,737 57
Asia 833 947 (12) 3,027 3,299 (8)
Other markets 454 607 (25) 1,991 2,038 (2)
Total 6,680 5,602 19 22,289 20,516

9

Celtic Travel Opt For Irish-built Volvos 31/01/2012

 

Celtic Travel have recently purchased three new Volvo B7RLE buses with Wrightbus Eclipse 2 bodywork.

Celtic Travel have recently purchased three new Volvo B7RLE buses with Wrightbus Eclipse 2 bodywork for use on their first ever bus service, the X75, running from Rhayader to Shrewsbury and back.

The family run firm, based in Llanidloes, Powys in Wales, have successfully run coach services for many years, but their new X75 bus route is an exciting new string to their bow. They decided to specify Volvo having experienced the Volvo service and technology on their coaches and after having consulted with their customers and other operators.

“They all said the same thing – you can’t go wrong with the Volvo Wrightbus combination,” explained Celtic Travel Transport Manager, William Davies. “Added to that is the tremendous backup and support you get with Volvo and the endorsement of larger operators, such as National Express, also specifying Volvo Wrightbus.”

With 14 Volvo coaches in their fleet, Celtic Travel are no strangers to the Volvo chassis and the reliability of their current vehicles played an important part in their decision to also specify Volvo for their new bus requirement. “These new Volvo B7RLE buses will each end up covering around 70,000 miles per year,” continued William Davies. “We can’t afford for them to be off the road and with Volvo, we know we are paying for the best.”

The single deck B7RLE has a light weight chassis frame and is powered by the D7E 7.1 litre in-line common rail fuel injection engine. The quality and durable components, fitted as standard, help promote high reliability, low fuel consumption and long service life.

Celtic Travel’s new B7RLEs are specified with 44 e-leather seats, with three point safety belts.

Fitted to the latest DDA specifications and featuring 44 e-leather seats with three point safety belts, the new buses are built with passenger’s comfort and safety in mind. Other internal features include Hanover audio visual equipment and Synetics CCTV.  

William Davies continued “The whole process of purchasing our new buses was extremely professional from our liaison with Volvo Bus Sales Manager, Phil Fletcher and Steve Jackson at Wrightbus, through to our continued relationship with Hartshorne’s Dealership, in Shrewsbury. I’d certainly specify the Volvo Wrightbus combination again if I was to buy more similar sized buses.”

(left to right) Darren Green (Area Service Manager, Volvo Bus), Colin Organ (Depo Manager, Hartshorne) Phil Fletcher (Sales Manager, Volvo Bus) , William Davies (Celtic Travel), Kathryn Davies (Celtic Travel), Phylip Davies (Celtic Travel).

Volvo Bus Sales Manager, Phil Fletcher, explained “We have always had a strong relationship with Celtic Travel on the coach side of our business, so when we had the opportunity to specify three new buses for their first ever bus route, we were obviously very keen to seal the deal.”

“Reliability and low fuel consumption are crucial factors for Celtic Travel and the B7RLE buses offer that in abundance,” he continued. “I look forward to working with them again in the future.”

Wrights deliver to Burnley & Pendle

Volvo / Wright Eclipse 2 - photo © Volvo Bus

Volvo / Wright Eclipse 2 - photo © Volvo Bus

PRESS RELEASE

Nineteen new Volvos with Northern irish built bodywork for Transdev Burnley and Pendle

Transdev Blazefield have taken delivery of 19 Volvo B7RLEs for its Burnley and Pendle operation.
Specified with Volvo’s Euro 5 Incentive, common rail fuel injection D7E 7.1litre engine rated at 290hp and ZF six speed gearbox, the 12.15m vehicles feature the new Wrightbus Eclipse 2 bodywork.  Fitted with 44 Civic V3 saloon seats, the buses also have capacity for 39 standing passengers as well as a storage area for buggies and bags. Disabled access is by means of a powered ramp and the vehicles also feature a 10 camera CCTV system and electronic destination equipment with full colour front destination blinds.

“The Volvo/Wrightbus combination is well known to us and has a proven track record,” explained Transdev Blazefield Managing Director, (Operations) Russell Revill. “So we were pleased to be able to buy Volvo once again, particularly with the excellent quality assurance package they offer.”

Volvo’s Regional Commercial Manager, Arthur Argyle added, “We’re delighted to be doing business with Transdev Blazefield once again. It’s an excellent reflection on our vehicles that they continue to meet the stringent standards of one of the major names in the bus industry.”

The new vehicles are being deployed on Burnley and Pendle’s Mainline group of services operating in the Colne, Nelson, Burnley and Padiham areas, as well as covering adjoining towns from Accrington, Keighley, Clitheroe and Barnoldswick.


Burnley and Pendle is one of seven companies within the Blazefield Group, each with its distinct local identity and the Blazefield Group is owned by Transdev, who operate in nine countries in Europe, Canada and Australia. Transdev provides transport to more than 1.2 billion passengers a year.

09 deckers hit the streets

New 09-reg Volvo B9TL/Wright Eclipse VG34

New 09-reg Volvo B9TL/Wright Eclipse VG34

2009 registered cars may be thin on the ground, but thanks to an ongoing delivery of buses originally ordered way back at the end of 2007, Dublin Bus has a number of smart new 09-reg double-deckers on the streets in the first month of the year.

The new buses have seen the end of the 44-year practice of matching fleet and registration numbers, making identification of buses difficult for both enthusiasts and staff alike.

The company bas started to introduce new larger fleet number transfers front and rear, but as seen in this view of Summerhill’s new VG34, not all buses have received these yet.

World Debut for Volvo Hybrid Double-deck

Volvo Bus has officially launched its new hybrid double-deck bus, the B5L, at the Euro Bus Expo show.

Volvo B5L Hybrid Double-deck Bus (Volvo Bus)

Volvo B5L Hybrid Double-deck Bus (Volvo Bus)

PRESS RELEASE

Volvo Bus is launching the latest generation of low environmental impact vehicles – the B5L Hybrid Double Deck Bus – at the Euro Bus Expo show in Birmingham UK.

The first of a batch of six Volvo Hybrid Double Deckers, takes centre stage on the Volvo stand at the Euro Bus Expo at the NEC. The advanced parallel hybrid technology on this vehicle, unique to the Volvo Group, offers potential fuel savings, air quality improvements and significant whole-life cost reductions in operation.

The six Volvo B5L Hybrid buses are due to enter service with Arriva London during the period December 2008 to January 2009 and will operate on Route 141, being based at Wood Green.

This new Volvo Hybrid will enter series production in the fourth Quarter of 2009 and deliveries of complete production double deck vehicles will commence early in 2010. There will be some early production vehicles on the road in 2009.

The chassis layout follows the same principles as the Volvo 7700 Hybrid, which was recently launched at the IAA in Hanover, with a rear offset driveline. The battery energy storage unit is installed under two of the seats in the lower saloon, just behind the front axle, to achieve the minimum intrusion into the gangway and to optimise the weight distribution.

The show vehicle features Gemini bodywork, from Wrightbus in Ballymena, which is already a familiar sight in double deck fleets across London. With an overall length of 10.4 metres, the vehicle offers 66 seats (45 upper saloon, 21 lower saloon) and space for up to 20 further passengers.

A Long Experience in Hybrid Development

The new Volvo B5L Double Deck is a testament to Volvo Buses long experience in hybrid development, which dates back to the early 1980’s, a timescale which also underlines Volvo’s commitment to its core value of Environmental Care. That long experience has been distilled into the refinements seen in this new concept, which has prioritised commercial viability.

Ever tougher environmental standards for buses, be it emissions or noise, combined with the uncertainties over fuel prices in the long term, mean that the time is now right for hybrids to enter the market in quantity. However, that can only happen if the product is a commercially viable proposition for the operator.

To ensure this, the Volvo Hybrid technology and components are shared across several Business Areas in the Volvo Group, in to order to achieve higher volumes: Volvo Trucks have recently announced a hybrid development and plans are well advanced at Volvo Construction Equipment.

“Irrespective of the environmental benefits, it is vital that hybrid technology is quickly seen to be a good investment for the operator, with savings in fuel and other costs paying for the additional costs of the driveline” says Steve Dewhurst, Managing Director of Volvo Bus UK & Ireland.

“Our development builds on the strengths of the Volvo Group and means that service support and parts availability will be to the standard of any Volvo product. That support will include leasing and contract maintenance packages as a matter of course”.

The Driveline Elements

The key elements of the Volvo Hybrid are:

•    D5E 4 cylinder 5 litre Volvo diesel engine to Euro 5 emissions level with SCR exhaust aftertreatment
•    Volvo ISAM Integrated Starter Alternator Motor electric machine to provide parallel operation of diesel and electric power
•    Volvo I-Shift 12 speed automatic transmission
•    Lithium-Ion Battery Energy Storage System, rated at 600 Volts, water cooled
•    Electrically-driven Air Compressor, Hydraulic Pumps and AC/Air Chill compressor

The chassis module is very similar to that of the existing Volvo B9TL Double Deck.  Many proven Volvo components can be identified from the front end through to the drive axle, driveline and rear suspension for maximum service commonality.

The Hybrid Vehicle Management System includes the software “brain” of the vehicle and this interfaces with the regular Volvo diagnostic functions.

The ISAM unit is integrated in the clutch housing between the diesel engine and the gearbox, this allows for combining the power inputs of both motors in the simplest way. In a parallel hybrid, the vehicle can be driven by both the diesel engine or the electric motor or any combination of the two.

This means that the diesel engine can be downsized from that of a conventional bus, and at the same time the electric motor can also be smaller, because it does not have to provide the maximum power level on its own. Combining the two sources provides the power needed to climb steeper hills or for maximum acceleration.

The strategy for managing the hybrid system prioritises fuel efficiency and therefore reduced emissions of carbon dioxide. At the same time, the range of gear ratios in the transmission means that the diesel engine can operate in its most efficient range more of the time.

It is also possible to operate in purely electric mode – at bus stops for example – to minimise local air quality emissions in sensitive areas: the bus can pull away from the bus stop in quiet electric mode and engage diesel power as the system requires for maintaining battery charge. Normal braking can drive the ISAM unit in alternator mode to achieve regenerative braking/energy recovery to charge the battery and this is another key step to reduce fuel consumption.

Driving the auxiliary systems with electric motors also saves energy because the load can be delivered when needed most – as with power steering where the most power is needed at low speeds so matching the demand avoids wasteful operation.

Thorough Development and Support

The Volvo parallel hybrid system has been under development for some years, as can be seen in the presentation of a development vehicle at Euro Bus Expo in 2006. During that period, single deck and double deck test buses have been undergoing a comprehensive development programme centred on Volvo’s Hällered test complex in Sweden.

The next step will be the in-service operation of six Double Deckers in London and a Single Deck bus in Sweden. As well as defining the best control strategies for the vehicles to deliver the best results, this operation will also give operators, drivers and maintenance staff the practical experience needed ahead of volume introduction.

The Arriva London vehicles will be taken care of through the Volvo Truck and Bus Centre at Enfield, as the hybrid package and much of the chassis will be on a Contract Maintenance agreement. In addition, Transport for London are supporting the programme.

The Potential Benefits

The Volvo Hybrid Concept should deliver significant savings in fuel consumption – potentially up to 30% – and corresponding reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas contributing to man-made global warming.The more effective use of the diesel engine will result in reduced emissions of NOx and Particulates, two key pollutants in urban areas.

The Hybrid bus will be quieter in operation because of the reduced use of the diesel engine. Passengers will also experience a smoother ride because of the characteristics of the electric motor and, in turn, service and mechanical maintenance demands should also be reduced because of the smoother operation.


Future Plans

Volvo Buses will be following the introduction of the hybrid system in Single and Double Deck buses with an articulated vehicle in the future.

Looking longer term, a parallel hybrid has the potential to also deliver fuel savings on intercity and express routes – although savings may not be as significant as on a citybus, the longer distances travelled in express services still result in significant fuel savings. There is therefore considerable potential for greater sales volumes in the future.

Speaking at the show, Steve Dewhurst said, “We see the new Volvo B5L Hybrid Double Deck as one of the most important developments in recent years. Whilst diesel-only powered buses are likely to continue to be the bedrock of bus fleets for many years to come, hybrid vehicle projects which can prove their commercial viability will be watched with great interest by operators in cities throughout the British Isles.”

Translink add to Volvo order-book

Volvo Bus have confirmed an order for 45 B7RLE single-deck buses with ADL Enviro 300 bodywork for Translink, as well as confirming current Bus Eireann and Dublin Bus double-deck orders.

Volvo Bus)

Volvo B7RLE ADL Enviro 300 (Photo: Volvo Bus)

PRESS RELEASE

Orders totalling more than 200 vehicles confirmed at this week’s Euro Bus Expo show have underlined the market-leading position of the current Volvo bus range in the British Isles.

Whilst the new Volvo B5L Hybrid Double Deck may have stolen the headlines at the show, the current Volvo bus line up – the Volvo B7RLE Single Deck and the Volvo B9TL Double Deck, which are now available with four and three body choices respectively – continue to rack up important orders, maintaining their positions as the market-leading products in their respective classes.

Volvo B7RLE – versatile, durable and economic

Volvo’s low entry single deck citybus, the B7RLE, is part of the B7R family – Volvo’s best selling chassis worldwide. Renowned for its versatility, economy, durability and reliability it’s easy to see why the B7RLE is a truly competitive, efficient chassis – ideal for any urban environment. Two examples of the Volvo B7RLE are on the Volvo stand at Euro Bus Expo.

The Volvo Wrightbus Eclipse Single Deck is now a mainstay of the FirstGroup fleet and the example featured – destined for service with First Leeds – has the tried and tested 7.1 litre Volvo D7E Euro 4 engine rated at 290hp coupled to the ZF 6 speed automatic gearbox.

The Wrightbus Eclipse bodywork features 44 seats and ACIS RTPI system, guide arm compatibility and ten camera CCTV system. A newly face lifted Eclipse 2 is also displayed on the Wrightbus stand, one of 10 Volvo B7RLEs poised to enter service with Lothian Buses.

Another long-standing Volvo customer, Transdev Blazefield, has ordered 19 Euro 5 compliant Volvo B7RLE Eclipse 2s for their Burnley & Pendle operation, whilst Warrington Borough Transport have ordered 12 similarly specified vehicles – their first of this combination – as part of their fleet upgrade programme, which are due to go into service on a variety of routes around the borough in June next year.

In addition to the 27 Volvo B7RLE Eclipses delivered in the summer to trentbarton for their Rainbow 5 service between Derby and Nottingham, a further 14 of the new Eclipse 2 bodied B7RLEs will be delivered in the New Year for their Calverton Link service running from Nottingham. GHA in Wrexham have also taken three of the Ballymena-bodied Volvo single decks.

A second Volvo B7RLE  is displayed on the stand, this time Euro 5 compliant and featuring the ADL Enviro 300 bodywork, which forms part of an order for 45 vehicles for Translink, It has 55 seats with 3&2 seating in the rear section.

The Volvo B7RLE is also available with body options from Plaxton in the guise of its Centro model and now, for the first time – Optare with its newly launched “Esteem” model.

Rotola plc has purchased 33 Volvo B7RLE single decks for use on its Diamond Bus Network in the Midlands, twenty-two of which feature the Plaxton Centro bodies and have gone into service on a number of key routes in the Black Country under the ‘Black Diamond’ brand. The remaining eleven B7RLEs have Wrightbus Eclipse bodywork and are entering service in partnership with Worcestershire County Council under the ‘Red Diamond’ brand.

Kent County Council
will be the first operator to put the new Volvo/Optare single deck combination into service with a total of six such vehicles. Whippet Coaches are hot on their heels, with three due to enter service on the Cambridge busway in 2009 – a further 10 Volvo B7RLEs with Wrightbus Eclipse bodies, operated by Stagecoach and fuelled by bio-diesel are set to join them.

Volvo B9TL – leader of its class

Over 500 Volvo B9TL Double Decks have been registered in the UK alone this year, and with body options available from Wrightbus, ADL and Optare further orders in the pipeline are likely to cement its leading position, both in the UK and Ireland.

The Isle of Man
will see their first ever new Volvo bus when 11 Wrightbus Gemini bodied Volvo B9TL Double Decks enter service on the island in early 2009.

Across the Irish Sea,  a batch of 10 B9TL Geminis are currently being delivered to Bus Eireann, whilst Dublin Bus is currently taking delivery of 50 Volvo B9TLs with ADL Enviro 400 bodywork, with a further 50 to follow, and their first ever Wrightbus double decks will enter service in the Irish capital before the year end.

London sighting tour operator Big Bus have recently taken delivery of 10 Volvo B9TL Double Decks with Optare Visionaire body work – three of which are open top, with the other seven “half top”. The Euro 5 compliant vehicles are being deployed on all three of the companies “hop-on hop-off” tour routes which take in many of the capital’s tourist sights.  A further order for 10 has been confirmed for delivery during 2009.

Speaking at the show, Volvo Bus Sales Director Phil Owen said, “Our product range and the comprehensive options available is attracting new customers as well as retaining existing Volvo operators. “We are committed to providing the best in customer service – from the initial quotation to the vehicle handover and support through the life of the vehicle, with an emphasis on being able to recommend the best driveline configuration for a particular application to maximise performance and optimise fuel return.”

He added, “Whether it’s product information, driver training, soft products or after sales service, we want Volvo customers to feel that they truly are getting the best.”