Friday, 17 February 2017

New Routemasters come to East London Transit services

I haven’t given you a New Routemaster update for a while now so I thought it was about time that I did.

The new East London Transit routes EL1, EL2 & EL3 contract starts on Saturday 18th February 2017 operated by Go Ahead Blue Triangle from River Road (RR) garage. The new contract requires the three-door two-staircase hybrid buses called the New Routemaster, purchased directly by TfL and leased to private operators for their route contracts.

A change to the New Routemaster rollout - according to London Bus Routes service changes page, they reported:


Expected date
Contract awarded to Arriva London North with 22 existing DB300 10.4m/Gemini 2 2D double deckers from routes 67/141 from Ash Grove garage. Revised temporary timetable to improve reliability with PVR temporarily changed to 24 during works at London Bridge.
25th February 2017
Hybrid New Bus for London double deckers introduced (sourced from other routes and operators). 
Aug 2017?
Contract awarded to Go Ahead London General with 25 new New Bus for London hybrid double deckers. [Note: re-dated from 28 January to provide a common date with route 259.]
25th March 2017
Contract retained by Arriva London with 33 new hybrid New Bus for London double deckers. (251116)
3rd June 2017

Interesting how route 47 could be the last to convert using existing NRM’s sourced from other routes and operators - but route 254 will be the last route to convert with the newest build New Routemaster buses.

Recently, the LT583 suffered fire damage on route 149 in High Road (A10) in the Tottenham area, this was believed to be arson but the details are not known yet. The incident happened around 7pm on Sunday 12th February 2017. If you check the London Vehicle Finder for route 149 it shows that a couple of standard diesel and hybrid buses are on that route.

Taking a quick look at routes 387 and EL1’s consultation report and scrolling down to page 23, what caught my eye is this text saying “Concern: Use of new Routemaster buses less safe for passengers” and only one person raised an issue about it.

Overall though, it will be interesting to see the New Routemasters serving the Barking and Dagenham area, but TfL needs to increase their presence of revenue inspectors because the New Routemasters are prone to fare evasion due to the three-door boarding system, just like we saw with the bendy buses.

I’ve found an album on Flickr which shows the New Routemaster buses for the East London Transit routes parked up at Heysham Docks waiting to be delivered to River Road (RR) garage in Barking. The photos were taken on 11th February so they are quite recent. You can view the album here.

As the New Routemaster rollout comes to an end, most of the New Routemasters design will continue on as the two-door one-staircase spec known as the SRM.

Currently the SRM’s appear on routes operated by RATP-Dev’s Edgware (BT) garage. On London Vehicle Finder, if you type in “RTP VHR*” (without the quotes) in the search box, it reveals the routes the SRM’s are on. The SRM’s use the Volvo B5LH hybrid system but not the original hybrid system which the three-door two-staircase New Routemaster buses use.

Also, since the Volvo B5LHC with SRM body was unveiled back in November 2016 at the Euro Bus Expo, there’s been no update on the rollout.

The Alexander Dennis Enviro400H City buses are now converting on route 388 which enables the older diesel buses to withdraw from service. The Enviro400H City holds design cues based on the New Routemaster bus. Currently the Enviro400H City buses appear on routes 26, 78, 133*, 333 and 388.

* Route 133 is currently mixed with standard diesel or hybrid buses, again check with London Vehicle Finder to see the bus types on the route.

Unlike with the New Routemasters as they are purchased by TFL and leased to operators, the SRM’s and Enviro400H City buses are directly purchased by private bus operating companies for their route contracts. So, it’s safe to say that TfL are now moving on to rolling out low/zero emission buses. You can read more on TfL’s improving buses page here.

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

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