NOTTINGHAMSHIRE County Council has unveiled the first of a fleet of new, multi-purpose buses, heralding a different way of providing specialised and local transport for the county.
The county council has worked in partnership with Bluebird Vehicles of North Yorkshire and invested over £1m in the new, £76,000 state-of-the-art buses.
It has taken delivery of 10 of the 18 vehicles.
The stylish, low-floor, environmentally friendly buses can be used on all types of journeys, including trips to day centres and special needs schools.
They are based on a 15-seat layout, but can accommodate up to four wheelchairs. Some seating is on tracking, so can be removed if needed.
“We believe these buses show the way forward for local transport provision in Nottinghamshire,” said Mark Hudson, group manager transport and travel services for the County Council.
“Their multi purpose use will ensure that the County Council can make the most efficient use of this valuable resource, ensuring that service costs are contained and sustainable.
“Because they are multi-functional, they can undertake a variety of other work rather than being limited to one particular service.
“The low floor at the front means they can be easily accessed by all users and that in turn does away with the need for a tail lift at the back which helps save on maintenance costs.
“The first of the buses are currently being used on adult day care runs, but our aim is for them to provide fully operational integrated services right across the day.
”For example they might start the day doing a school run, then take a turn at running people to and from day centres before a spell as a local bus for rural areas, then returning for the school run again.”
The first time the buses will be used in such a way is likely to be early next year with a pilot project in the Newark area