|These hybrid buses will get an extra door and staircase.|
LOTS (London Omnibus Traction Society) has reported that routes 59 and 91 are being converted to hybrid buses which have 3 doors and 2 staircases and called the New Routemaster, which is manufactured by Wrightbus. Currently route 59 has a small mixture of diesel-electric hybrid buses along with conventional diesel buses whilst route 91 has a full allocation of diesel buses.
1) Friday evening 26th February saw the final operations of Townlink, Road Runner and Olympus from in Harlow, and all their vehicles were parked up securely in their depots by Saturday morning 27th. They had five bus routes at the end. The R1, 19 and 20 had been duplicated by other operators anyway for some months but their T15 and 524 are now covered by Arriva 9 and Trustybus 424 respectively from Saturday 27th. Their school contracts passed to Barkerbus a week ago and the 741 commuter coach was withdrawn (Regal X10 now covers it).
2) In London, the ‘route 68 LTs’ (LT 664-683/5/6) have all now entered service – except 665 which is in Singapore, while at Abellio the ’route 3 batch’ (LT 691-715)have just five left to enter service. Next up will be the route 59 batch (LT 716-744), the first couple being en-route to London right now. The follow-on batch (LT 745-767) for Metroline route 91 should start arriving later in March. Road works at Crouch End are now in progress to resolve the problem there which had prevented such long vehicles from U-turning at the 91 terminus.
3) Further to last week’s news items, Metroline’s new E20D-MMCs (DEL 2155-2166) are delayed until May. Contract changes from 19th March affect route 367 passing to Abellio and their ten 9.0m E20D-MMCs (8210-19) are now delivered, while Go-Ahead’s route 162 gains a +3 pvr increase and three ‘classic’ body E20Ds (SE 288-290) are currently being delivered. The renewal of the contract on the C10 from the same date will see the replacement of 10.2m E200s with new 10.9m E20D-MMCs (8844-8864), many of which are already delivered.
Well it’s a shame to see that other operators from Harlow have gone due to their operating licenses being revoked; if you want to know why they lost their operating licenses you can read about it in my previous article.
Going back to routes 59 and 91; as the private operating companies bought the buses for their allocated routes, they will be cascaded to their other contracted routes in order to replace their older buses. With the New Routemaster, TFL pays for the rollout for their selected routes as they charge private operating fees of £1 per New Routemaster bus per year for lease rental.
Also with route 91, the modifications to the road surfacing has to be done in order to allow the 11.3 metre New Routemaster buses to turn around at Crouch End using the Tottenham Lane Roundabout. TFL could have commenced the rollout of the shortened New Routemaster buses which were unveiled during December 2015 by London Bus Club. With the short New Routemaster this can save money and hassle on modifying the road surface.
I believe this is the roundabout…
From TFL Traffic Status
“From: Monday 15 February 2016
To: Friday 04 March 2016
[A103] Tottenham Lane Roundabout at the junction of Ferme Park Road (All Directions) - Three way temporary traffic signals in place due to roundabout improvement works”
So what else now? TFL has signed a contract with Wrightbus again to extend the New Routemaster fleet to 1,000, and we are still waiting for other manufacturers to design their own bus type with design cues from the New Routemaster bus. Just like Alexander Dennis have done with the Enviro400H City.
Every four years there is a leap year, hence the reason this article is posted on 29th February, so I wish all of my readers and followers a very happy leap year.
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Previous new Routemaster articles:
By Au Morandarte from London, Middlesex, England - Arriva London HV143 on Route 59, Brixton Station, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34084977