The UK’s best-selling British-built coach, the Plaxton Panther, took centre stage in the line-up of vehicles from Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) at last weekend’s UK Coach Rally, in Blackpool.
The three Panther exhibits demonstrated the adaptability of the class-leading vehicle, highlighting the multiple options that enable operators to mix, match and design the specification best suited to their operational needs, whether it be for two or three-axle models.
One of the coaches shown was one of five 14m, 61 seat, three-axle Panther that will go into service with Lothian Motorcoaches shortly. It features a new entrance arrangement that reduces step height at both the main entry door and into the gangway, making access and egress easier, particularly for the elderly or less mobile.
Alongside was an equally impressive 14m tri-axle Panther operated by Bradshaw’s Travel, based in Poulton-Le- Fylde, Lancashire. It was introduced to their fleet straight after the rally, joining a 12.2m Panther they took delivery of just the week before and forming part of their extensive operations across the North West, Central England and Scotland.
A family business that has grown steadily over the past 25 years, Bradshaw’s Travel has a reputation for quality services, reliability and consistency, combining value for money propositions with showcase vehicles that offer luxury, style and performance.
Their latest addition meets all of the criteria, incorporating I-Shift transmission, 61 passenger seats, centre demountable toilet, mid-point full-height exit door, auxiliary heater, fabric and leather trim seats, adjustable footrests and seatback tables.
Completing the Plaxton line-up at Blackpool was a used 12.8m two-axle Panther on B11R chassis, which, said Richard Matthews, ADL’s Sales Director Retail Bus and Coach, demonstrates the popularity and outstanding residual value associated with any Plaxton coach.
He commented: “We were delighted to participate at the UK Coach Rally in Blackpool once again.
“Our vehicle line-up this year focused on one of the best-selling British-built coaches, the Plaxton Panther. Like all of our range it highlights the versatility available from ADL and Plaxton, enabling operators to customise and personalise vehicles to fit their particular needs.
“Built to last, the Panther is also best-in- class in terms of whole-life costs and fuel efficiency, and, of course, has a stainless steel body structure on a Volvo chassis, all of which combines to give it a track record second to none and unparalleled residual value. Couple that with our nationwide after sales support package and it is a powerful proposition.”
The Coach Rally was well attended by operators, manufacturers and trade press. Among the winners were Plaxton coaches operated by Coopers Tours and Johnson Bros Tours – congratulations to all the worthy champions and those who took part.