|East Lancs / Optare Esteem|
|Manufacturer||East Lancashire Coachbuilders/Optare (reverse takeover of Darwen Group)|
|Body and chassis|
Alexander Dennis Dart SLF
Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart
Alexander Dennis Enviro300
|Capacity||33 to 60 (up to 43 seated)|
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.
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Scania N230UB and MAN 12.240 chassis while the remainder are on Alexander Dennis Dart SLF chassis (which has now been superseded by the Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart).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. 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.
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.
- "Fleet News England and Wales". Buses (618): 46. September 2006.
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