Community run Whitbread Wanderbus has taken delivery of a new Mellor Orion.
Based in Bedfordshire, Wanderbus has been in operation since 1989 and has been running two buses on its community transport service since 2016. Run entirely on volunteer time and charitable donations, the Whitbread Wanderbus offers scheduled routes during the week and permits private hire of the bus to other community groups. This arrangement ensures that local residents have access to reliable transport throughout the week and the wider community also benefits from having a modern, accessible bus available to them.
This recent delivery is the fourth Mellor bus for Whitbread Wanderbus; most of which have been Orions with the outgoing vehicle being a Mercedes Sprinter.
Committee member and Driver Assessor Trainer, Richard Thomas, explained: “We trialed a demo vehicle from Mellor and another company but we found the Orion came out on top; both operationally and from a maintenance point of view. Our first Orion proved to be reliable and fulfilled its function as a low-floor bus very well.”
The new bus has been supplied with Rescroft CT Lite and an additional two tip seats taking capacity to 16. All seats have been fitted with all-age provision seatbelts. The bus was also designed to have secure storage areas for the convenience of its passengers.
One of the main attractions of the Orion is its low floor with single step entry. The completely flat saloon and fold out front ramp makes the bus perfectly accessible to those with limited mobility and passengers with luggage or pushchairs.
Richard Thomas said: “Having looked at other models we decided that the Orion was the best low floor option and met our layout needs and budget.”
As the main duty of the bus is to run on scheduled routes, the newest fleet addition has been equipped with a destination display and ticket machine base.
Speaking of the order process and the bus itself, Richard Thomas said: “We have been very pleased with Mellor’s support and service. The specifications have been followed accurately and as agreed and delivery was exactly to schedule. We have worked with Mellor on four buses now and have always received excellent service from them.”