The bus and coach industry - vehicle builders, component manufacturers and suppliers – is showcasing its products at Euro Bus Expo 2016 at the NEC. The show opened on November 1st and runs for three days. It provides the opportunity for deals to be done between manufacturers and bus and coach operators. It also gives the media the opportunity to get updates direct from companies exhibiting and SKM was there.
The first day of the show kicked off with a press briefing from ADL, who announced that 2015 had been a record year with 2,750 units (vehicles) sold with revenues for 2016 expected to exceed £600 million for the second year in a row. But there was a sound of caution in that 2017 will herald the post DDA deadline and also the impact of the Brexit announcement. That said in the UK ADL maintains a 60% market share of the single deck market and a 50% market share of the double deck market.
A success this year has been the order for 20 Enviro 200s from Trent Barton, which represents the first new buses from ADL (and its previous incarnations) for almost 20 years and follows the order last year for new coaches for the Red Arrow operation.
ADL is also supplying the first ever double deck buses in the UK, which are going to innovative Reading Buses. They have a 10%-20% lower CO2 emission than a standard Euro 6 diesel powered vehicle. Also on the ADL stand was one of the electric Enviro 200EV vehicles that are being supplied to Go Ahead London for the former Red Arrow 507 and 521 routes.
But it was evident that the showpiece was the Enviro 400City, which was on display. The demonstration vehicle has what ADL calls it’s ‘Passenger Plus Pack’. This has leather seats with a smart console in the seat back. The console incorporates a wireless bell push, USB socket and a power socket and LED reading lights. Also fitted are a coat hook and a fold down table. Wates bins have also been incorporated on both saloons, something ADL says operators are calling for.
On the upper deck, executive style single seats next to the staircase maintain passengers’ privacy while making it easy to move around at this potential pinch point. Social seating is grouped around tables which have USB power sockets integrated in their surface. The social seating areas at the back of the top deck offer an unrivalled feeling of spaciousness thanks to the wrap-over SkyView rear window that complements three wide, glazed SkyLights along the length of the bus. The absence of vertical hand rails in the upper saloon gives a spacious, airy appearance that is enhanced by its deep side windows. Ambient and dimmable saloon lighting is complemented by LED downlighters to create a mood lighting experience.
Also under development is an Autonomous Emergency Braking System (AEBS) for buses.
Unlike similar systems in coaches, which are primarily designed for motorway running, this AEBS focuses on situations typical to urban bus operation and prevents collisions not only with other motor vehicles, but also with pedestrians and cyclists. It utilises cameras fitted to the windscreen and radar sensors located behind the front dash.
The first ADL buses with AEBS are currently undergoing rigorous testing to validate and calibrate the system ready for a market launch towards the end of next year in the Enviro 200 and Enviro 400 ranges.
Steven Knight is a Transport Specialist who has over 40 years experience in the bus and rail industries as well as in specialist transport journalism. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists.