Irizar UK delivers first wheelchair-accessible coach
Johnson Brothers of Worksop has taken the first wheelchair-accessible i6 integral in an order for two front-line coaches.
The 12.9-metre vehicle has a capacity for 57 passengers but is also equipped with a fully-automatic, side-mounted wheelchair lift and has seat tracking to accommodate as many as four wheelchairs. It will shortly be joined on the fleet by a similar 12.9-metre i6 with 57 standard seats.
Johnson Brothers’ Director Lee Johnson said steady demand for an existing wheelchair-accessible, touring coach had persuaded him to order a new one: “Our existing accessible coach is requested at least once a week so it made sense to order another.
“To Irizar’s credit, the factory in Spain has such a flexible build system, getting the configuration sorted out and actually receiving the vehicle was surprisingly quick. When we need the wheelchair space, the seat tracking allows us to simply slide existing seats together to create the space.”
Mr Johnson said his company’s experience of running National Express diagrams ensures they have in-house training for handling wheelchair restraint systems – essential for any accessible transport work. The company has chosen Unwin’s Quattro restraint system for ease of use.
Both coaches come with the i6’s comprehensive, standard equipment including alloy wheels and air conditioning, and have optional sat nav systems fitted.
“Of course, Irizar UK is run from our operating centre, but this in no way influences my choice of vehicle,” said Mr Johnson. “I always choose the best vehicle for the job, and this time, the i6 was the obvious choice.”