Feeling the heat with Reading Buses


Reading Buses has been transporting passengers in and around Reading for almost 100 years. Since 2005, they have spent millions upgrading their current fleet and adding to it with low emission buses.

The Challenge

In the fleet are 27 Optare Olympus double deck vehicles, originally fitted with Perma radiators on the upper saloon and blown convector heating on the lower saloon. The lower saloon units had been discontinued and the heating was failing. This left Reading with a big problem and they turned to Grayson for a fix.

The Grayson Solution

Our Area Sales Manager, together with an engineer, visited Reading and devised a solution to convert the lower saloon to a similar unit as fitted to the upper saloon. Having decided to trial the new system on a test vehicle to assess heating performance, the bus was converted at Grayson’s Birmingham service depot.


Just a few weeks into the trial, Reading Buses was thrilled with the conversion. With frequent complaints from drivers and passengers regarding noise levels, Reading was pleased to report that, thanks to reduced noise from the blower motors, the system was much quieter and the saloon was warming up quickly. Grayson went on to convert the remaining 26 vehicles, with every kit made in Grayson’s factory in Birmingham and delivered to Reading Bus’s depot.

A word from the client

“Grayson engineer, Louis Steenkamp, who carried out the work went the extra mile. He worked during evenings, early mornings, and weekends to ensure we still had the vehicles available for everyday service, which is vital to us as a company. All vehicles were handed back to us after the conversion cleaned and ready for service.”

Reading Buses, Engineering Manager Philip Herlingshaw

“Grayson were great! They managed the project for us, supplied the materials and completed the work to our time-scale and to a very high quality. Service like this keeps Reading Buses coming back.”

Reading Buses, Chief Engineer John Bickerton