Twenty new wheelchair accessible IVECO Daily minibuses have been bought by Devon County Council for school transport.

The new vehicles offer improved passenger comfort, lower fuel costs and reduced emissions thanks to the latest generation Euro VI diesel engines.

IVECO BUS won the contract following a competitive tender. Tiverton-based Courtside Conversions, part of the IVECO BUSMASTER advocate programme, was selected to carry out the conversions to the council's specification, following the conversion of six similar Daily minibuses in 2016.

Daniela Pleiss, senior procurement officer at Devon County Council, said: 'IVECO BUS and converters Courtside Conversions ticked all of the right boxes and could offer the exact specification we wanted.

'Their proposal also offered the best value and we had confidence in the product to meet our requirements over a long life in service'

Each of the new 17-seat Daily 50C15 minibuses has a gross vehicle weight of 5-tonnes and is fitted with tracking for up to six wheelchairs to be secured on board. Access is via a nearside passenger door featuring a cut-in triple step entrance with safety grab rails on both sides, or via an inboard tail-lift at the rear doors for wheelchair passengers.

The minibuses have been built with LED lighting which can be controlled by the driver, a glass emergency lift-up roof vent in the centre of the saloon and a heater to keep the passenger area warm. Large windows offer excellent passenger views and roller-blinds are fitted to all side windows.

Power is provided by a 3.0 litre IVECO diesel engine with a six-speed manual gearbox to ensure plenty of power for the hilliest local terrain.