I wrote in my previous article that CT Plus has won the Route 26 contract and the good news is that I've found out from London Bus Routes ‘Service changes’ page that route 26 will be getting buses with ‘NRM features.’
I explained all about ‘New Routemaster features’ in a previous article that I wrote last year; TFL said in their board papers that “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.” This showed that Alexander Dennis has designed a successor to the New Routemaster bus that has some of its features such as the glazed staircase. It won't however have the extra staircase and the third door at the rear.
From London Bus Routes:
Contract awarded to CT Plus with 18 new E40H/Enviro400H City hybrid double deckers.
Expected date: 25th June 2016
I must congratulate CT Plus for winning the Route 26 contract.
It's interesting to see ‘social enterprise’ companies like CT Plus taking part of the London Bus operation which they've been doing since early 2000. CT Plus currently operates London Buses routes 153, 309, 385, 388, 394, 675, W5, W12 and W13. They operate their own ‘hail and ride’ minibus service which is route 812. This route runs between Bridport Place in Hoxton and Bath Street in Finsbury, via Packington Street, Old Street (Golden Lane) and Dufferin Street. The service is not part of TFL, but the single fare is £1 which is the cheapest I have seen.
Also, CT Plus operates from Ash Grove (HK) garage which they share with Arriva London (AE).
We are still waiting for the Enviro400H City to start their first operation on London Buses route 78 which is expected to be on 14th November 2015. The conversion for route 26 is a long way off as we have to wait over half a year for the conversion to commence as its part of a new tender contract.
I find it strange that the Enviro400H City bus hasn’t received much publicity from the media because it deserves to be documented as it's one of the newest buses specifically designed for London. The issue concerning the ‘hop on, hop off’ open platform is all in the past now. The original purpose of the New Routemaster project was to bring it back; instead though, TFL innovated it including the rear door to make it a ‘one person operation’ bus. If you think they wasted their money then let me know in the comments section below.
One thing to note about the Enviro400H City is that the bus is less controversial as it's ordered by private bus operating companies which means private money is used to buy these buses. With the New Routemaster, TFL spent £302.5 million because private bus companies don’t want to order them due to the cost and various other reasons; this is why the New Routemaster is under TFL ownership and leased to private operating companies.
In other news, According to London Vehicle Finder, if you type the word ‘accident’ in to the search box, you'll see that approximately 10 Wrightbus New Routemaster buses are out of service due to collisions.
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