Meet Edward James….
Successful trials with DAF coaches led to family-run Chandlers Coach Travel of Wiltshire putting its marker down on a new i6 Integral from Irizar UK of Worksop.
The coach was emerging from the factory when the family had another new arrival – Edward James, first grandchild of company owner Margaret I’Anson and husband Chris: “Our son’s baby was due in January but it was while we were in San Sebastian in February, finalising the details of the coach with Irizar , that we got a call to say Edward James had arrived,” says Margaret.
“Irizar UK’s Spanish Director, Juan Irigoyen, immediately bought the bubbly and then asked if we name our coaches. We don’t usually, but we thought this was a lovely idea, and now the coach is also Edward James.”
Little Edward James has already been behind the wheel of the coach, though it’s too soon to ask his opinion of it, but Margaret says: “I have driven it and it is a lovely drive. Since it arrived, though, we’ve barely seen it. It has been to Paris, Bruges and other destinations on our private hire and tour programme. We are pleased with it and passenger reaction is very favourable.”
Chandlers, which runs 13 vehicles from its Westbury base, spotted the coach at last year’s Euro Bus Expo: “I thought it was very attractive. I would have been happy with a stock vehicle but Irizar UK’s Business Development Manager, Julie Hartley, persuaded us that we deserved a bespoke vehicle. The new livery was designed in Spain, too.”
Chandlers was established by Margaret and her husband with two Bedfords and next year celebrates its 25th anniversary. The company usually replace a vehicle every year, but Margaret is not saying whether the Chandlers Silver Anniversary vehicle will be another Irizar i6….
The 12.9-metre coach has 53 PB seats with footrests and seatback tables, wood-effect flooring, a centre toilet, twin-screen DVD system and reversing camera. It is powered by DAF’s acclaimed MX11 271 engine, and has a ZF AS-Tronic auto-shift gearbox.
Caption: Edward James meets his namesake. His mother, Hannah Mellen, grandmother Margaret, her husband Chris and dad Jack (l-r) get the keys from Irizar UK’s Business Development Manager Julie Hartley (second from the left)