Friday, 24 February 2017

Arriva are preparing to operate London Bus route 48

Arriva London have just published a news story on their website announcing preparations to operate route 48 from Stagecoach London.

Arriva London is pleased to have been awarded the contract to operate TfL bus route 48 between Walthamstow Central and London Bridge.

The new contract starts this Saturday 25th February operating from Ash Grove garage in Hackney, requiring 70 drivers and 25 buses.

To present a seamless overnight transition from the current operator to Arriva a major mobilisation plan has been in place leading up to the change. Buses from within the current Arriva London fleet have moved to Ash Grove to start the contract ahead of operation with the new style of Routemaster buses later this year.

Arriva London Commercial Director Peter Batty said: -

“It has been a tremendous team effort across our business to prepare for this contract with new drivers recruited and a complex cascade of buses, all to be in the right place at the right time ready for the weekend. Our experience of starting routes 157 and 333 in south London in the last couple of months proved a great learning curve with new contract mobilisation, so we are confident that route 48 settles down in the same way to provide our customers with the high standard of service they expect”

Route 48 operates for almost 21 hours of the day from just after 5am to the last one arriving at Walthamstow shortly before 2am, with the service running every 8 minutes during the day.

According to London Bus Routes service changes page, they will be operating 22 VDL DB300 buses with Wrightbus Gemini 2 bodies. Then during August 2017, they will be converting to the three-door two-staircase New Routemaster buses sourced from other routes and operators. This could mean that route 48 will be the last route to convert to New Routemaster buses.

However, Route 254 will be the last route to convert to the newly built New Routemaster buses. The contract starts on 3rd June 2017 retained by Arriva London.

The first New Routemaster prototypes entered service on route 38 in 2012 - which shows us that Arriva have been operating the first and possibly the last routes (48 and 254) to use New Routemaster buses.

Now of course, as we move forward, things are continually evolving and that applies to the world of bus innovations too. We are going to see the rollout of increasing numbers of zero-emission buses and no doubt new bus designs with the environment and pollution in mind when it comes to their designs. This of course will give us cleaner air to breath in the cities and help to combat Climate Change.

Thankfully, the New Routemaster design will live on in the Enviro400H City and the Wright SRM. The Enviro400H City buses are on London Bus routes 26, 78, 133, 333 and 388. All six of the Volvo B5LH SRM’s operate on various routes contracted to RATP-Dev’s London Sovereign from Edgware garage (BT). You can find the SRM’s on London Vehicle Finder - the fleet code is VHR.

As my regular readers will know, you can follow me on Twitter and Google Plus which is @CLondoner92

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