Optare Solo - Solo
The first fifteen Solos in Warwickshire, 47001-15 (or originally 601-15) entered service at Leamington in October 2001 on route 66 and other local services. A grand unveiling of the Solos took place on 28th September 2001 outside Leamington Town Hall where the mayor cut a ribbon that was wrapped around 604. Also present were 601 and 603. Below are two pictures of 604 from the event:
During the event the Solos were displaying special messages on their front and side destination displays, as follows:
Stagecoach route 66
- Warwick to Whitnash
- via Leamington
- easy access buses
from 1st October 2001
Welcome aboard another brand new all singing all dancing easy access low floor bus for route 66
Below is the side of 603 showing "all singing" and a close up of "all dancing":
The first ten (601-10) have branding for route 66 (Warwick - Leamington - Whitnash (South Farm)) which runs every ten minutes throughout the day. Here we see the rear of 603 on 28th September 2001:
The other five (611-5) had special Solo branding advertising the features of the new buses. Below is a picture of 612 on 10th December 2001:
And here we see the special lettering applied to the rears of 611-5 on 614 on 12th October 2001:
Below is a picture of the interior of 601 taken during the launch of the Solos on 28th September 2001:
As part of Stagecoach's national fleet renumbering project 601-15 were renumbered 47001-15 in January 2003.
During 2003 three Solos joined the Nuneaton fleet, owned by Warwickshire County Council and numbered 47026-8 for subsidised services to Camp Hill. They wear WCC green and yellow Countylinks Chat! livery. Below is 47026 being passed by Volvo B6 31333 at Nuneaton Bus Station on 29th March 2004.
Following a re-tendering exercise in 2005, 47027 left the fleet for another operator. However, following a similar exercise in October 2006 it returned to Nuneaton as 47420.
The next nine, 47069-77 entered service at Nuneaton on 19th July 2004 as part of a major re-launch of the town services as Network Nuneaton. Consequently these vehicles all have Network Nuneaton branding. They were also the first Warwickshire vehicles to feature LED destination displays. 47071 is seen below on 23rd June 2005.
47354 was transferred from Cambridge to Leamington in December 2006 as an additional spare to cover enhancements to route 67, for which 47011-4 became branded.
A batch of eleven, 47508-18 replaced 47001-9 at Leamington from 12th November 2007. This batch feature a high specification interior with leather seats and Goldline branding for operation on route 66 - renumbered G1. The buses were launched on the grounds next to the Royal Pump Rooms by Chief Executive Brian Souter and others on the morning of 12th before going straight into service. Thanks to Stagecoach for the photo from the event below, in which Phil Medlicot (MD, Stagecoach in Warwickshire), Brian Souter (Chief Executive, Stagecoach Group) and John Deegan (Strategic Director - Environment and Economy, Warwickshire County Council) are pictured:
Last updated: 24-11-07
Stagecoach in Warwickshire
Bus Builder Optare