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Rotala on the road to success with new environmentally friendly bus fleet

Rotala Plc, the bus, coach and transport firm operating in Birmingham and Manchester, has purchased a new suite of buses as it looks to enhance its operations with an environmentally friendlier fleet.

The £3.2 million purchase of 19 fuel efficient and low emission vehicles will replace a fleet of older units as well as remove those currently on hire, reducing the average age of its assets and associated maintenance costs.

The new fleet has been purchased for its Diamond Bus (North West) Ltd and Hallmark Connections Ltd businesses, part of the wider Rotala Group which services 40 million passenger journeys per year.

The new buses will provide Rotala with greater efficiencies including fuel improvements and lower emissions as well as additional operational cost savings. The investment will also allow the firm to maintain reliability of its services and comply with the latest government regulations.

In addition to improving reliability and performance, the new fleet enhances passenger experience through additional features such as e-leather seating, USB charging points and WiFi.

Simon Dunn, chief executive at Rotala, which financed the purchase through a hire purchase asset ownership facility from Shawbrook Bank, said: ‘This investment will enable Rotala to improve its business operations in both Birmingham and Manchester through the replacement of several legacy vehicles.

‘The new state of the art, fuel efficient and environmentally friendlier fleet will not only reduce our carbon footprint but provide our customers with a reliable and comfortable service while strengthening the Rotala brand across two of the UK’s largest cities.’

Rotala owns and operates a number of companies in the business of bus, coach and transport management services. The operations are undertaken by various depots throughout the United Kingdom but focused on two key areas for local passenger transport – Manchester and Birmingham.

Simon added, ‘We required lending partners with deep sector expertise that really knew our industry inside out. The team at Midlands Asset Finance is incredibly knowledgeable and did a great job in helping us secure the funding we needed with Shawbrook. Despite all the current challenges brought on by the impact of Covid-19, both Midlands Asset Finance and the specialist team at Shawbrook were able to see the potential and benefits of this investment and worked hard to get the funding in place for us.’

Andy Bullock, business development manager at Shawbrook, said: ‘As a specialist lender, this was a great opportunity to support a strategically important business which is embedded in the transport infrastructure within Birmingham and Manchester. It is well established with a strong management team which has managed the Covid-19 crisis well.

‘It has been a pleasure working with the team and it will be great to see the continuing upgrade of the fleet to a modern, super efficient and environmentally friendlier one that is providing a crucial service across Birmingham and Manchester to many, many people in both cities.’

James Dutton, sales director at Midlands Asset Finance, who introduced the deal to Shawbrook, said: ‘We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with both the team at Rotala and with Shawbrook.

‘Our honest and open dialogue with Rotala management provided us with clarity and a good understanding of their needs. This allowed us to present the opportunity to Shawbrook who we knew would deliver in a quick and efficient way.

‘Understandably, we have seen many lenders reduce their credit appetite this year. However, by demonstrating a clear picture of the client, showing its experience in the sector and articulating its rationale for purchase we have been able to secure the funding Rotala requires.’


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