A mix of long- and medium-bodied 311CDIs, they replace older units that are being withdrawn from service. Among the retirees are some Sprinters which have covered an average 180,000 miles apiece over four years.

Manchester-based ATB has equipped the new Sprinters with steel mesh bulkheads, reversing sensors and fluorescent interior lights. It has also removed the passenger seats to improve interior access.

Many of the new Sprinters will be maintained under four year Mercedes-Benz repair and maintenance agreements by the Blackburn, Bolton and Carlisle workshops of supplying dealer Ciceley Commercials.