Friday 26 September 2014


The City of York's transport has taken a leap forward this year with the introduction of new and part used hybrid buses. Furthermore a re-located Park-&-Ride facility is now open at Askham Bar and work continues in the city centre to provide a new bus interchange at Exhibition Square.


The latest new buses is a fleet of six all-electric Optare Versa EV single-decks, branded up and liveried for route 59, which serves the Poppleton Park-&-Ride site out on the north west side of the city close by to the A59/A1237 junction.

A contrast here between the old and the new as fleet number 49906 passes by the ancient walls of the city.

The rear aspect of fleet number 49902 as it too passes by the city's walls on the way into the city centre.

The older buses now in the First York fleet are five Wright Gemini 2 HEV double-decks. They began life in the First London fleet in dual-door format as fleet numbers WNH 39001-39005 based at their Westbourne Park depot. The buses operated over high capacity routes 28, 31 and 328 that served the inner and outer west London suburbs. Life was a bit harsh and they had somewhat of a chequered time whilst in the Capital and were subsequently withdrawn from London service.

However, after some care and attention they were re-vamped into single-door format, painted into FirstGroup nationwide livery and placed into the York fleet, where they now operate over route 4 from the University via the city centre to Acomb.

Powered by a combination of batteries and conventional diesel, the HEVs have been fitted with new, state-of-the-art hybrid technology. The buses are driven by a Siemens driving system powered by batteries which are charged by a generator run from a Cummins Euro V engine. 

The new technology produces 30% lower carbon emissions compared to a conventional diesel Euro IV bus. As well as being kinder to the local environment, the hybrid vehicles are also quieter than conventional buses.

Also, soon to appear on the York streets in quite a different role is an existing bus from the Transdev Yorkshire Coastliner fleet. 

This is an East Lancs Lolyne Dennis Trident similar to the one shown here and originally operated by the Kent-based Metrobus fleet on London tendered bus route services.

The bus is one of several acquired by the established York sightseeing company, before their takeover by Transdev. Recently it underwent a major conversion by Sheffield-based Magtec to 100% electric propulsion. With electric driveline technology it is powered by a set of rechargeable lithium ion batteries, capable of covering 75 miles per charge.

And finally something quite different.

In complete contrast a land train operates between the National Railway Museum and the city centre, the vehicle seen here 'turning on a sixpence' adjacent to the Minster. 


Two recent sets of images of other buses in York can now be viewed on the Flickr site by clicking here for First York buses and here for other operator's vehicles.