Monday, 17 October 2016

More new bus purchases, new West Croydon bus station and another SRM update

I have lots of bus news for you today from around Britain and Ireland and have selected various articles from the Web which I’ll re-print here and comment on, so let’s begin.

First up, we have the news that Stagecoach East Scotland has ordered the Volvo B5LH with Enviro400 MMC bodywork for their routes 20 and 21.

Stagecoach has ordered seven Volvo/ADL hybrid double-decks for its Dundee and Angus bus fleet with delivery due next spring.

The new buses will be introduced to routes 20 and 21, which run between Brechin, Forfar, Kirriemuir and Dundee providing regular journeys for commuters, students and shoppers into the city as well as providing vital local links to Stracathro Hospital.

The Volvo B5LH hybrids will have ADL E400 MMC bodywork and come with high-back Lazzerini Evoke e-leather seating, free wi-fi access and USB charging points.

The order forms a £2.1m investment by Stagecoach, of which £300,000 will be supported by the Scottish Green Bus Fund provided by the Scottish Government.

The Scottish Green Bus Fund has so far assisted with the purchase of 269 low carbon emission buses across Scotland, including 18 hybrid buses in 2015, which are currently running on the Tayway 73 route between Dundee and Arbroath.

"We're committed to improving public transport in Angus and Dundee and I am therefore delighted to announce our further investment in the fleet for this area,” says Andrew Jarvis, managing director, Stagecoach East Scotland. "Our fleet in Dundee was the first public transport operator in Scotland and one of the first in the UK to be awarded five stars as part of the EcoStars fleet evaluation project. These new vehicles will complement our existing 18 electric-hybrid buses already in the area, helping reduce our environmental impact and hopefully encourage more customers to opt for our greener, smarter travel."

I’ll just add that the Volvo B5LH with the Enviro400 MMC body work is also on London Buses routes 47, 135 and 177.

Now on to Arriva who have just launched their new Enviro400 MMC’s for their Southend services.

Arriva has launched 18 Enviro400 double-deck buses in Southend, representing an investment of £3.8million. The 73-seat buses have free 4G wi-fi, USB charging points and eco-leather seats. The buses will run between Rayleigh, Thundersley, Hadleigh, Leigh, Westcliff, Southend, Southchurch, Bournes Green, Thorpe Bay and Shoeburyness.

“Travelling by bus will now be a much more luxurious and convenient experience," says Ant Comber, Arriva general manager, Southend. "USB charging points built into seats mean you can check emails, catch up with friends or simply charge your phone or tablet. This is a huge investment for the area and we are very proud to be bringing such a quality service to Southend.”

The buses were officially launched at an event held at the Southend depot, followed by a ride to the Cliffs Pavilion. Guests at the launch event included James Duddridge, MP for Rochford and Southend East, councillor Judith McMahon, mayor of Southend-on-Sea, and representatives from Rochford, Castle Point and Rayleigh councils.

Moving on, we find out that the new West Croydon bus station finally opens in South London.

Extract from TFL press release

The station, which cost £4.5m, has been completely rebuilt with an open, pedestrian-friendly layout, and 21% increased capacity.

The station will serve 25 bus routes and 150 buses per hour at peak times, with 23,000 passengers able to use it every day.

Situated on the site of the previous station, it will provide close links to the London Overground station and Tram station.

The new bus station was designed by TfL's in-house team. They ensured the new low-rise building will make a significant and positive contribution to both the immediate environment and the wider Croydon town centre.

The new facilities include:
·         A large sheltered waiting area
·         Real time travel information
·         A modern public address system
·         State-of-the-art CCTV and improved lighting
·         Accessibility improvements
·         18% more seating
·         A retail outlet
·         A fully accessible public toilet
·         Fifteen solar panels on the roof of the building

The reopening of West Croydon bus station comes one month after the launch of the new Hopper fare - which allows passengers to switch from bus to tram, tram to bus or tram to tram for free within an hour. The new fare has already been a huge success and many more people will benefit thanks to the easy interchange between buses and trams at this site.

The West Croydon London Overground station is also within a minute's walk of the bus and tram stations and completes this site's value as key transport hub and interchange for TfL customers.

Below you can see an interesting photo that I found of the West Croydon bus station when the previous building was opened back in 1985.

London Transport WLT740 May 1985

On to Dublin now, in Ireland; Dublin Bus introduces three new bus routes serving Dublin City University.

Dublin Bus is committed to improving connections for students by continuously monitoring and improving our routes serving schools, colleges and universities across the Greater Dublin Area. Therefore, we are pleased to announce the introduction of three new routes, providing direct connections to Dublin City University (DCU) from Monday 17 October.

These routes will provide students with further transport options to DCU while also catering for commuters working in the area. These routes will be further enhanced by the introduction of additional peak journeys across the Ballymun, Finglas, Lucan, Templeogue, Malahide and Harold’s Cross bus corridors from Monday 17 October. These improvements are aimed at easing our customers’ commute and making their journey a little more comfortable.

New route details:
Route 31d will provide a morning and evening service between Baldoyle and DCU, serving Strand Road, Dublin Road, Howth Road and Collins Avenue. The bus will depart from Baldoyle at 07.45 (arrives to DCU at 08.35) and will depart DCU at 17.15.

Route 42d will provide a morning and evening service from Portmarnock to DCU, serving Strand Road, Wendell Avenue, Blackwood Lane, The Hill, Malahide Village, Yellow Walls Road, Swords Road, Holywell, M1 and M50, Ballymun Road and Collins Avenue. The bus will depart from Portmarnock at 07.30 (arrives to DCU at 08.40) and will depart DCU at 17.10.

Route 70d will provide a morning and evening service from Dunboyne to DCU, serving Clonee, Blanchardstown Village, Castleknock Road, Navan Road, Nephin Road, Ratoath Road, Ballyboggan Road, Finglas Road, Old Finglas Road, Griffith Avenue Extension and Ballymun Road. The bus will depart from Dunboyne at 07.15 (arrives to DCU at 08.30) and will depart DCU at 17.05.

Next I have an update regarding the two door 1 staircase New Routemaster, which is officially known as the SRM (Son of Routemaster). There’s three photographs of the VHR45206 which were taken at Heysham Docks on 14th October 2016.

The photos are up on Flickr: Image 1 Image 2 Image 3

After all six have been delivered, the long wait will be finally over!

And finally, we have a news update from LOTS:

1) The 18 new E40D/E400 (MMC)s for Arriva Southern Counties at Southend (6499-6516) entered service there on route 1 last weekend. In consequence, `13 Versas (4200-12) are in the process of transferring from Southend to Guildford (albeit some are working at Maidstone whilst en-route). At GF they will replace some Cadets to the training fleet plus some E200s for transfer elsewhere.  

2) Delivery of the 17 new E20D/E200 buses (1221-1237) for CT Plus began in the past week.  These are for the assumption from 26th November of route W19 (Ilford- Walthamstow) and will be the first TfL buses to operate from the new Walthamstow Stadium (code AW) Garage. At Arriva just two (LT813/4) of the 32 LTs delivered for route 253 has finally entered service; the batch LT813-844 has been in store for about two months awaiting Oyster reader equipment. Meanwhile, two or three LTs per day from the 73 allocation have been used on the 253 for a few weeks now so as to get the conversion started.

As always, I invite you to follow me on Twitter and Google Plus which is @CLondoner92

Image attribution
West Croydon Bus Station wider view by Kate_Pugh


  1. why is there such a delay on the oyster readers, it is not like the buses arrived early or as a surprise, why not just take out the oyster reader from the old bus and put it in the new one? Seems stupid to run the old buses still than just transfer the equipment to the new bus whilst the new ones are waiting.

    1. Hi Eric, thank you for your comment. I don't have any information on why the Oyster readers have been delayed on the new Routemaster route 253. The New Routemasters do need new Oyster card readers though for the middle and the rear of the bus, as it's an open boarding bus.


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