Tuesday, 20 December 2016

More new bus purchases for December 2016

Another news update - bus companies are purchasing new buses for their services:

From Route One

£4m in 18 new buses for Stagecoach Newcastle

Stagecoach North East has continued its investment with an 18 brand new ADL Enviro200 MMC now in service in Newcastle on routes 30 and 31.

They follow 24 new buses for the region in September and forms part of a wider programme of investment, including the launch of its smartphone app.

Over the past five years, Stagecoach North East has invested heavily with 240 new vehicles, worth £37m.

The buses are based at Slatyford depot, pictured with Operations Manager Malcolm Bell.

Stagecoach South has invested £4.5m in its Gold route 1 from Aldershot to Farnborough and Camberley. 18 ADL Enviro400s have been introduced, featuring E-Leather seating, free Wi-Fi and USB charge points. They also have a new look lighter interior designed to create an improved ambience to further improve the travelling experience. Route 1 operates every ten minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes and every 15 minutes most of the day on Sundays.

MD for Stagecoach South, Edward Hodgson, said, ‘We continue to significantly invest in our fleet to improve our service and customer experience. These “next generation” buses will enhance connectivity, comfort and sustainability for customers, signifying our solid commitment to delivering an unbeatable, eco-friendly travel experience. The Gold route 1 maintains important links across the district and with the additional in-travel benefits and more seating capacity, we hope to tempt even more people to try the service.’

From Route One

Transdev has unveiled the first of 10 Wrights/Volvo ‘deckers for its re-launched Coastliner half-hourly routes between Leeds, York and the resorts of Whitby, Scarborough, Filey and Bridlington.

A new livery is matched by a new campaign of ‘Coastliner Country’ promotion for the buses, bursting with innovative and customer-friendly features.

The buses include several firsts including wireless phone charging and ‘power zones’ set around tables upstairs, Transdev’s and ‘countdown to departure’ destination displays and ‘tech benches’ downstairs.

Each bus also carries specially designed illustrations promoting some of the destinations, designed to boost to Yorkshire’s tourism economy.

Alex Hornby, CEO says: “Every aspect of the design is inspired by feedback from our customers. We examined every detail of the journey from the moment a passenger steps on board to the end of their journey with us.”

Replacing older Wright Geminis, the buses are longer offering more passenger space, yet 616kg lighter.

They have leather trimmed coach seats, spaced-out rear seats, ‘tech benches’ with space to rest tablets, phones and laptops with USB points, free 4G Wi-Fi, USB points at every seat, tinted double-glazed windows, glazed staircase and full-length upper deck ‘skylight’ roof panels.

Outside destination screens have Transdev’s pioneering ‘time to departure’ countdown at major calling points on the route. Inside are scrolling interior screens and next stop audible announcements, along with wood-effect flooring, LED lighting including under seats and on the stairs plus three compact luggage areas on the lower deck. There are also four seats around tables upstairs.

Based at Transdev’s Malton depot, the buses and will enter service over the coming weeks.

Adds Mr Honby: “These amazing and pioneering new buses are amongst the very best on the roads anywhere in Yorkshire and beyond.

“Their introduction marks a new era for bus travel across Yorkshire, bringing luxury travel to this popular and high-profile service.”

I can’t imagine London Buses doing the same thing, although in a similar fashion, we have the USB charging ports and a graphical interior screen on the BYD D9UR Enviro200 MMC electric buses.

Now on to the independent bus companies which have announced their new bus orders:

Perryman’s Buses, part of West Coast Motors, has added four new Optare Metrocitys to its fleet. Representing an investment of £560,000, the new buses have been launched on service 253, Berwick-upon-Tweed to Edinburgh via Dunbar and Haddington. The single deckers seat up to 44 and feature USB charging points and bus stop audio and visual announcement systems. To mark their arrival, the operator enlisted an East Lothian community choir, DunbarSings, to serenade its commuters with its own version of ‘The wheels on the bus’ and ‘Ye canny shove yer granny off a bus’. The official launch of the vehicles coincided with a timetable update for the service, which has been amended to suit growing demand and maintain reliability. It no longer serves Haymarket Station.

Operations Manager for Perryman’s Buses, Claire Lark, said, ‘We are delighted to launch four new vehicles on service 253. We are proud to serve the route and thought the choir would be the perfect way to celebrate this investment plus thank our customers for choosing to travel on the service. We would also like to say a big thank you to Karen and all the singers for providing such a joyous performance. There has been a marked increase in the volume of people using the service, which is great news. To meet this growing demand, and to ensure we maintain a reliable and frequent service, we have made some alterations to the route.’

Swans Travel, one of the most respected family-owned, private limited companies in the UK transport sector has taken delivery of three Leopard B8 Plaxton coaches, along with two Alexander Dennis Enviro400 double decks.

All five vehicles are Euro6 models and will operate on corporate contracts, private hires and nationwide ground transport services.

Kieran Swindells, Managing Director of the Manchester based company, commented: “We pride ourselves in vehicles that have the latest safety, comfort and low emission features and in that respect all five of our new purchases fit the bill perfectly.

“The Leopard-Volvo B8 I-shift combination has a proven track record and the 12.8m model gives us 72 seats, which is ideal for a wide range of coach services. The addition of a stylish look, all-round CCTV, Wi-Fi and a luxury finish provides the perfect package.

“The Enviro400 is a pace-setter too and at 11.5m will enable us to carry up to 86 passengers. There is growing demand for vehicles that blend high capacity and comfort and our two new Enviro400s will enable us to exploit these niche opportunities. As with all of our vehicles both of the double decks are finished to a high specification with 10-camera CCTV, V400 recorders, CD-Radio and PA systems on both decks, seat belts and high-back Practico seats.

JMB Travel, based in Newmains, Lanarkshire, has taken delivery of a further two Alexander Dennis Enviro200 midi buses, following the introduction of similar vehicles just six months ago.

Like the two previous Enviro200s the new additions are 39-seat, 10.8m models and will operate on the busy Route 41 between Lanark and Hamilton.

They join the fast-growing business of husband and wife team Martin and Jennifer Bell, who now have a fleet of 60 vehicles supporting bus services and school operations across Lanark, Carluke, Motherwell, Wishaw, Shotts and Hamilton.

Martin Bell, Managing Director of JMB Travel, commented: “The Enviro200s we introduced earlier this year have been a huge success, so when we made some alterations to Route 41 services recently we decided to add another two similar buses.

“Apart from being a modern, stylish vehicle that supports the image we project as a business, the manoeuvrability, fuel efficiency and over-all performance of the Enviro200 is second to none. It is also popular with both drivers and passengers and is superbly supported by ADL’s aftermarket team”.

JMB’s latest Enviro200s are powered by Cummins 4.5 litre ISBe four-cylinder, 160PS turbocharged and intercooled diesel engines, coupled with Allison S2100, five-speed automatic transmissions.

I’d like to point out that bus companies in London always have to make new bus orders after winning a new route contract. London Bus routes are regulated by TfL under a competitive tender regime and this is the reason why London always get the new bus purchases.

Lastly, an update from LOTS:

1) In the past week, several items from Go-Ahead London:   A few more EHs have gone into service at Putney, joining WHVs;  several EDs have been stood down at New Cross in favour of several more refurbished (and upseated) MEC class Citaros on route 108, while one of the two Irizar electrics (EI 1) is often being used in the peaks on NX177 on the 108;  the former ETB VWLs are now down to a mere handful,  mostly used on route 180;  SOEs have been spread out a  little bit more with a few to River Road for  school routes 646/648 once it was found that Citaros were too long for the routes.

2) The StreetLites due for Metrobus at Crawley have started to arrive, 6102/3/4 in Fastway livery for route 100 and 6105-17 for Crawley town routes 2, 4 and 5 - all are 10.8im B41F versions.   Many of Abellio Surrey’s operations are now in their last two weeks of operation as detailed inTLB628.   On 31st December, there will be four ‘new’ operators to local bus work into Kingston - Cardinal, Falcon, Hallmark and Stagecoach South.  Hallmark are due a batch of Scania OmniLink buses in a mainly red livery transferred from their parent (Rotala) operation in Bristol.

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