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            october 18, 2019

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New Wrightbus low height double deck variant


Wrightbus have developed a new Low Height Double Deck variant of their class leading Gemini 2 bus, offering bus operators the flexibility to use double decks on routes that include low bridges. Working in conjunction with Arriva Yorkshire, the first of the new vehicles are now in service in rural areas, including routes which feature low bridges.
With more than 3,000 low bridges throughout the UK, this new vehicle potentially opens up many more bus routes to higher capacity double deck buses. Whilst only a small number of bridge strikes take place on our roads, they can cause a degree of disruption to road and rail services.  
“Our product development team had been considering this product extension for some time as we were keenly aware that, whilst bus routes serviced by double deck buses naturally seek to avoid low bridges, a lower height variant would give operators greater flexibility, enabling them to run double decks on rural routes,” explained Wrightbus Product Manager, David McCaughey. “So when Arriva approached us, we were ideally placed to turn the Low Bridge bus concept into reality.” 
The new Wrightbus Gemini 2 DL Low Bridge Variant boasts all the features of the “standard” Gemini 2 DL Double Deck, but is 170mm lower, providing an optimised product solution for low bridge routes.  
Specified with a Cummins 6.7 litre 250hp engine coupled to a choice of either a Voith or ZF automatic gearbox, the 10.4m double deck has an overall height of 4.23m and a capacity for 75 seats and 21 standees (the Arriva specification is for 65 seated and 26 standing passengers). The bus is fully compliant with the European Bus Directive. 
Common to the Gemini 2 DL product line up are features such as the latest Wrightbus interactive instrument and diagnostics panel, adjustable steering wheel and enhanced crash protection for the driver, as well as LED lights throughout. An optimised chassis frame and highly efficient driveline combine to give low weight and excellent fuel economy, whilst underneath the skin of the functional design lies the operationally proven Wrightbus Aluminique body construction. 
David Mc Caughey stated, “We have managed to reduce the height of the roof without noticeably affecting headroom and whilst maintaining commonality of many major parts with our mainstream double deck product – an important factor for us and Arriva,” he added. Indeed the new Wrightbus Gemini 2 DL Low Bridge Variant shares 85% of parts with the Standard 4.4m height Gemini 2. 
The first Low Variant Double Decks have already been delivered to Arriva Yorkshire, while Arriva North East have placed an order for 15. The new buses feature Arriva branding inside and out which creates a bright, contemporary feel. 
“These specially developed vehicles have all the advantages we’d expect from a Wrightbus double deck in terms of quality, style and comfort,” commented Arriva Yorkshire Engineering Director, Phil Cummins. “It provides a solution and gives us the flexibility to switch buses between routes, including routes where we previously couldn’t deploy double deck buses because of height restrictions.” 
Wrightbus Commercial Director Sam McLaren said “The Low Bridge Variant makes an excellent addition to our product range, sitting along side our standard height Gemini 2 Double Deck. It provides an effective and efficient solution and, whilst initially developed with lead customer Arriva, has significant potential for many other bus operators who will be all too familiar with the issues surrounding bridge-strike prone areas.”

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