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Monday, 3 November 2014

Latest News for New Routemaster

Yes, Route 8 is now in operation as this is a computer generated image made in 2010!


Stagecoach has issued a press release regarding the operation of the TFL purchased New Routemaster buses on their Tayway 73 route in Scotland.

Stagecoach is to test alternative bus technology as two hybrid vehicles from London go into service in Dundee.

The new Routemaster double deck vehicles went into service today (Monday 3 November) on the Tayway 73 route which operates between Dundee and Arbroath.


The buses are a redesigned version of the historic Routemaster vehicles which operated in London between 1956 and 2005. The two new vehicles are on loan to Stagecoach from London, where they are being rolled out across various routes in the city.

Stagecoach Chairman Sir Brian Souter who is driving one of the buses as part of the testing said: “We had an opportunity to take these two vehicles on trial for a short period and we are using this to specifically evaluate the various alternative power options available in the bus market. Technology that makes buses an even greener choice of transport over the car is advancing rapidly and Stagecoach has been at the forefront of investing in new hybrid electric vehicles in the UK.”

Andrew Jarvis, Managing Director, Stagecoach East Scotland said: "We're looking forward to testing this new hybrid technology and the red livery of the buses will definitely stand out in Dundee.  More importantly, it’s about what’s under the bonnet and we’ll be analysing the fuel consumption of the hybrids on the route over the next few months.”

The two vehicles are expected to be in service in Dundee for around three months as Stagecoach tests the hybrid technology that is used to power them. The analysis will include looking at the fuel consumption and reliability of the vehicles as well as the feedback from drivers and customers. 

Separately, Stagecoach previously announced plans to invest in a new fleet of hybrid buses for the Tayway route next year. The company already operates nine hybrid-electric vehicles in Perth.

The Tayway route 73 operates between Ninewells Hospital, Dundee and Arbroath via Dundee city centre, Monifieth, and Carnoustie.  There are journeys every 10 mins from the city centre out to Ninewells and Monifieth, every 20 minutes to Carnoustie and approximately every 30 minutes to Arbroath (Mondays to Fridays).

For more information on the Tayway routes visit www.stagecoachbus.com.

One of the new Routemasters will be showcased to the public at Murraygate outside the Wellgate entrance between 11am and 4pm on Monday 3rd November.

Currently, Stagecoach operates New Routemasters on route 8 in London. Soon, in early 2015 route 55 is due to be operating with New Routemasters as part of the new contract. So it will be interesting to see how Stagecoach’s Tayway route 73 operates as a trial in Scotland. The Stagecoach Tayway 73 route is one of the few bus routes in Great Britain (not London Buses) to have 2nd crew members on ‘One person Operated’ spec buses.

From LOTS news
·Forty LTs (317-356) for Arriva route 137should start arriving shortly.  Laid down for production some months ago before the switch from the intended route 159 to the 137, they are Euro-V engined.   Although the 159 would have had 'conductors', the 137 will now be all driver-only operation Daily.
·Meanwhile, in the past week a few more LTs have entered service on the 453, allowing the cascade of E400s to Camberwell to get under way. This is partly to cover a frequency increase on route 185 although other E400s will allow Volvos to move on elsewhere.

So what this means is that the original plan was to have New Routemasters on route 159 with 2nd crew (open platform) but instead TFL decided to put them on route 137. Now both of these routes are operated from Brixton Garage (BN) so there will be a chance of route 159 having New Routemasters in the near future. But with route 137 having no 2nd crew members, I decided to check on Arriva London’s website and found that they haven’t opened any vacancies for route 137 conductors.

The Alexander Dennis Enviro400’s, on route 453 are being replaced with New Routemasters which will enable route 185 to use the 'Enviro400's' instead and move the Volvos to another garage, or to Go Ahead’s subsidiaries in various areas across England.

I have also discovered that First Group have introduced a new webpage for the ‘New Bus for West Yorkshire’. They are using the New Routemaster (LT2 which was the very first New Routemaster to enter London Bus service) to promote new services operated by First Group for the users in West Yorkshire. They won’t necessarily have ‘New Routemasters’ but their website does state the following: “the introduction of new, iconic vehicles, similar in concept to the "New Routemaster". Now you may be interested to see their leaflet and take part in their survey. First Group wanted to have open boarding similar to the concept of what the New Routemaster and bendy buses provide on the Central London Bus routes, but they're not ready to use open boarding because they are still using cash fares and haven’t made any proposals to have Contactless bank cards like London Transport services currently provide.

In my opinion, West Yorkshire Metro (Public Transport Executive) should look at how Tyne and Wear councils have backed plans to regulate bus services under the Quality Contracts Scheme and then have regulated and subsidised bus services in the same style as London Buses are doing. Instead of proposing to have a trolleybus for Leeds, they could introduce new vehicles like a hybrid bus, Hydrogen or battery powered electric bus. I also think they should introduce middle doors in order to speed up boarding like London Bus services provide.

Currently, there are two bus operators that have shown interest in the New Routemaster, the first one being 'First Group' whose proposals for West Yorkshire includes the introduction of new, iconic vehicles, similar in concept to the "New Routemaster" that's used in London, and Secondly, Stagecoach are to trial New Routemasters purchased by TFL on their Tayway route 73 on November 3rd. Ironically those two companies are based in Scotland.

Now don’t forget to place a comment below the article and express your opinion regarding the news about the New Routemaster. Also, please follow me on Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr at @CLondoner92

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