|More to come for route 388|
As we approach February, the rollout of new buses continues in Britain.
We begin with Arriva who have taken delivery of 174 Volvo B5LH double deck hybrids.
From Bus and Coach Buyer
With grant support from the Government Office for Low Emission Vehicles, Arriva has recently taken delivery of 174 new Volvo B5LH double deck hybrids. They join an existing batch of 44 Volvo hybrid buses that the company purchased in 2013 for its North West services. From the order, 123 are for company’s London operations and the remainder will be used in Merseyside on local routes. According to the manufacturer, the vehicles deliver CO2 emissions reductions of up to 39% compared to a conventional diesel double decker. They feature Wrightbus Gemini 3 bodies and Volvo parallel hybrid systems including a Volvo D5K 240 four-cylinder 5.1litre Euro6 engine rated at 240hp. They have Volvo AT2412E I-Shift fully automated 12-speed gearboxes.
Area MD for Arriva North West, Phil Cummins, said, ‘Following delivery, 10% of our fleet in the north west now consists of Volvo hybrid vehicles. In the past, we have experienced good reliability and build quality from Volvo, as well as substantial fuel savings, which meant we had no hesitation in selecting the company once again for this latest order. Upgrading our fleet to include hybrid buses such as these, really is a “win-win” situation, because the government incentivises us to switch to hybrid vehicles, and once we switch we are then rewarded with the benefits of increased efficiency and lower fuel costs going into the future.’
Fleet Sales Manager for Volvo Bus, Dan Barwick, said, ‘We are confident that Arriva will see the consistent fuel economy benefits these hybrid vehicles will deliver to their business nationwide. We are very pleased Arriva has chosen Volvo once again for this latest purchase and look forward to working with them again in the future.’
Next up, we have the successful trial of the Optare Metrocity, for First bus in Halifax.
From Route One
Optare’s Euro 6, 11.5m Metrocity demonstrator has completed a “very successful real-world trial” with First Bus in Halifax.
It has seen the Metrocity put through its paces operating on First’s high-frequency Red Arrow services 521, 522 and 523, from Halifax to Ovenden and Illingworth (north of Halifax) – where it was put head-to-head with the Euro 6 Wrightbus StreeLites allocated to it.
As a result, it is now on the list of buses that First will accept. It is currently finalising its requirements in terms of vehicle types, ahead of issuing tenders for its 2017/18 financial year orders.
First Bus Technical Director Mark Munday says: “First Bus invests in a unique and rigorous approach to testing, evaluating and procuring new vehicles.
“In addition to extensive fuel efficiency and performance testing on the track we also conduct real-world operation trials, on actual routes throughout the First Bus network.
“Working with manufacturers in this way means that we can gather robust data to inform the purchase of vehicles that support Local Authority agendas and positively impact carbon and air quality in town and city centres across the UK, while ensuring that we deliver the best experience for our passengers.
“The trial of the Metrocity builds on the work we started last year with Optare, which included a comprehensive assessment of the Metrodecker.
“After the success of the Metrodecker trial we were particularly keen to evaluate the Metrocity and gain passenger and driver feedback.
“It has performed really well and it is great to see more Low Carbon certified buses being made available to benefit the environment.”
He added that total cost of ownership and fuel economy carry significant weight; “it’s not just about the up-front capital cost - we are taking a long-term view,” he told routeONE.
Adds Optare Commercial Director Robert Drewery, “In light of service experience, expectations of the Metrocity’s performance were high, and we were not disappointed.
“The Euro 6 vehicle is Low Carbon certified and met or exceeded competitive benchmarks throughout the assessment.
“Feedback from drivers and customers has been extremely positive, particularly around the driveability, smooth ride and the comfort of the vehicle.”
The Metrocity is a relatively recent addition to the Optare vehicle portfolio that has impressive fuel-efficiency. The lightest in class, low-floor single deck has a fully integral frame, “enviable” fuel economy and impressive seating capacity.
The Metrocity is available in three lengths (10.1m, 10.8m and 11.5m), with a single door. The 10.1m and 10.8m also available in a two door TfL specification, both as a Euro 6 diesel and as an electric bus.
The Metrocity will shortly start a further in-service assessment with First Hampshire & Dorset.
I should point out that as the article mentions ‘Red Arrow’ - this is not to be confused with the electric bus Red Arrow service in Central London.
Also, we have news that a bus company in Scarborough have added four Enviro200 MMC’s.
From Route One
EYMS Group subsidiary Scarborough and District has taken delivery of four 30-seat Enviro200 MMCs, supplied by Alexander Dennis (01909 551166).
The buses have Euro 6 engines and represent an investment of £500,000.
EYMS Group Chairman Peter Shipp says of the buses, which were built at the Plaxton plant in Scarborough: “Naturally we are delighted to have been able to buy local.
“I am also able to announce that we are about to place an order for five more similar buses which will also be built in Scarborough next year.”
Lastly - a news update from LOTS:
1) First of all, a round-up of new buses due for London during February and March, probably with some drifting into April – a mere 405 buses!! It kicked off in the past week with the first few of CT Plus’ new ADL E400H-City buses (batch 2522-36) for route 388 and a few LTs for the EL1/2/3 at Barking- River Road Garage. A batch of 51 (LT903-953) are due, and the services are due to begin on 18th February. Delivery has also started of Arriva’s 123 HVs (batch HV201-323), examples coming from those due variously for routes 259 and 242 in March, plus 2/N2, 19/N19 and 249 from 1st April.
2) Plenty more due to follow in the coming weeks: 48 x E20Ds for Stagecoach (routes 273, 380, 167, 362. 462, 549) and 46 x E20Ds for CT Plus (routes 309, 397, 394, W11, W12, W13. W14), comprising examples of several lengths; 23 xE40Hs (12403-425) for Stagecoach route 277; 51 x Volvo B5LH/MCV for Tower Transit routes 13, 58, 308) and 20x StreetLites for route 236, also for Tower Transit; last but not least, LT 876-902 for route 76 when it passes to London General.
That’s so many more new buses for the London Bus services; this shows that bus contracting has enabled more new buses to come upon new route tenders.
With the Enviro400H City, they are now operating on four London Bus routes which are routes 26, 78, 133 and 333. As mentioned above, the next route to convert to those buses will be route 388 which runs from Stratford to Blackfriars via Hackney Wick and Bethnal Green.
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