Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire Lake Sider branded Wright Gemini 3 bodied Volvo B5TL 13801 was pictured at Braithwaite Fold on July 18th whilst undergoing next stop audio announcement testing.
Seven Volvo B5TLs to part open top configuration, numbered 13801 – 13807, have been purchased to replace the fleet of former London-based Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Tridents that have been used on service 599 since 2009 from Kendal depot. The seven part-open top buses enter service during July and carry a new ‘Lake Sider’ livery from Best Impressions which replaces the current 599 ‘Lakes Connection’ livery. In a first for a Stagecoach regional fleet they have white LED destination screens with a full length destination screen, rather than just the route number, at the rear. They also feature next stop announcements and free Wifi.
Stagecoach’s order marks a change in the policy of using older donor vehicles for its open top fleet. It is also a departure from its normal buying policy that tends to concentrate on ADL products.
The displaced Dennis Tridents are due to move to other regional Stagecoach fleets in Scotland and the South East.
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.