Wright's new entrant
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.
• Northern Ireland bus and coach manufacturer Wright's of Ballymena has launched its latest contender for the midibus market. The Consort range is available on a variety of chassis (CM 7 July) and its design allows for longer bodies.
In the near future Wright hopes to produce a 50-seat version, using Leyland Bus's Tiger chassis.
The vehicle's front-end design is reminiscent of Optare's City Pacer. Designer Trevor Erskine has made use of flat glass to cut down on replacement costs.
A brief test of the Swift and Iveco Ford-chassised models revealed no problems: of the two the Swift's mid-engined configuration, wider track and greater power offers superior handling and access. One minor irritant is the blind spot created by the driver's sliding-window frame, whose dimensions mean the front right pillar is thicker than need be. This could be remedied by moving the window closer to the front.
Wright has already sold welfare and touring coach-bodied Consorts to English and Scottish operators.
Humberside County Council has also bought one, built on the Dodge Commando chassis. St Thomas's Hospital in London has bought a Leyland Roadrunner R Consort for nonPSV use as a nurses, transport, and the Richmond upon Thames authority chose the Leyland Swift version. Ayrshire coach operator Joe Russell also chose the Swift chassis, with full touring coach specification.
Standard body and chassis prices start at around £27,000.