Built at the Plaxton factory in Scarborough on Volvo B11RLE chassis, they will replace and expand the Oxford Tube fleet this summer. The frequent express service connects Oxford and London around the clock, with departures scheduled every 8-10 minutes at busiest times.
Customers of the premium coach service are set to benefit from the latest in passenger comfort with on-board features including wireless and USB charging, reading lights and extendable tables complete with mobile device and cup holders throughout, in addition to extra leg room and reclining seats. In addition, the new coaches have been designed to improve the service for those with additional accessibility needs with a more seamless boarding process for wheelchair users.
Five of the new coaches will be fitted with roof-mounted solar panels in a trial designed to reduce auxiliary energy loads on the engine, bringing down emissions and delivering greater fuel efficiency.
The Plaxton Panorama was first launched in 2018 and has quickly established itself as the UK’s leading double deck coach. With a flat lower saloon floor, its interior can be tailored to the requirements of express coach operations with flexible configurations that enhance accessibility.
Mark Ballam, Coach Commercial Manager at Alexander Dennis, says: “This new order is a resounding confirmation of the concept of the Plaxton Panorama, which has been designed to offer operators unrivalled flexibility. The 34 Plaxton Panorama taking over Europe’s most frequent coach service will prove themselves to be dependable workhorses in a highly demanding operation, where they are bound to win over customers with an outstanding journey experience.”
Chris Coleman, Managing Director at Stagecoach in Oxfordshire, says: “The new solar panels are an innovative way to look to other sources of energy to power the on-board features and part of our overall strategy to offer more sustainable travel options for our customers. The new coaches will offer customers the latest in comfort and design features will make the journey even more comfortable, enjoyable and convenient for those travelling with us.”