Monday, 28 December 2015

Route's 3 & 68 to convert to New Routemaster buses

Route 3 will be served with 3 door 2 staircase buses

LOTS (London Omnibus Traction Society) have reported that route 3 is due to convert to Wrightbus New Routemasters along with route 68.

·         Just a few more of the various batches of new vehicles into London continue to enter service. 
   Meanwhile the last of the Abellio LTs (batch LT 602-640) for route 159 are now in service and just six of Metroline’s LTs (batch LT641-663) for the 168 remain to enter service.  Next deliveries of LTs are due for Go-Ahead route 68 and for Abellio route 3.  The ‘shortened’ LT that was unveiled earlier in December should arrive soon for trials on route 91. 

Since routes 159 and 168 converted to New Routemasters, the official next conversion is route 91 as Metroline retained the contract to operate the route with New Routemasters, which is expected on 6th February 2016. LOTS have said that the Short New Routemaster will trial on route 91 so does this mean that route 91 will be fully served with shortened New Routemaster buses?

LOTS have announced that the next deliveries of New Routemasters are for route's 68 and 3; these are basically an upgrade to a 3 door 2 staircase hybrid bus as TFL ditched the rear platform design of the New Routemaster bus. Since they are openboarding buses it requires increased revenue protection due to possible fare evasion as we saw with the now defunct bendy buses in London. So the bus operators would be better off buying the Alexander Dennis Enviro 400H City as it has a standard boarding procedure.

Anyway, here’s some more news from LOTS:

·         The Optare Versa Hybrid OP07ARE at Quality Line (as HOV 01) has now entered service, mostly on route 465. Carousel Buses new StreetLites (401-405) are now regulars on routes 730/740/A40.  First Berkshire’s  latest new StreetLites (63313-16) are now in use on route X74 Slough & High Wycombe; they have replaced the last Dart SLFs in the company.
·         Two new Bus Stations opened in our area over the past  week. On Monday 21st, that at Hemel Hempstead is on buses-only streets in the shopping centre and replaces various odd stops and the old Bus Station.  At Luton Airport a new Bus and Coach Station with nose-in stands and boarding platforms has replaced the former arrangements which had awkward bays, tight u-turns and conflicts with several pedestrian crossings.
·         The major change to management at Arriva takes effect from  1st January.  The TfL red-bus operations of Arriva the Shires at Garston pass to Arriva London North control and that of Arriva Kent Thameside at Dartford and Grays Garages is expected to follow in due course.   No vehicles will move although renumbering of both red fleets into ‘London’ sequences will follow eventually. Not only that, but from 1st January ’Shires garages at Hemel Hempstead, Stevenage and Ware transfer to Southern Counties control.  The residual commercial routes and their buses at Garston stay there but are controlled variously by Luton (321) and Hemel (8,10,324).   In practice though and as this note is prepared, the necessary changes to Operators’ Licences have not yet taken place.  Arriva the Shires residual operations from garages al Luton, Milton Keynes, Aylesbury and High Wycombe are being combined with Arriva Midlands under common management.

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Previous New Routemaster articles that I've written:

Image attribution
"Abellio London 2434 on Route 3, Piccadilly Circus" by Au Morandarte - Flickr: Abellio London 2434 on Route 3, Piccadilly Circus. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons -,_Piccadilly_Circus.jpg#/media/File:Abellio_London_2434_on_Route_3,_Piccadilly_Circus.jpg 

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