Saturday, 5 December 2015

London Bus news and deadline for accessible buses for Britain

LOTS have issued the following news updates regarding London's Buses:

Thursday 3 December

·         New bus deliveries to London in the past week or so  have included more new E20Ds  (batch SE 268-287) and B5LHs (batch WHV 81-110) for London General.  In a change of plan, six of each will now be allocated to Sutton rather than all going to Merton.  In due course it should result in WHVs on the whole of route 155 and about one quarter of the 93,  with SEs on the 164 and part of the 80.
·         The second and third Enviro400-VE has been delivered to Tower Transit. From the coming week and subject to availability, two (of the three) are scheduled for route 69 for the next couple of months at least on Mon to Fri only.   One bus works  from Walthamstow Central at 0758, 1013, 1325 and back from Canning Town at 0904, 1216*, 1429.   The second bus starts at the other end, from Canning Town at 0800, 1016, 1320*  and from Walthamstow at 0910, 1125, 1430.   (* = departure time  after a one hour break). 
·         All the LTs for Abellio route 159 are now delivered and those for Metroline route 168 are starting to arrive.  From the 12th December contract date therefore, the 159 would have a full complement and the 168 should have a mix of LTs and TEHs.  The same date sees Metroline (PB Garage) take over route 307 from Arriva using TEs.   Other than more LTs, the next batch of new buses later in December and into January should be the start of the 21 Volvo B5LH - E400MMCs for Stagecoach route 47.

The majority of the report is in regard to various routes upgrading to double deck hybrids, but it's good to see that all the Wrightbus New Routemasters have been delivered for use on route 159, which commences operation by Abellio on 12th December 2015.

Friday 4 December

1) New TfL Tender Awards announced today from Tranches 517, 525. 528 and 529. Start dates are 30th April (315), 3rd September (the rest except for the 83/483 on 10th September.  Within these tranches, routes 171/N171, 196, H12, H14 and H17 received two year contract extensions with the present operators. 

·         83/N83    Retained by Metroline West (pvr from 28 to 19) with existing Euro-IV diesel double-decks. Day route 83 to be shortened (see 483) to run Golders Green- Alperton Station. The present ’24 hour’ service Golders Green- Ealing Hospital to be renumbered N83.
·         114      Awarded to Metroline Travel (pvr 17 to 18) with new Euro-VI battery hybrid double-decks. Currently operated by London Sovereign from Edgware (BT) Garage.
·         117      Awarded to Metroline Travel (pvr 9) with new Euro-VI flywheel single-decks.  Currently with Abellio London from Fulwell (TF) Garage.
·         140   Retained by Metroline Travel (pvr 28 to 29) with new Euro-VI battery hybrid double-decks.
·         182      Retained by Metroline Travel (pvr 22 to 23) with new Euro-VI battery hybrid double-decks.
·         183      Retained by London Sovereign (pvr 22 to 23) with a mix of existing Euro-IV diesel double-decks and 6 new Euro-VI diesel double-decks.
·         203      Retained by London United (pvr 7) with existing Euro-V diesel single-decks and 1 new Euro-VI diesel single-deck.
·         251      Retained by London Sovereign (pvr 12 to 13) with existing Euro-IV and V diesel single-decks.
·         315      Retained by G-A London General (pvr 4, but with a possible increase once the result of a possible route extension (see TLB611 page 10) is decided.  Existing Euro-V diesel single-decks.
·         340      Retained by Arriva the Shires (pvr 9)  with new Euro-VI diesel double-decks.
·         398      Retained by London Sovereign (pvr 3) with existing Euro-IV and V diesel single-decks.
·         483      New route awarded to Metroline West (pvr 25) with a mix of existing fleet Euro-IV diesel double-decks and 5 new battery hybrid double-decks. Ealing Hospital via route 83 to Wembley Hill Road, then via 245 to East Lane and via 182 to Harrow Bus Station.
·         697      Retained by London United (pvr 4) with existing Euro-III double-decks.
·         698      Retained by London United (pvr 4) with existing Euro-III double-decks.
·         H9/H10  Retained by London Sovereign (pvr 15 to 16) with existing Euro-IV and V diesel single-decks.
·         H11     Retained by London Sovereign (pvr 7) with existing Euro-IV and V diesel single-decks.

Big news about the hybrids as they are certainly an improvement over 100% diesel buses. It's worth noting though that these vehicles are just a stepping stone in combating diesel emissions as they do still emit pollutants. Give it 5 years and hopefully we'll be seeing a move towards full-on battery-electric buses.

Also, in other news the UK government has said that it requires all single deck buses to be low floor and accessible by 2016, New Years Day.

Taken from Bus and coach accessibility page from Department of Transport:

“All full size single deck buses over 7.5 tonnes will be fully accessible from 1 January 2016, and all double deck buses from 1 January 2017. New buses weighing up to 7.5 tonnes and coaches will be required to have wheelchair access from 1 January 2005. All buses weighing up to 7.5 tonnes will be fully accessible from 1 January 2015 and coaches by 1 January 2020.”

So this will mean the end of an era for non low floor buses as bus services progress to new designs making them accessible for wheelchair users. The question is though, what about diesel emissions? TFL is imposing the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) which requires single deck buses to be zero emission and double decks to be hybrid. London Transport are progressing, but what about the rest of Britain?

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