Page 20 - Independent Schools Magazine
P. 20

Introducing Minibus Lite
Minibuses are an integral part of your school’s daily function and we have an option that makes it ever easier and more economical to run – Minibus Lite, as presented by Bentley Walker Minibus
 While minibuses have long been a necessity for schools, something not as many have been aware of is Minibus Lite – an affordable and versatile lightweight minibus which can be driven on an ordinary driving licence. Minibus Lite was  rst introduced to address the situation where the number of teacher volunteer drivers with the automatic D1 entitlement on their driver licence was diminishing. Drivers who
took their B category driving test after Jan 1st 1997 were limited to smaller, lighter vehicles.
The Lite solution was a design where the vehicle maximum Mass was kept within the permissable amounts provided for within the schools section 19 permit.
This huge bene t provides schools with the previously accustomed number of potential drivers while still being safe, legal, compliant and cost effective. There are a whole plethora of reasons which make Minibus Lite a smart option for your school.
Firstly, there are a whole host of  nancial bene ts. With school budgets continually facing
cuts, it’s important to make your own budget amendments where necessary, but without compromising on the quality
of a service or the safety put towards the children. Minibus Lite eradicates the need to invest in a D1 licence which can be expensive and also require teachers to take time out of teaching to take it. A D1 licence is automatically given
to anyone who passed their test prior to 1st January 1997, but not to anyone who passed after this date. A D1 licence is a category which is required to legally drive
a minibus on a public road – and therefore a necessity for teachers looking to take pupils out.
Due to the lighter weight of Minibus Lite as opposed to other minibuses, it can result in the fuel cost being less, making it more economical. Whether to a school trip, a sports match or to transfer between campuses, minibuses
are a vital part of your school network and if you can easily, legally and safely save costs when investing in them, it can only be a good thing.
The minibus Lite has achieved the highest level of approval, European whole vehicle type approval (EWVTA) with standard, reduced mobility and wheelchair accessible versions in the range.
Requirements of this level of approval include the latest
Euro 6 emissions engines, more stringent seat strength tests, tilt tests to ensure vehicle stability and importantly, production conformity standards monitored by the UK vehicle certi cation agency.
Put simply, the highest levels of safety, quality and environmental performance.
The Lite concept also has
the bene t of providing fuel economy and generous passenger and luggage weight capability, very useful on those sports trips.
No restrictions have been lifted since 1997 and the requirements for vehicles have actually become stricter. Every vehicle
is professionally modi ed for purpose and includes a high standard spec with features such as electric windows, electric mirrors, central locking, electric door mirrors and Lane Departure Warning System. Optional features can include CCTV in the rear cabin, an opening roof
hatch and on board or under oor wheelchair lift – simply discuss your options when you call to get your Minibus Lite and it
can be tailored for your needs. Whether you need it to transfer equipment, pupils or for a range of different purposes, this ease of modi cation means you can tailor your Minibus to your organisations’ precise needs. Minibus Lites’ can be ordered on a range of  nance options and paid on a  xed monthly cost so there are no nasty and unexpected  nancial surprises!
When speaking about Minibus Lite, Julie Gogarty, the Managing Director at Bentley Walker said “Minibus Lite is a great option for schools. We hear so many cases where schools are hit by budget cuts or don’t have the time for teachers to take tests for their D1 approval on their licence. Minibus Lite takes away all this hassle and cost issues and enables schools
to focus on what really matters – the pupils.”
   20 Transport, Trips & Travel

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