Optare Esteem

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East Lancs / Optare Esteem
PO58 KPV (Route 40) at Churchill Square, Brighton (14973447368).jpg
The Sussex Bus East Lancs Esteem bodied Volvo B7RLE in Brighton in September 2014
Manufacturer East Lancashire Coachbuilders/Optare (reverse takeover of Darwen Group)
Production 2006–2009
Body and chassis
Chassis Scania N94UB
Scania N230UB
Volvo B7RLE
MAN 12.240
Alexander Dennis Dart SLF
Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart
Alexander Dennis Enviro300
Capacity 33 to 60 (up to 43 seated)
Length 10.7-12.2m
Width 2.52m
Height 2.9m

The Optare Esteem (introduced in 2006 as the East Lancs Esteem, and sold as the Darwen Esteem between 2007 and 2008) is a low-floor single-decker bus body. It has been built on Scania N94UB, Scania N230UB, Volvo B7RLE, MAN 12.240, Alexander Dennis Dart SLF, Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart and Alexander Dennis Enviro300 chassis.

Metrobus East Lancs Esteem bodied Scania OmniTown in Brighton in September 2013
An Esteem owned by Epsom Coaches. This is one of the early examples having sides of the older Myllennium style.

The Esteem was launched by East Lancashire Coachbuilders. When they went into administration, they were bought by Darwen Group and the Esteem was rebranded. Darwen later performed a reverse takeover of Optare, resulting in the Esteem being rebranded again.

Metrobus have the largest number of the original East Lancs Esteems, some of which are on Scania N94UB, Scania N230UB and MAN 12.240 chassis while the remainder are on Alexander Dennis Dart SLF chassis (which has now been superseded by the Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart). The first two Esteems to be built on the Alexander Dennis Enviro300 chassis were delivered to Courtney Coaches in 2006, and were the first Enviro300s with bodywork not built by Alexander Dennis.[1] Other companies who have Esteems in service are Stagecoach in Preston, Heathrow Airport (on contract to an operator) and many more.

The first few examples of the Esteem only had new front and rear ends with a front port window and an arched top, the sides still being of the older Myllennium design.

There are also two double-decker variants of this body - the Olympus that is a closed top double-decker and the Visionaire that is an open top double-decker. An open top single decker, the Panaire was also available but no orders were ever placed.

A East Lancs demonstrator has toured the UK (2006/2007, some of the main places it has been to are London, with Blue Triangle; Nottingham, with Nottingham City Transport; Reading, with Reading Buses Picture, Blackburn, with Blackburn Transport and Southampton, with Uni-link.

The first cutomers for the Esteem under Darwen ownership were Preston Bus, one of whose vehicles was shown at Coach and Bus Live 2007.

As of December 2008, the Esteem has been removed (along with the Solo+) from the products list on Optare's website. Production of Optare Esteem ended in 2009, with the last being built on Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart chassis for Go-Ahead London.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Fleet News England and Wales". Buses (618): 46. September 2006. 

External links[edit]