British engineering firm helps to solve french tourist problem

What do you do when you need to transport tourists back and forth to an attraction with limited space in which to turn around? Build a bus with two fronts of course.

The tricky problem occurred with the building of a new bridge to ferry tourists to the legendary Mont Saint-Michel in northern France.

The tidal island, half a mile off the coast of Normandy, draws three million visitors every year who are keen to see the monastery and commune that lie within the UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site.

With so many people visiting, and such limited space to turn a tourist shuttle bus, a clever solution was required to ease the sticky situation.

A Coventry company was part of the answer.

The bus, which is built by Cataeno Bus in Portugal is a Contrac product.

Pailton Engineering, via its German plant – Pailton GmbH – supplies essential parts to Contrac partner Paul Nutzfahrzeuge GmbH for the unique tourist shuttle buses that have two fronts, enabling both forwards and backwards operation without the need to turn around.

Award-winning Pailton Engineering, based in Coventry, is a global leader in the design and manufacture of steering systems, specialising in working with customers to meet their exact requirements with bespoke solutions.

For this special project, Pailton supplied the sliders, bevel boxes and drag links.

Five of the buses have been purchased by Mont Saint-Michel, all decked out in mahogany.

John Nollett, Managing Director of Pailton Engineering, said: “These special double-ended vehicles will be used by millions of visitors at this unique and interesting island.

“Pailton prides itself on creating bespoke solutions for customers and here we supplied parts for what in itself is a bespoke solution. We are proud to be a part of the success story.”

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