Rover European goes to Irizar for extra nearside door
An attractive appearance and the ability to add a centre door on the nearside of the coach were instrumental in helping Nailsworth, Gloucestershire operator Rover European Travel choose a new Irizar i4 Integral when the time came to refresh one of its 14-strong fleet.
The versatile vehicle will be used on a mixture of work, including a schools contract in nearby Stroud, and private hires.
Consequentially, the 12.9-metre coach has a unique spec, with 57 seats and centre door: but the seats are up-spec’d to the i6 type to offer a touch of luxury for its role as a hire vehicle. It also has the optional raised floor to offer increased luggage space for this role.
Other passenger benefits include a Bosch audio system, digital clock and extra tinted windows.
For additional safety, the vehicle has cant-rail lighting and extra rear side-marker lamps.
Rover European managing director David Hand explains: “We wanted a 57-seat coach that looked modern and attractive, and the i4 Integral fits the bill. This coach is used on a schools contract where we load and discharge passengers on a main road along with 19 other coaches! The additional nearside centre door helps us to do this as quickly and safely as possible.”
Driver comforts include a heated seat with twin armrests, and dash locker.
Its driveline consists of an advanced DAF MX-11 271 369 hp engine and ZF EcoLife automatic transmission.
David Hand said: “Over the years, we have switched over to vehicles with the DAF-ZF driveline and found it to be very good. The EcoLife gearbox is a bit of a departure for us as we have traditionally preferred manual transmissions, but they are becoming increasingly popular on this type of vehicle and the regular driver loves it.
“It’s not our first Irizar: we purchased a used i6 some years ago and found it to be very good both in terms of passenger appeal and from the operator’s point of view. The Irizar Integral vehicles are very easy to work on.
“We needed a new vehicle because many school trips go into London and a Euro VI engine is now essential. We expect the coach to be with us for six or seven years, or longer.”
Rover European Travel was found in 1947, by David Hand’s father. David is now managing director with his wife Carole as co-director, and the company specialises in British and European holidays along with a wide range of other coaching services.