News Releases

New Oxford Tube coaches take to the road

16 Jul 2014

New features including panoramic glass roof and more leg room

Enhanced free 4G WiFi and audio-visual next stop announcements 

Fleet of 26 new vehicles have the latest Euro 6 engines and use a greener fuel blend

Inaugural trip to London for afternoon tea for competition winners and charity volunteers

Passengers travelling on the Oxford Tube will travel in even greater comfort and style from today (Wednesday 16 July) following the launch of a £10million fleet of brand new fleet coaches.

Customers travelling between Oxford and London on the Oxford Tube can now choose to relax on the upper deck beneath a panoramic glass roof which creates a lighter interior. Additional leg room is also available in many seats and passengers will benefit from high speed 4G WiFi during their journeys.

Hugh Thompson from Oxford Tube’s charity of the year, Helen and Douglas House, officially launched the new fleet today (Wednesday 16th July) along with Martin Griffiths, Chief Executive of Stagecoach Group and Martin Sutton, Managing Director of the Oxford Tube.

The £10million investment by Stagecoach is the largest ever investment into new coaches for the Oxford Tube route. The new vehicles have Euro 6 engines which make them amongst the cleanest vehicles available. They also run on B30 fuel - a greener mix of 30 % recycled biofuel and 70 per cent standard diesel.

Key features of the new coaches are:

Panoramic glass roofs allowing greater use of natural light

Additional leg room

High-speed 4G WiFi

Power sockets and USB sockets

More luggage racks for carry-on items

New automated audio- visual communication system offering clear arrival and departure information 

Specially designed and manufactured by Van Hool in Belgium, the new coaches will provide more enjoyable journeys for Oxford Tube passengers.

Martin Griffiths, Chief Executive of Stagecoach Group said, “These new vehicles are fantastic news for the many customers who regularly use the Oxford Tube. This £10million investment we have made here is clear evidence of the level investment we are making in new vehicles every year and shows our commitment to delivering improvements for our customers to attract even more people on to our greener, smarter services.”

Martin Sutton, Managing Director for Oxford Tube said, “We have listened to customer feedback and worked to ensure that the new coaches offer additional and improved facilities. The combination of the Euro 6 engine and B30 fuel also means that our customers know that they are choosing the most environmentally friendly way to travel between Oxford and London.”

To mark the introduction of the new fleet, Oxford Tube launched a competition encouraging the public to tweet #CoachWithAView. Winners, who had been drawn at random, were invited to go on the inaugural trip of the new coaches to London for afternoon tea at the Grosvenor Hotel in Victoria, London.

Oxford Tube and Stagecoach in Oxfordshire also used the special occasion to announce their involvement with local charity Helen and Douglas House. Staff members nominated and voted for the charity to become their charity of the year and have committed to focus all of their fundraising efforts on the charity for the year ahead. Oxford based charity, Helen House opened in 1982 as the world's first children's hospice. Douglas House opened in 2004 specifically for young adults aged 16-35.* Oxford Tube not only handed over the first cheque which will buy a special waterbed for children so they can both feel and hear music**, but they also donated 14 seats on the inaugural coach trip to London for volunteers of the charity to enjoy a well deserved treat.

Hugh Thompson from Helen & Douglas House said, “We are delighted to have been chosen to benefit from the support of Oxford Tube and Stagecoach, Oxfordshire. As a charity providing dedicated care and support to local young people and their families, this partnership makes a lot of sense. We look forward to working together to promote not only the work of Helen & Douglas House but also the fantastic fundraising efforts that Oxford Tube and Stagecoach, Oxfordshire are planning to do in the coming months. We are looking forward to getting on board.”

Ends

Pictures:

Martin Griffiths, Chief Executive of Stagecoach Group, Hugh Thompson from Helen and Douglas House and Martin Sutton, Managing Director of Oxford Tube and Stagecoach Oxfordshire cut the ribbon to launch the new £10million Oxford Tube fleet.

Martin Sutton, Managing Director of Oxford Tube and Stagecoach Oxfordshire and Martin Griffiths, Chief Executive of Stagecoach Group take a look at the new panoramic roofs on board the new Oxford Tube coaches.

For media enquiries, please contact:  Stagecoach Group Communications on 01738 442111 or email: media@stagecoachgroup.com

*To find out more about Helen and Douglas House, please go to: http://www.helenanddouglas.org.uk/

** The water bed is a Vibroacoustic waterbed. The item allows the child to feel the music as well as hear it, for a full body experience of sound, vibrations and water sensation, This is possible by a built-in dual coil- speaker which infuses the body with soothing and relaxing musical vibrations along with beneficial warmth from the water.