After several weeks of negotiations Medtronic arranged for their UK agent to visit and view the recommended buses. After several more days of discussion Medtronic decided against our recommendation and chose RSP09, a then recently converted Optare Excel 11.5m single decker bus to undertake the tour.
This caused both delight and trepidation with senior management, delight in the fact we had secured the tour and trepidation because this particular make of bus had never been exported in to Europe meaning there were no spare parts or mechanical experience anywhere other than the UK
Another aspect was that the bus would be travelling to European countries and cities that were, like London, heavily invested in Low Emission zones (LEZ) and the vehicle didn’t comply with any of these regulations, meaning that in some cities it would be barred from entry or heavily fined, without a major engine exhaust upgrade.
Last but not least the bus would be travelling too and through many different countries within East and West Europe, each with their own sets of regulations relating to large vehicles, the exhibition vehicle had to comply with each of these countries regulations
It is safe to say a large amount of time and money was spent on lowering engine emissions, preventative maintenance, compliance requirements and spare parts preparing the vehicle for its upcoming journey, so much so the start date was changed to November 2015 and ending January 2016
In addition to the internal and external branding to the bus, we removed one of the vehicles seats and installed a cupboard, which also doubled up, with the addition of another TV, as a games station for a medical simulation program for visitors to test their medical skills on inserting pacemaker.
Last but not least the rear room of the vehicle had a cupboard with extending top installed creating a display area for the a large test kit for demonstration purposes