More minibuses, but Marshall bides its time
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THE GROWING interest in small buses shows no sign of abating, but it is not strong enough to convince Marshall that the time is right for it to relaunch the Bedford midibus.
Marshall's market survey on the JJL established that there is a potential market for a 20 to 25-scat midibus, but it says that the uncertainty over deregulation is causing public sector operators to adopt very cautious buying policies.
It also believes that there is a surplus of under-used large buses in the country, but will review its position next year.
Meanwhile, Optare has introduced a 16-seat luxury minicoach based on the Freight Rover Sherpa.
It has a redesigned rear end
with a single central door to give improved structural rigidity and full soft trim.
It is the second model to be announced by the special vehicles division at the former Leyland Bus Charles Roe factory at Leeds. Optare Sherpas are to be supplied through Hargreaves Vehicle Distributors of Pudsey, West Yorkshire.
• Midland Red West has placed 61 Mercedes-Benz (081) 20-seat midibuses in service on its new intensively marketed (:itibus network in Worcester.
The frequent services are being manned by 70 newly recruited drivers, operating on a stop-anywhere basis outside the city centre. They replace services operated by Leyland National single-deckers.
Robin Hood of Fareham. Hampshire, provided 40 of the buses, PMT Engineering 19, and Alexandcrs of Falkirk and Sparshatts of Hampshire one each.