Sunday, 25 December 2016

Year in review: roundup of 2016

Today is the 25th December 2016, Christmas day, so I hope you all enjoy it, eat plenty of festive food and enjoy a Christmas tipple to celebrate with your family and friends.

Usually on Christmas Day there are no London Transport services, so for those that need to travel, I hope you have made prior arrangements.

I can’t believe how fast the time has flown by as we had a lot of surprises during the year 2016.

2016 has been an eventful year for London Transport and we saw many events and news itemswhich I’ve listed below:

More Hydrogen buses for London route RV1, no update on the VanHool hydrogen bus

CT Plus purchased 21 Enviro400H City buses for their route 26 contract
London Mayor Boris Johnson confirms order to extend New Routemaster fleet to 1,000 before he leaves office, as he didn’t run for re-election

BYD double deck electric bus set to operate on route 98
Surprise unveiling of the two-door one-staircase New Routemaster design named the SRM which is  purchased by private bus operating companies

Route 148 NRMs- the first batch to have window openings

BYD double deck electric bus enters service on route 98
Sadiq Khan wins the London Mayoral election
Announcement of the One Hour hopper fare as part of the new Mayor’s promise
New Mayor announced he won’t be purchasing any more three-door two-staircase New Routemaster buses

Surprise announcement of the removal of conductors for New Routemasterbuses
Launch of Weekend (Friday and Saturday night) Night Tube for Central Line (between Ealing Broadway and Hainault, and between White City and Loughton except the West Ruislip branch) and Victoria Line (entire line)

Tower Transit wins new route 13 contract leaving the real route 13 to be withdrawn and route 82 being renumbered to 13
Withdrawal of conductors from New Routemaster Buses

Routes 133 & 333 to be served with Enviro400H City buses
Media names the wrong bus in the 2nd October 2016 bus fire near Liverpool Street station
Launch of Night Tube service for the entire Jubilee Line
10 million London Bus journeys made with the new ‘hopper fare’

Volvo surprisingly launches the B5LHC double-deck electric hybrid with SRM (2 door New Routemaster) body!
Launch of Night Tube for the Northern Line, except the Mill Hill East and Bank branches.
Announcement of the Mayor’s policy of four-year fare freeze
Proposed changes to the 23 London Bus routes in Central London
TFL and Wrightbus unveils the hydrogen double-deck bus

New government railway reforms which has caused dispute with TFL’s takeover of the South London railway branches
Launch of Night Tube service for Piccadilly Line between Cockfosters and Heathrow Terminal 5 (except for Heathrow Terminal 4 and Acton Town to Uxbridge branches)
Next year will be interesting as we will see more zero emission buses being launched in London, not to mention the new Crossrail Class 345 train is expected to launch in May 2017.

The final routes to convert to the three-door two-staircase New Routemaster buses are:

Route 76- operated by Go Ahead London General - expected date 28th January
East London Transit routes EL1, EL2 and EL3 - operated by Go Ahead Blue Triangle- expected date 18th February
Route 48- operated by Arriva London- expected date 25th February
Route 254- operated by Arriva London- expected date 3rd June

There’s no need to worry though as the New Routemaster design will live on as the two-door one-staircase design called the SRM; they will be ordered by the private operating companies as and when they win new route contracts.

Also, here are my reviews, opinions and essays which I wrote during the year 2016:

London Buses route 96 and Fastrack between Dartford and Bluewater
London Bus contracting: operators get paid by the mile
ULTra Heathrow Pods PRT – we need them everywhere!
London Bus Oddity – Mixed operators on route 60
Ride the classic AEC Routemaster on Route 15 – they’re still running!

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