Wednesday, 1 February 2012

First to move ftr's away from York by Easter?

 ftr's in York soon after introduction. Note the front wheel spats which were eventually removed.
Further to our earlier reports about the ftr's future being in doubt, it is now reported that the controversial superbus is set to be taken off the city’s streets by Easter and replaced by a fleet of double deckers.
Bus operator First said today that following a comprehensive review of passenger growth prospects, it had ‘identified an opportunity’ to launch the ftr elsewhere in its Northern Region.
“As a result, the ftr vehicles will be withdrawn from York for a full refurbishment programme ahead of being reintroduced into service elsewhere,” said a spokesman “Whilst this was a commercial decision taken by First, it is mindful of the aspirations of York’s council leaders to remove the ftr vehicles from York.”
He said the number 4 Acomb to University of York route, currently served by the ftr, would now see the introduction of a modern fleet of easily accessible double decker buses, which would have lower carbon emissions than the ftr.
He added that the current, frequent service would continue without any timetable changes.
Labour said in its election manifesto last May that it wanted to get rid of the ftrs, which it branded a “costly disaster”, and Coun Dave Merrett, the council’s cabinet member for city strategy, told The Press last month that discussions had been held about finding an “acceptable replacement”.
Dave Alexander, regional managing director for First in the North of England, subsequently claimed Coun Merrett had revealed “private” discussions, and said no alternative proposals had yet been developed and that for the time being, the ftr vehicles would continue to operate on the Number 4 route.

Information from Phil G