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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

No more Heatherwick designed buses for London?


Since TFL ordered another 200 New Routemasters to extend the fleet to 800 by 2016, TFL board have no plans to buy another 1,000 New Routemasters.

This is from their board paper released in October 2014.

At its meeting on 14 October 2014, the Finance and Policy Committee noted the proposals in this paper and endorsed the recommendations to the Board. Members were advised that the TfL remained on target to achieve the Mayors 2020 vision of 2,000 vehicles. TfL was able to purchase up to 1,000 buses from Wrightbus under the current contract. No decision was proposed on the order of the next 1,000 vehicles as other bus manufacturers were looking to develop their own double-decker buses with NRM features, which would give TfL options when considering future vehicle choices.

So it means that TFL board made no decision onto buying another 1,000 New Routemasters from the manufacture Wrightbus because the other bus manufactures like Optare and Alexander Dennis are planning to make their own double deck with 3 doors and two staircases equivalent to what the New Routemaster currently got. 

What TFL should have done with the New Routemaster is;

  • A two door (front and middle doors) design of the Heatherwick designed New Routemaster to enable operators to order them as an option for future tender awards. 
  • Have window openings because some of the vehicles tend to have problems with the air cooling system.  

But not every route would have New Routemasters because some of the routes are unable to operate due to the road environment.

It will be interesting to see how the manufactures like Optare and Alexander Dennis is designing their own double deck buses with 'NRM Features.' 
So does it mean TFL is backing off from the 'New Routemaster' project as it caused manufactures to design their own 3 door and 2 staircase bus to compete against the New Routemaster? Also will it mean that TFL would buy a batch of them or it will be the operators to pay for them?

Feel free to post your comment below my article and follow me on Twitter which is @CLondoner92 for more new articles.

Source
http://www.londontransport.co.uk/cdn/static/cms/documents/board-20141105-part-1-item08-new-routemasters.pdf

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