Saturday, 16 June 2012


The Designline battery buses previously operated by Stagecoach on the QuayLink service in Newcastle and Gateshead are on the move. Unfortunately at the back of a recovery lorry.
 So far seven of the buses have been moved to the storage compound. Six are seen here in the compound, the one with a number plate is VX04 MZG the original demonstrator which was tried at various Stagecoach depots prior to the other nine arriving to fulfil the QuayLink contract. At this point it lost the Stagecoach livery but retained the Stagecoach interior trim. There are other details differences between this vehicle and the remainder of the fleet, which all came with 05 registration numbers.
The ten hybrid buses are owned jointly by Nexus, the Tyne and Wear PTE and Gateshead council and were taken out of service almost two years ago when the QuayLink contract was lost by Stagecoach to Go North East. Stagecoach were persuaded to try them on other routes in the Newcastle area but they were found to be just as unreliable as they had been when operated on the Quaylink services and they have languished in the Stagecoach Walkergate depot ever since. 
It was rumoured that a company called Nexgen had acquired the vehicles to convert them from hybrid power to battery power but all seemed to have gone quiet until last weeks move away from the Stagecoach depot to a Tyneside storage compound.
A search has revealed the following information on a Nexgen website page which talks of the principles of the proposed conversion. but no timetable is included.
We will keep you informed of any further progress.

David Gambles