DAF driveline and Irizar kerb-appeal win Ashley Travel over to i6 Integral

DAF driveline and Irizar kerb-appeal win Ashley Travel over to i6 Integral

A brand-new Irizar i6 Integral has joined the 18-strong fleet at Sheffield’s Ashley Travel Ltd.

The 12.9-metre coach has 57 i6 seats with USB charging points, CCTV, and Actia DVD and Bosch audio systems.

Ashley Travel was formed from the coach division of Sheffield motor dealer Grant & McAllin in 1996 and still uses that company’s original colours. It now undertakes a wide variety of work, including tours, daytrips, school-runs and contracts.

The new i6 Integral will initially be allocated to tour work and prestigious contracts, but as Ashley Travel director Andrew Powell says, its 57-seat capacity will make it a useful tool for schools work as it ages and is cascaded down the fleet.

“It’s got the ideal compromise of comfort, leg-room and capacity,” he points out.

The new coach features DAF’s advanced 369 bhp MX-11 271 engine driving through a ZF EcoLife automatic transmission. Ashley Travel has had good previous experiences with coaches featuring the same drive-line, and as Andrew says, “The Irizar was very competitive on price, and has better kerb appeal than the other makes, in my opinion.”

Irizar (UK)’s proximity to Ashley Travel’s Sheffield base is another plus point: and Andrew rates the support for the vehicle as being first-class.

“There was apparently an issue with a batch of hoses that were supplied to the factory, but the first we knew of it was when Irizar (UK) replaced the hoses on our vehicle free of charge to pre-empt any problem that we might have.”

One of Ashley Travel’s older coaches will be cascaded out of the fleet at the end of the season to make way for the Irizar, but Andrew says the new coach is likely to stay with the company for a very long time.

“We can maintain everything in-house here, including major bodywork and engine rebuilds,” he asserts. “In fact, our biggest problem isn’t finding work for our vehicles, it’s recruiting enough drivers for them.”