High spec coaches win Optare Carmarthen route 17 February 2010

High spec capability and flexibility led to Optare getting the order for two buses for Ffoshelig Coaches in Wales.

Ffoshelig Coaches owner Rhodri Evans, who runs the Carmarthen-based operation, says, he wanted a high specification coach to compete on the 222 Carmarthen to Pendine service with a vehicle that would prove more attractive to passengers.

Optare Direct first supplied a Versa, equipped with 35 Rescroft Defender III high back seats and three-point seat belts, plus three tip-ups in the wheelchair/buggy bay. Optare also fitted red flooring to the company's specification and sprayed the bodywork to its standard cream.

Power for the Versa comes from a 5.9 litre, Euro 5 compliant Cummins ISBe six-cylinder engine, rated at 150kW and delivering 750Nm torque. That unit uses SCR (selective catalytic reduction) and is matched to an Allison 2100 Series five-speed automatic gearbox.

Subsequently, Optare delivered a Solo SE for Ffoshelig's Dial-a-Ride service around Carmarthen town, which runs under contract to Carmarthenshire County Council. That vehicle has 21 Esteban Urban 90 seats, plus two tip-ups, with destination equipment from Mobitec.

Power is from a 4.25 litre Mercedes-Benz OM904LA four-cylinder engine with a power output of 95kW, matched to an Allison 1000 Series five-speed auto transmission.

Brian Tinham

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