Age UK Calderdale and Kirklees (Age UK C&K) took delivery at their Halifax Head Office of their new Citroen 12 seater wheelchair accessible minibus on 3rd May, from Essex based Minibus Conversion Specialists Stanford Coachworks.

The Relay L4 H2 long wheel base is one of four specialist vehicles delivered in the last 12 months from Stanford, as Age UK’s preferred supplier.  These complement another four vehicles, similarly adapted, provided by Stanford in 2007 and 2009.

The new bus requirement was urgent, owing to a newly obtained contract by  AGE UK C&K, so Stanford were able to supply a suitable bus quickly, this being their current demonstrator. The minibus was supplied via client associate Toomey Leasing of Chester and the conversion order took less than two weeks to fulfil.

The high-roof, 2.2lt 120BHP, demonstrator came with an extremely high specification with numerous additional features over and above the existing Age UK fleet. The ‘additional optional extras’ included Eberspacher climate control, satellite navigation, mobile phone preparation and a reversing camera with fold away monitor.

“In normal circumstances our budget wouldn’t allow for the optional extras,” explains Averil Thompson, Care Services Executive for AGE UK C&K. “Our ex-demonstrator was loaded with extras and with only 5000 miles on the clock, Stanford offered us a real knock down on the price tag.”

The base vehicle comprised of air suspension with a factory fitted N/S sliding door and a 600m/m wide electric side step with fold out high visibility rails and the relatively new AGE UK corporate livery was applied to the striking silver paintwork.

Semi-recessed low profile Unwin tracking system on a SCW M2 tested floor was fitted to this bus, allowing easy access and the securing of up to 4 wheelchair passengers, after the removal of the 11 detachable M2 Pheonix Blenheim single seats. All seats have MN1 seat legs and Ambla incontinence upholstery.

“The minibus will become an integral part of the Age UK team’s services in providing critical transport for their Daycare Services, Fitness Activities and Fun Social Events to people within the local community in need of assistance,” says David Hardacre of Stanford Coachworks.

David handed over the keys of the new Citroen minibus to Averil Thompson along with Alison Marsh, Central Services Executive, Janet Colbert, Day Centre Manager and Kerry-Lee Horton, Day Centre Manager, on the morning of the 3rd.

The new minibus will be in use daily, providing essential transport for Day Care clients who, without the adapted bus, would be unable to access the Day Centres.  It will also provide additional flexibility when there are community and social events which these clients, and others requiring adapted transport, will enjoy attending.

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