April Fools support new initiatives
Across the country, operators took advantage of April Fools Day to draw attention to new initiatives they were launching, adding a touch of humour to positive developments for customers:
Nottingham City Transport (NCT) have introduced seven new Scania ADL E400 double deckers with free Wi-Fi, audio announcements, real-time technology and interior green mood lighting on their South Notts route 1 from Nottingham and Loughborough. The April 1st launch announcement claimed the vehicles featured a world exclusive in smart paint technology, allowing Nottingham City Transport to change the colour of the bus in real time to match customer demand. The smart paint technology purported to use the on board Wi-Fi and a ‘Colour Dashboard’ app controlled by the driver or control room operator, to enable buses to be branded for Navy Line for one journey and Lime Line for the next. It was supported by a YouTube video featuring NCT Marketing Manager, Anthony Carver-Smith.
The vehicles which feature slip-resistant Altro flooring and high back seating on the upper deck are the first of 22 new vehicles NCT are investing in during 2015.
Prentice of Haddington
It was to be fresh air all the way for customers of Prentice of Haddington’s new 111 Coastal Route from Haddington to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary which will start on 4th May. The April 1st announcement claimed it would be operated by the first ADL Enviro 200 Cabriolet registered AF15 PCH (April Fool 15) with fully retracting roof and drop down windows.
In reality, fully enclosed vehicles will operate the new route traversing the road dubbed ‘Scotland’s Golf Coast’, passing through Gullane where the 2015 Scottish Open will be held in July. Like all of Prentice’s services, live tracking of the route with timetable overlays will be available through the company’s ‘App-Prentice.’ The April Fool also suggested this would show if the vehicle is running with its roof open or closed.
Maynes of Buckie
In a different vein and apparently just an April Fool, Maynes announced that they would be importing a range of coaches from South Korea including the Korean Star ‘Nae Lang’ midi coach and ‘Affa Lang’ 49 seat executive coach. Their entrepreneurial spirit even extended to importing the vehicles through their local harbour at Buckie!