High-capacity single-deckers win Irizar Marshalls’ order
The first two 80-seater Irizar i4 Integral coaches in the UK have just gone into service with Leighton Buzzard operator Marshalls Coaches LLP.
Partner Glen Marshall explains that the order arose because the double-deckers the company previously used for high-capacity work could no longer access London thanks to the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone.
“These tri-axle coaches are effectively half the cost of a double-decker,” he says.
Marshalls Coaches runs a lot of school work, and the ability of the coaches to take large parties of schoolchildren into London is the key to their success.
Besides being the first 80-seat DAF-powered i4s in the country, the new coaches are also the operator’s first Irizar Integrals.
“We have heard some very good reports about Irizar Integrals: both in terms of the vehicles themselves and the reputation for customer service and aftersales support from the manufacturer,” Mr Marshall explains.
“The DAF driveline is a big plus, as we have had good success with other DAF-engined coaches,” he adds.
Marshalls Coaches’ 13.6-metre i4 Integrals feature the advanced DAF MX-11 300 engine with a 408 hp output driving the sophisticated ZF EcoLife automatic transmission. The 80 PPS seats have i-Leather headrests, are arranged in 3+2 pattern, and are fitted with ‘all-age’ seatbelts to suit them for their role in school transport. Cant-rail lighting serves as an additional safety feature.
Passenger entertainment includes Bosch audio and Actia video systems. Internal luggage capacity can be boosted with the addition of external detachable ski-boxes when required.
“We have a need for coaches with more than 70 seats, and the Irizar Integral i4 tri-axle provides us with a solution without the costs and issues associated with double-deckers,” Mr Marshall says. “If these Irizar Integral coaches work out, we will consider buying a couple more.”
He anticipates keeping the Irizars for at least eight to 10 years, during which time they will be maintained in the company’s own well-equipped workshop where staff have been trained on the new vehicles by Irizar.
Marshalls Coaches runs 40 coaches in total, and was founded by Glen Marshall’s parents back in 1974 with one coach and one contract. While Glen’s father is now retired, his mother remains active in the business, along with his brother Dean. The company is CoachMarque accredited, with corporate clients including The X-Factor, Strictly Come Dancing, and HSBC Bank. It also runs coach commuter services into London alongside its schools, corporate and private hire operations.