Below are some short articles from the Route One website. In the first article they are reporting that Wrightbus has unveiled their open top bus design which is aimed at Tour bus companies.
Wrightbus is currently building a new bespoke open-topper for a yet-to-be-named UK customer.
To be used on tourist sightseeing, it is on Volvo’s B5 chassis and the structure has been redesigned to account for the open-top section. The front section also has two opening sunroofs.
To provide a glazed section in place of the thick A-pillar on the top deck, the frontal structure has been redesigned.
The changes also see a smaller destination screen, with a glazed area above, making the design unique in sightseeing.
Also, a special drainage system for water from the upper deck has been designed.
Details of the customer are expected to be announced shortly.
Next up we can see that HCT Group have ordered 38 buses from Alexander Dennis; 21 of these will be the Enviro400H City for their route 26 contract and 17 will be single deck Enviro200's for their route W19 contract.
ADL has delivered the first of a significant order to HCT Group, for London contracted routes.
HCT Group - which has 600 vehicles - is taking 38 new double deck and midi buses.
The multi-million pound deal sees 21 Enviro400H City hybrid double decks for route 26 (Hackney Wick-Waterloo) and 17 Euro 6 Enviro200 midi buses enter service as a result of conquest route wins by HCT, formerly known as Hackney Community Transport.
HCT Group Engineering Director Steve Perks, says: “We have worked with ADL for many years and always found that their vehicles deliver exactly what they promise. Their parts and service support is also second-to-none so this really wasn’t a difficult decision.
The two-door Enviro200s for Route W19 (Ilford-Walthamstow) will be 9.6m with 25 seats, a wheelchair location, and 38 standees.
As we approach the end of the New Routemaster roll out we can see that the bus operators have a choice of two bus types which hold the NRM features, these are the Enviro400H City and the two door Volvo B5LH SRM (Son of Routemaster). The stylish Enviro400H City is expected to enter service on route 26 by 25th June 2016. They are currently in service on route 78 which is operated by Arriva London from Ash Grove (AE) Garage.
In other news, Alexander Dennis will be building more buses as Go South Coast has signed a £10 million deal for 49 new buses.
Go South Coast has signed a £10m deal with Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) that will see the introduction of 49 vehicles – including new-generation double decks, midi buses and luxury coaches - during the next nine months.
The move further enhances the Go-Ahead subsidiary’s reputation as a leading bus and coach operator in Bournemouth, Poole, Salisbury, Southampton, and in the wider catchment area covering Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
The order includes 32 Euro 6 Enviro400 double decks. Of these, 17 are high-specification inter-urban buses with tables on the upper deck, Wi-Fi, USB charging points, high-back seats, mood lighting and wood-effect floors.
Three will be fitted with multi-lingual commentary systems for tourist journeys to Stonehenge, while a further dozen 10.9m double decks will run on urban and inner-city routes in the region.
On the single deck front, Go South Coast has ordered 12 high-capacity, 39-seat, 11.5m Enviro200 midi buses, plus one 8.9m Enviro200 that will join other short-length vehicles operating on the Isle of Wight.
Completing its acquisition programme for 2015-16, Go South Coast will also buy four Plaxton luxury coaches for its Damory and Tourist brands. These will be top-of-the-range 12.6m Elite vehicles built on Euro 6 Volvo B11R chassis. They will have 51 seats, centre sunken toilets and DDA-compliant lifts.
Says Andrew Wickham, Go South Coast MD: “These state-of-the-art vehicles form part of our on-going investment in modern buses and coaches that enhance the customer experience.”
Adds ADL Sales Director London and the South East Martin Brailey: “This business win is the latest in a series of contract arrangements struck between ADL and regional operations of the Go-Ahead Group and we look forward to that relationship growing and flourishing in the years ahead.”
Lastly, we can see that HCT Group highlights the bus franchising model in Jersey in order to influence the debate on the Bus Services Bill in England.
From Bus and Coach
HCT Group, which is a firm supporter of the bus franchising model, has published a review of how the system in Jersey has been developed in an attempt to influence the forthcoming debates on the Bus Services Bill for England.
The report, ‘Practical Bus Franchising - The Jersey Model’, describes how Jersey used a version of bus franchising with the aims of increased ridership, lower costs, modal shift, and partnership-working with the operator HCT.
The publication includes interviews with States of Jersey officials who were involved in the franchising process.
“We developed an approach that enabled us to really meet the needs of Jersey and are proud of what we have achieved,” says John Rogers, chief officer, department for infrastructure, States of Jersey. “We are happy to share what we have learned with commissioners in the UK and have supported HCT Group to tell our story.”
HCT’s report argues that Jersey has seen impressive results from its franchising process, including an increase in ridership of 32 per cent since 2013 when HCT Group took over the service under its LibertyBus brand. It also claims there has been an increase in customer satisfaction.
“It’s no secret that we believe franchising has much to offer commissioners, the travelling public and operators themselves,” says Dai Powell, chief executive, HCT Group. “It is partly our experience in Jersey that leads us to this position.
“We have published the details of Jersey’s method not because we think it is a ‘one size fits all’ solution, but because we believe that it’s a useful addition to the thinking currently underway at authorities who are considering the implications of the Buses Bill – we hope it helps.”
I have already reported on the situation regarding the Bus Services Bill which you can read here.
That’s all I have to report on for now.
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