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Friday, 8 May 2015

London Recap - April 2015

A relatively quiet month in the London bus world, but one thing we can confirm is that Arsenal are not going to win the league title after all and Jeremy Kyle is our new top gear host and I personally cannot see anyone better to be honest, with his amplified voice, who better to talk about a V6 engine on a car.

Delivery of the VH class Volvo B5LH/Wright Gemini buses for the 116 & 285

Delivery of first of 28 VH class Volvos numbered VH24-51 for London United commenced on the 27th of Apirl where four of these buses were unexpectedly delivered to the company's Twickenham Depot in South West London. Earmarked for the Route 116 & 285, there was much speculation as to what both routes will be using to mark the start of their new contract, in particular the 285, with some theorists suggesting the ADH class on the 94 would be utilised which would make way for the introduction of LTs on the route. This was of course rubbished when the first pictures on the net emerged of the new buses. Seen here in a lonely Twickenham yard, stands VH40 which is in warm storage, while it awaits blinds, Tfl revenue equipment as well as IBUS installation prior to entering service on routes 116 and 285.

Introduction of Enviro 400 MMC's for Metroline on Route 332 

The 17th of April, saw the much anticipated introduction of the first batch of Metroline MMC bodied Enviro Hybrid buses, with TEH2081 and 2082 performing the honours. The vehicles ordered against the issue of the new 332 contract were delivered to the company's CELF Centre facility in February before being placed in warm storage at another location. The introduction of 16 strong batch with numbers ranging from TEH2072-2087 will ultimately allow some of the older TEs from the batch TE1073-1104 to transfer to Holloway (HT) in order to oust the 25 TP/TPL class currently in service. As of April 2014, TE1076 & 1077 have made the short trip up north. 

The Last Enviro 400 to enter service

Seen here with the Millennium dome in the backdrop, is Stagecoach London's 12364 SN15 LRJ, the Plumstead allocated vehicle prides itself in being the last ever production model Enviro 400 to be introduced to the streets of London after which all other models will be of the MMC body. Allocated to the 122 as a logistical spare, it spends most of its time plying its trade on the other routes at Plumstead Garage.

Sullivan's new acquisitions

The 7th of April, saw independent operator Sullivan Buses take on the delivery of four former Stagecoach Lodno Scania Omnicity buses which had recently come off lease following the end of their contractual duties on Route 56 which obtained Hybrid buses. Given fleet numbers DS50-53, the vehicles will be allocated to newly won school routes, 692 and 699 which were respectively won from fellow operator London General. The Buses originally ordered by stagecoach are in the process of receiving a new blind sets, prior to deep clean, their arrival allows the company to oust the ageing ALX1/2 & 4/5 in the summer which are nearing the end of their lives.

More Greens for Metroline 

Delivery has commenced of 34 VWH class buses for Metroline as illustrated in the above picture, the eventual batch will consist of 64 vehicles, with eventual fleet numbers set to be running from VWH2088-2151, the introduction of these vehicles will see both routes 6 and 98 convert to full hybrid operation, to meet new requirements as well as allow the not too long refurbished VPs to be utilised elsewhere, ridding older leased deckers in the process. 

A set of striking two tone pink and black NBFL adverts

The over-publication of London fashion icon, the 'LT' continued, with this time Magnum supporting the cause, noted across the Holloway and Leyton garages, the buses, are being wrapped in a pink vinyl advertising Magnum's new flavoured ice cream, all wrapped vehicles have also had WiFi installed, which is sponsored by Walls.

Slightly out of London

Introduction of Streetdecks in Brighton

Slightly out of London, the much coveted introduction of the first of the facelifted Streedecks went very smootly, with the first models entering service on flagship routes 12 and 12X, 24 buses comprised of an integral Wrightbus chassis which is coupled to a 5.1 Daimler engine commenced delivery in the early days of April. Although there have been mixed reviews about the vehicle, nothing can be taken away from the fact it has a marvellously striking design.


TEs on the U5

Metroline West TE1743 is seen in Hayes, unusually working the U5, this batch of buses were originally new to former operator, First London's Greenford Garage for the retention of the E1 & E3 which were successfully retained on tender in 2009. The batch were formerly numbered DN33575-33611, however following the purchase of First's Centrwest operations it and its sisters were given new identities, in TE1715-1751. At present most of the batch are still at Greenford Garage, following the retention and gain of routes 282 and 482, while a few transferred north to Holloway Garage (HT) for the 91 while its TEs transferred further north to the company's Potters Bar (PB) garage as temporary cover on the recently gained 34 and 125 while both routes awaited their new VWHs.

WDL1 on the 655

A normally 270 allocated WDL1 is seen loading outside of GAL's headquarters in Merton whilst serving school route 655, the one off vehicle was delivered to Go-Ahead's via VDL dealer Arriva Bus & Coach in 2009 and housed at their Stockwell garage.

MCL1 Still going strong

Still going strong, seen navigating Kingston Bus Station is Quality Line's MCL1, a now spare bus purchased by Quality Line following the gain of Route 293 back in 2003, the vehicle now spends most of its operating as a layover bus, allocated to much of the routes at the company's small Epsom base.

Transfer of TEs from Cricklewood to Holloway

The much anticipated transfer of up to 25 TEs from Cricklewood to Holloway commenced on the night of the 18th of April, when TE1076/7 transferred in the little hours, the vehicles from a bigger batch with numbers ranging from TE1073-1104 were acquired in 2010 to meet contractual requirements. Initially it was only TE1073-1075 that were delivered to Cricklewood in July 2010, while the latter of the batch commenced their delivery in October of that year, following the annual factory shut down of ADL. The introduction of the vehicles at Holloway will allow the ousting of 5 TPL and 20 TP class vehicles which currently ply their trade on routes 17,43 and 271. It is expected that when all 25 do transfer, their mainstay will be Routes 17 and 43.

Tender News  

29th of April 2015

LBSL intends to enter into new contracts for the following routes with the operators listed below:
Route Current Operator New Operator PVR Vehicles
11/N11 London General London General 26 Existing New Routemaster
23 (24 Hr) Tower Transit Tower Transit 28 Existing diesel and hybrid double deck
190 Metroline Metroline 10 Existing diesel single deck
295 (24 Hr) Tower Transit to Metroline West 21 New hybrid double deck

Contracts will commence on the following dates:
31st October 2015 – Routes 11/N11 and 295
14th November 2015 – Route 23
12th December 2015 – Route 190


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