North of England bus operator Transdev is investing £2.4m in an all-new fleet of 23 North West-built Strata Ultra buses from manufacturer Mellor as it prepares to launch a new network of routes across East Lancashire.
Transdev has placed an order to build its new buses with Rochdale-based Mellor – and the bus operator will create 50 new jobs when 18 of the new buses enter service on its new ‘Ribble Country’ branded bus network in Burnley, Pendle and the Ribble Valley on Sunday 2 May.
The remaining five new buses will be used from the same date on another new Transdev service between Preston, Higher Walton, Bamber Bridge and Leyland, also to be operated in partnership with Lancashire County Council.
Transdev has chosen Mellor’s Strata Ultra bus as it offers a fully accessible vehicle which can comfortably carry 30 customers in levels of comfort which match a full-size bus – yet can also navigate rural routes and busy town streets with ease.
CEO at Transdev Alex Hornby said: ‘As part of our new multi-year partnership with Lancashire County Council, we are thrilled to unveil the Ribble Country brand in tribute to the transport heritage of the area we are so proud to serve.
‘A new look and expanded network needs the right bus for the job – and we’re delighted to have chosen Mellor, a proudly local North West company, with our order for its class-leading Strata Ultra product which offers us the quality, reliability and flexible performance we need.
‘These impressive new buses will deliver an ideal blend of capacity with excellent fuel economy and combines Mellor’s rigorously tested coach-built bodywork with the proven Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis and drivetrain, which is fully compliant with tough Euro 6 low emission standards.
‘It’s an environmentally friendly, customer friendly design which will help us deliver on our mission to create buses people are proud to be seen on – and we can’t wait to welcome our Lancashire customers on board these amazing new buses next month.’
Mellor Bus Division managing director Mark Clissett commented: ‘This is a significant fleet delivery for us and an important new service for the people of east Lancashire.
‘Our Strata Ultra bus offers the ideal solution for regional transport operations where larger buses are simply not viable. Transdev’s new Mellor fleet will provide essential public transport across dozens of local towns and villages, linking communities and performing a vital daily service for thousands of people, while still delivering consistent productivity for Transdev.’