Tuesday, 4 August 2015

London Buses Route 88 to get New Routemasters

The original double deck bus with dual staircases.
Just some quick news as its a follow up from my previous article.
According to LOTS (London Omnibus Traction Society) they reported:
The very first E200MMC to enter service in London was Stagecoach 36601 on the 499 on 30th July. The rest of the batch are all here so should follow soon. Other operators in London (e.g. Metroline, Universitybus and Tower Transit) are continuing to take the classic E200 bodies. The first of 26 x LTs  (478) for London General route 88 has just been delivered.

I also checked the London Bus Routes service changes page and nothing has been reported about Route 88 converting to New Routemasters. The official date of conversion is unknown, so it may be a phased conversion because the New Routemasters are reported to be delivered to Stockwell (SW) Garage.
Currently Route 88 is operating with Alexander Dennis Enviro400 Hybrids (EH class), so its not the first route which TFL replaced the existing hybrid bus route with New Routemaster hybrids. It happened to Route 15 and 73 when they had conventional hybrid buses.
Route 88 had been operated by a bus type with Twin staircases. This bus type was Volvo Alisa V3 with an Alexander R-body. The registration is A103SUU and fleet number is V3. This bus first spent its time on Route 77A during the mid 1980’s, it was then confined to route 88. This bus type had to carry a conductor because there are blind spots at the rear door and staircase which the driver is unable to see. I'm glad that technology has moved on as there are CCTV cameras on the bus now which enables the driver to see the blind spot areas from the CCTV monitor.
If you want to know more about the Volvo Alisa V3, you can read it on Country Bus and Wikimedia Commons websites.
So route 88 will see the return and full allocation of dual staircase buses in the form of a three door and two staircase bus which is the New Routemaster.
Its quite a surprise to see that the New Routemaster route conversions are occurring unannounced. But yet we're still waiting for routes 91, 149 159 and 168 to convert to New Routemaster buses.
If you want to know a bit more about the New Routemaster news then please check my recent article.
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Image attribution
"London Transport route 88" by Au Morandarte from London, Middlesex, England - IMG_5596. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:London_Transport_route_88.jpg#/media/File:London_Transport_route_88.jpg


  1. its great to see these new red buses but in my opinion the vintage red buses have their own grace which could not be replaced by these new buses.

    1. That's a fair point, Ava. I guess it all depends on your perspective.


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