|East Lancs Visionaire/Optare Visionaire|
|Capacity||68 to 100 seated|
|Length||10.2 to 11.9m|
|Height||4.2 to 4.3m|
The Optare Visionaire (introduced in 2006 as the East Lancs Visionaire, and branded the Darwen Visionaire between 2007 and 2008) is a bus body built by Optare. It is in terms of engineering an open top Olympus (itself a double-deck variant of the Esteem) in all but name.
East Lancs Visionaire
The first orders were made in November 2006 by Arriva's The Original Tour for a £1.6 million order for ten, built on Volvo's B9TL Euro IV chassis. These all entered service and were the only order for the East Lancs Visionaire.
After East Lancashire Coachbuilders went into administration in 2007, the business was bought by the Darwen Group, and the East Lancs Visionaire was renamed the Darwen Visionaire. During this time, an order was received for a number of Visionaires.
An open top single decker, the Panaire, was also offered at the time.
Since the order for the Darwen Visionaires, Darwen Group performed a reverse takeover with Optare. Ten Optare Visionaires entered service on The Big Bus Company London tour. These were ordered in the Darwen period, but have been built under the new Optare name. Therefore, no Visionaires were built under the Darwen name, despite orders being taken. Wilts and Dorset received 9 Visionaires for use on the Purbeck Breezer services linking Swanage with Wareham, Poole and Bournemouth.
- Omnibus blog - "Managing growth is sometimes far more difficult than managing decline…" Accessed 1 September 2008
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