Reading Buses is expanding its fleet of gas-fuelled vehicles with a further 17 double-deckers for its cross-town 24hr Purple 17 route. It also is reviving the Thames Valley name for a new network of routes in Slough where it is expanding as First reduces its presence in Berkshire.
Mechanically similar to five vehicles delivered a year ago, the new double-deckers have 11.44m Scania N280UD chassis and
Alexander Dennis Enviro400 bodies. But while the earlier delivery was of single-door layout within the standard MMC body, these latest vehicles are to the City design with glazed staircase and wrap-round windscreens, and have a centre exit door to reduce dwell times at busy town centre stops. This follows its earlier evaluation of a twodoor London-specification Enviro400 City demonstrator.
They have been part-funded with a grant from the UK government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) announced in 2016 towards the purchase of 16 buses fuelled by compressed biogas.