Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Bus operators pay £1 per New Routemaster bus a year for rental

Taking a look at the “Contracts released under FOI” (Freedom of Information) page on the TFL website  reveals the PDF files for the contracts in relation to the New Bus for London, which is now called the New Routemaster - a hybrid bus with 3 doors and 2 staircases manufactured by Wrightbus.

Anyway, let’s get into the subject matter; taking a look at the New Bus for London Lease Agreement document and scrolling down to page 33 it says:

The Lease Rental is £1.00 (one pound) per vehicle per year or part year which shall be paid annually on the 1 June, or in the initial year, on the Start Date.
The total payment for [X] Vehicles per year will be £[X].00.

So basically, a bus company wins a contract to operate a route organised by London Buses whereas the bus operating company usually buy the buses required under contract requirements. For example TFL required operators to have hybrid buses for route 6 in order to cut emissions.

Looking at clause 4 which is Payment of Rental:
The Operator shall pay to the Corporation at the Corporation’s address shown in Schedule 6 the rental payment shown in Schedule 6, together with Value Added Tax, at the times indicated (regardless of any set off or cross-claim on the part of the Operator against the Corporation).

So this means that the rental payment of New Routemaster buses come with VAT! 

What about the return condition of the New Routemaster vehicles once the operators contract ends?

From Clause 5.23
On expiry or termination of this Agreement, in accordance with Clause 10 (Termination) the Operator shall return the Vehicles to the Corporation at any place within the M25 which the Corporation may reasonably require in the condition in which they were originally supplied under this Agreement subject to fair wear and tear of the nature and extent set out in Schedule 12 or any similar wear and tear provided always that conditions listed in the third column of Schedule 12 and any similar conditions shall not be considered fair wear and tear. For the avoidance of doubt Schedule 12 is not an exhaustive list of examples and may be amended by the Corporation from time to time with prior agreement of the Operator (such agreement not to be unreasonably withheld or delayed).
(The Corporation means TFL)

So when the contract ends for the operator, it means the New Routemaster buses can be transferred to another garage.

Looking at Schedule 13 Insurance Levels, it talks about the value of each New Routemaster bus reducing over the years.

Declared value of each vehicle
From registration until 1st anniversary of registration
Between 1st & 2nd anniversary of registration
Between 2nd & 3rd anniversary of registration
Between 3rd & 4th anniversary of registration
Between 4th & 5th anniversary of registration
Between 5th & 6th anniversary of registration
Between 6th & 7th anniversary of registration
Between 7th & 8th anniversary of registration
Between 8th & 9th anniversary of registration
Between 9th & 10th anniversary of registration
Between 10th & 11th anniversary of registration
Between 11th & 12th anniversary of registration
Between 12th & 13th anniversary of registration
Between 13th & 14th anniversary of registration

So when the New Routemaster buses reach the 14th anniversary of their registration, the value will be declared at £25,327. This means that Ensignbus for example, can sell them when it’s under £30,000 as the New Routemaster could be sold on. But the question is, would the various bus companies around Britain buy them if the 3 door 2 staircase would not meet their specifications?

The document also states that the bus operating company will be liable for damages to the New Routemaster bus.

Clause 5.3
The Operator shall be liable for any and all loss, theft, destruction of or damage to the Vehicles howsoever caused and howsoever arising at any time from the Start Date until the Vehicles are returned to the Corporation save to the extent such loss, theft, destruction or damage occurs during any period when the Vehicles have been returned to the Corporation as provided for in this Agreement.

With regards to insurance it says:

7.1 The Operator shall maintain either:
7.1.1 comprehensive motor insurance from the Start Date and shall insure the Vehicles for the declared total loss value set out in Schedule 13 throughout the Term and until the Vehicles are returned to the Corporation in accordance with Clause 5.23 (Return Condition) against loss or damage by accident, fire, theft, and other risks usually covered by insurance of motor vehicles with an insurance company of good repute and subject to nothing more onerous than standard market conditions and exclusions (“the Insurance Policy”) and the Operator shall pay any deductibles under the Insurance Policy.

So if anything happens to the New Routemaster bus it would mean that the bus operating company would have to pay the damages for it, but thankfully the insurance would cover the costs.

There are far too many topics in the contract to cover in detail and some of the information is quite complicated so I'll let the reader look for him/herself if they so wish. In the document you'll also find the “New Bus for London Graphics standards”.

There are also a couple of documents hosted on the same page relating to the New Routemaster which are the New Bus for London design contract (to Heatherwick Studios) and the New Bus for London design supply and maintenance contract for Wrightbus.

What now then for the New Routemaster bus as it approaches the end of its fourth year in service? The first prototype entered service on 28th February 2012 on Route 38 and last year I wrote an article about the 3 year anniversary of the New Routemaster.

Currently the New Routemasters are operating on routes 3, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 24, 38, 55, 68, 73, 88, 137, 148, 149, 159, 168, 390 and 453. It’s interesting how TFL managed to convert the routes to New Routemaster operation quite quickly which then allowed them to order another 200 New Routemaster buses in order to keep the Wrightbus production lines going. This will increase the fleet to 1,000 buses! The next route to be converted to New Routemasters is route 189.

So what else now? The New Routemaster bus designed by Thomas Heatherwick looks futuristic and thankfully Alexander Dennis has taken various design cues of the New Routemaster for their Enviro400H City. The original purpose of the New Routemaster project was to reinstate the rear platform, but instead it’s now a 3 door 2 staircase hybrid bus, hence the reason TFL modified the rear door to make it open outwards like the middle doors do. It’s hard to know what else is going to happen with the New Routemaster project, but the main point is, the original ‘London Bus design' has evolved. Hopefully at some point we will see a 2 door design of the New Routemaster bus. At least the bus operating companies have the option to buy their own bus type upon new tender contracts.

Looking at the Enviro400H City; they are currently in operation on route 78 which is operated by Arriva London and soon route 26 will be served with the Enviro400H City as CT Plus already placed their order for these buses.

The single deck version which is the Enviro200 MMC carries a similar design, such as the front. It doesn’t feature the London Transport roundel but instead has a bus operating company logo. The Enviro200 MMC’s are currently in operation on routes 499 and B13. The next routes to have these buses will be routes C10 and 367.

To finish off this article I have an update for you all from LOTS (London Omnibus Traction Society)

Sunday 21 February
1) The MetroCity demonstrator  OE 1 (YJ65 EOV) has moved from G-A New Cross to Arriva South Croydon.  The Citaro-K demonstrator BU13ZVE (MEC70 at G-A Metrobus) has moved to Stagecoach (now as 80030) for trials at Bromley and Catford on routes 227 and 380 (amended item).
2) Delivery began in the past week of Abellio’s 21 x E20D-MMC 10.9m (8844-8864) for route C10 and the 10 x E20D-MMC 8.9m for router 367 in mid-March should follow on shortly, as should Metroline’s 12 x E20D 10.9m (DEL 2155-2164) for route 487.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Google Plus which is @CLondoner92

Finally, here are some previous New Routemaster articles that I’ve written:
·         A New Bus From Wrightbus
·         New Bus from Alexander Dennis (Enviro400H City)                  

Image attribution
By Sludge G - Route 55 New bus for London, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41004271
By Spsmiler - Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46251348

1 comment:

  1. I wonder whether it costs TfL more in admin costs than the £1 pa rental fees raise?



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