Rotala places £3.6 million order with Optare 07 March 2011

An order for 20 buses valued at £3.6 million has been placed with Optare by Rotala, the fast-growing, Midlands-based independent bus group.

The order includes 15 Versa bus hybrids – acquired with a contribution of £1.7 million from the Government's Green Bus Fund – as well as three Solo SRs and two Versas, which are diesel only.

All the buses use Mercedes-Benz diesel engines and, in the hybrids, the engine is combined with the Siemens/Bluways hybrid system, using ultra-capacitors.

They all meet the same specification as the four Solo SRs delivered last year for the Signature branded services centred on Solihull.

"The luxurious specification is aimed at making bus travel more attractive to the public by creating a pleasant and comfortable environment in which to travel," comments Simon Dunn, CEO of Rotala.

"Other features, such as Wi-Fi connectivity, further improve the customer experience. Additionally the usage of hybrid power provides both an environmentally friendly option and also reduces fuel consumption."

John Challen

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Optare plc

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