Friday, 31 July 2015


Wednesday the 15th July 2015 will probably be one of those times that Sir Peter Hendy will hold dear in his life, for on that day he spent his last hours working as the Commissioner of Transport for London.

Perhaps though use of the word 'work' may not have been applicable on the day, as he took some time out with one of his passions, riding through London on one of its iconic red buses. 

Along with close working associate Leon Daniels the Managing Director Surface Transport for London, he rode the bus through central London over part of the long established route 14 (Putney Heath & Warren Street Station). 

Photocalls were made along the way and a special blind display had been produced celebrating Sir Peter's last day.

The bus used was fleet number RTW 467 once one of 500 all Leyland built Titan PD2/3 type produced for London Transport from 1949. Whether the bus and Sir Peter initially appeared around the same time, we leave for others to surmise. Needless to say both provided sterling service whilst in London during their respective periods. The bus has, since withdrawal from front line service been kept in a remarkably preserved condition and is often seen around London on special event days.

David Heath who provided the image, captured the bus as it passed along Piccadilly by Green Park.

Focus Transport send all good wishes to Sir Peter as he takes up his next challenge with Network Rail. An interview with him appeared recently on the website, and can be viewed by clicking  here  

Thursday, 30 July 2015


BYD and ADL partner to supply Go-Ahead London with capital’s first, large-scale pure electric bus fleet

BYD, the world’s largest maker of pure electric buses - and Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), Europe’s fastest growing bus and coach builder - have formed a powerful new alliance and confirmed a £19 million deal that will see the introduction of London’s first large-scale, zero-emission, single deck bus fleet. This will also be the single largest fleet of full size electric buses in Europe.

The move follows confirmation by Go-Ahead London that they are to introduce 51 emission-free, pure electric buses on routes 507 and 521, which operate between Waterloo and Victoria.
The vehicles will be built on BYD chassis and powered by BYD’s technology-leading electric drivetrain. All 51 buses will be bodied by ADL, incorporating their market-leading Enviro200-like midi bus design.
The Enviro200 is the world’s best-selling midi bus and renowned for its lightweight, easy access, manoeuvrability and fuel efficiency.

Go-Ahead London said today that it expects to introduce all 51 of the revolutionary new vehicles into service by August 27th, 2016, signalling the introduction of London’s first, large-scale pure electric bus fleet. The move follows an announcement from Transport for London (TfL) earlier this month that it would electrify central London routes 507 and 521 as part of its drive to make all of its single deck buses emission-free by 2020.

The new deal, worth £19 million, includes a full on-site repair and maintenance programme for the term of the contract and combines the strengths of ADL’s Enviro200 12m single deck (with 18,000 units sold worldwide) and BYD’s own design of Iron-Phosphate Battery technology and drivetrain system. The latter has been proven to deliver outstanding range and reliability in multiple international markets, covering millions of kilometres of passenger-carrying service.

The decision by the two manufacturers to collaborate on this first fleet is a significant step. It brings together the proven, safe and long range capabilities of BYD’s pure electric buses (the company has 3,500 in service worldwide) with the outstanding and high quality vehicle design and UK build capability of ADL. The resulting vehicles, capable of carrying up to 90 passengers, will offer Londoners some of the most advanced zero emission buses in the world and provide opportunities for the two partner bus builders to work together in the future for the benefit of other bus operators, their passengers and the wider community.

Both BYD and ADL see this latest development as a major step towards bus operations in the UK and around the world making a bold statement and major contribution on which to base clean air initiatives.
Isbrand Ho, Managing Director of BYD Europe, said: “Working together with our partners and friends at ADL we can provide a truly optimised blend of expertise. Our deep experience of not only battery technology but the critical battery management systems and driveline components necessary to deliver unequalled range and reliability are matched to ADL’s strong track record in building low weight, attractive and durable buses. This combination will deliver a unique vehicle which we believe will have a strong appeal in London and elsewhere in the UK”.

Colin Robertson, CEO of ADL, commented: “Technology is at the forefront of everything we do and this unique alliance with BYD represents a quantum leap into the future. Our combined strengths and, critically, the unified aftermarket support we are putting in place to support Go-Ahead London in the long-term, represents a
fundamental of our combined business philosophy. The backing of Go-Ahead – in the form of this £19m contract – is a huge confidence booster and we are delighted to have emerged alongside BYD as the preferred bidder in what was a highly competitive process involving a raft of global competitors. I see this new initiative as a major turning point for ADL and our new technology partner, BYD.”

Richard Harrington, Engineering Director of Go-Ahead London, commented: “We are delighted to have placed this order with BYD and have every confidence that along with ADL they will deliver exactly what they promise, that is, the world’s most advanced, zero-emission, pure electric bus fleet – and one that will match the rigorous demands of the London operating environment. Go-Ahead is constantly striving to stay at the forefront of technology and to make a major contribution in the reduction of emissions and pollutants. This is a considerable step towards a cleaner, greener London bus fleet.”

Buses currently in operation on the two routes are a fleet of fifty 12-metre long Mercedes-Benz Citaro single-decks with dual-door configuration built in 2009 as fleet numbers MEC 1-50. These are supplemented by two 12-metre long BYD K9E single-decks as fleet numbers EB1 and EB2.


Wednesday, 29 July 2015

DAVID HUNTER - Funeral Arrangements

Following the death of well known transport enthusiast David Hunter (announced herehis family have now been located, allowing funeral arrangements to be finalised.

The funeral will take place at Forest Park Cemetery & Crematorium Forest Road, Hainault, Essex. IG6 3HP on Tuesday 11th August at 2.15pm.

The wake will be held at a pub often frequented by Dave, namely the Victoria Tavern, 165 Smarts Lane, Loughton, Essex, IG10 4BP from approximately 3.30 onwards, and a buffet will be available.

We are that he would like to be remembered for many things in his life, but one aspect being his passion for many types of transport, especailly the bus and the train. So herewith just a few that he would have appreciated over time

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Camira Fabrics Survey

When new buses are ordered it is the bus operators who choose what seat coverings are to be used. Customer preferences might be taken into consideration but such information is usually limited.

Now, following an extensive survey by material manufacturer Camira, over 600 passengers across six regions were asked by Bus Users, an independent organisation who are the voice of UK bus passengers, to list their preferences of seat coverings.
Moquette was the outright favourite with 45% of the respondents giving it their vote. Leather came second with 31% with Flat Cloth at 20% and PVC 4%.

Excerpts from the survey are shown below and the whole survey can be seen by clicking here and then clicking on the link to download a PDF version.



Martin Arrand recently visited the South Yorkshire town of Barnsley and a selection of images from the day can now be viewed by clicking  here

Monday, 27 July 2015


Anger at Sheffield bus changes as 800 take part in consultation

Anger is mounting at major changes planned for dozens of bus services across Sheffield - with hundreds of people also taking part in consultation in just two weeks.

Many passengers have concerns about the proposals, set to impose revised or new routes, withdraw or replace several services.

In Norton Lees, the number 19 and 20 bus services are to be reduced from every half hour to every hour because ‘current patronage levels do not justify’ the current levels.
Retired teacher Elizabeth Grant, of Hollythorpe Rise, said: “There will also be no services after 7pm and nothing on Sundays.
“I feel because it’s not a council estate and there isn’t a hospital they will argue it is not profitable enough but for us it is the only bus we can get - having one every hour just isn’t on.
“Quite a number of elderly people rely on buses.”
Carole Froggatt, of Wisewood, said withdrawing the 84 from Wisewood and Loxley due to insufficient patronage was ‘nothing but scandalous and very unfair’.
She added: “What about the disabled, people with mobility problems, ageing pensioners and mums with babies in prams, let alone poor workers who have jobs to get to for a certain time?”
The partnership says services 31/31a and 61/62 will still serve Loxley and new service 53 will provide a more frequent service for Wisewood where there is ‘higher demand.’
Residents are also affected by the re-routing of the number 70 service from Dore away from the Royal Hallamshire Hospital while in Stannington the SL2 link bus which connects the village with the Malin Bridge tram stop is to be axed.

The revised 81 extended service from Dore provides an ‘improved 20 minute service’ via Ecclesall Road and 70 per cent of service 70 passengers are catered for on it, says the partnership.
Some peak time journeys will be provided to the university.
In Stannington the service 81 will travel from the village to the city centre every 20 minutes, and to Hillsborough every ten minutes.
Opposition councillors say they have been flooded with complaints about the changes and there has been too little publicity.
One complainant had travelled on six buses but could not find a leaflet and when he visited an interchange was told he could only have one rather than taking more home for elderly neighbours.
Graves Park Coun Ian Auckland said yesterday that the consultation should have been 60 days long, rather than 25, given its significance at a meeting of the Sheffield City Region combined authority transport committee.
He said afterwards: “Thousands of people rely on bus services to get around, so I’m very concerned the public is being kept in the dark due to the lack of publicity about the proposed changes.”
The partnership - made up of operators, Sheffield Council, Sheffield Community Transport and the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive - says plans will ‘improve’ the city’s bus network by optimising routes into the city centre, employment and training sites.
A spokesman said a review of the network looked ‘very carefully’ at demand for bus services, aimed to cut congestion by removing duplicated services or those which are not well used and views would be considered before changes.
Yesterday David Young, interim director general, told the committee 800 people had taken part in the consultation so far and lack of funding meant that buying adverts on the side of buses would mean ‘cutting bus services.’
In total 10,000 leaflets had been printed and were at interchanges, plus on ‘all’ Stagecoach buses but only 60 per cent of First buses which staff were trying to address.
He said he believed the consultation was ‘robust’, adding; “For a network change like this I believe the consultation period has been more than adequate and I would argue that can be seen by the number of responses we have already had.”
Mr Young encouraged more people to have their say to make the exercise more effective.
“This is a consultation, not a final network”, he added. “There is room to manoeuvre and, if it comes to that, to go back to the drawing board if it is fundamentally wrong.”
The consultation runs until July 31 at, with paper forms at Sheffield and Rotherham interchanges.

Changes could be implemented from October 31.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Great Western Electrification Delays

The government has admitted the electrification of the Great Western main line faces "challenges" amid peers' questions over delays.
Last week, ministers indicated the timetable for electrifying the line to Bristol Parkway by 2016 and Swansea by 2018 may be pushed back.
Lib Dem Baroness Randerson asked if the government had committed enough money.

 HST's will have to stay in service longer than planned
if the scheme is delayed
Transport minister Lord Ahmad said there had been unexpected planning delays, but it remained a "priority".
"The government is committed to delivering electrification from Paddington to Swansea," the Conservative peer said.
"There are challenges which have arisen from electrification and construction and planning consents have taken longer than expected."
He said Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin had asked Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy to report back on "issues of deliverability and affordability" by the autumn.
In June the government said it would delay or cut back a number of modernisation projects planned for Network Rail but said the Great Western line was a top priority.
Network Rail's £50m programme aims to cut journey times on the route between London Paddington to Swansea.
But on Monday, Mr McLoughlin told the Commons Transport Committee electrification was "providing some very big engineering problems".
Asked whether the line to Oxford, Chippenham and Bristol Parkway would be electrified by December 2016, as planned, he said: "I can't give you a yes or no answer."
Earlier this week, Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb could not confirm the electrification of the line to Swansea would be done by 2018, as planned.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

North East Wright StreetDeck Trial

The Wright StreetDeck (SN64 CTU) is operating as planned with Go North East on the Newcastle - Bishop Auckland X21 service. Sean Blair has sent the following pictures of the vehicle.
The Enviro 400 MMC demonstrator covered in our 17th July posting here is now scheduled to leave the Go North East fleet having been popular with the travelling public and drivers alike whilst operating on the X21 service. Whether the StreetDeck will prove as popular is doubtful as early feedback hasn't been as positive but the vehicle is scheduled to stay for two months so maybe it will grow on us.

The seats are trimmed with Go Ahead moquette, showing a degree of commitment by Wright's


Friday, 24 July 2015


Watch out cyclists: Bus shelter placed in the middle of a Glasgow cycle lane

Cycle Path Bus stop on The Clyde Gateway

Thursday, 23 July 2015


First glimpse of new London Overground trains to be launched in 2018 


This picture gives a sneak preview of London Overground's new £5.7 million trains due to launch on routes across north-east London from 2018. 
Bombardier's four-carriage Aventra trains will replace the crumbling 1980s stock on services from Liverpool Street to Chingford, Cheshunt and Enfield, as well as the Barking to Gospel Oak line and the Romford to Upminster service. 
German-headquartered rail equipment firm Bombardier will be paid £260 million to build the 45 trains - which will include walk-through carriages, air-con and better disabled access. 
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "This brand new fleet of trains will enable London Overground to carry a growing number of passengers more reliably and speedily than ever." The Liverpool Street lines became part of London Overground in May, since when the operator has been plagued by complaints about delays and cancellations. 
Last month TfL's director of London Overground Mike Stubbs said disruption was "primarily caused by reliability issues with the trains we inherited on the route" and pledged £2m to improve the existing trains until their replacement in three years. "The trains TfL inherited are more than 30 years old and are not in good condition," he admitted. "The condition of the trains has been causing some delays". 
The new trains will be built in Derby and are expected to share their basic design with the forthcoming Crossrail trains. Interior images for the new service are expected to be unveiled at a showcase event in October. 
The Gospel Oak to Barking line will be electrified the year before the new fleet is rolled out.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015


Full steam ahead! £4.2m decade-long restoration of iconic Flying Scotsman nears completion and it's expected locomotive will return to the tracks by the end of the year

  • The steam train was purchased in 2004 by the National Railway Museum, restoration starting the following year
  • Cost of the improvement works is currently at £4.2m as finishing touches being applied in Bury workshop
  • Broke the record to become the world's fastest locomotive on November 30, 1934, hitting 100mph

Iconic locomotive the Flying Scotsman is nearing a return to the train tracks.
After more than a decade out of action, the finishing touches are being put on the restoration project that could see the steam train return to service in a matter of months.
The locomotive was bought by National Railway Museum in 2004 for £2.3 million with costs of the restoration currently at £4.2m. The successful bid included £415,000 raised by the public and £365,000 donated by Sir Richard Branson, plus a £1.8m grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund. 

Since that time, it has been going through a thorough restoration.
Bob Gwynne, curator of collections and research at the National Railway Museum, said Flying Scotsman's inaugural main line run from London to York is scheduled to be the opening event for the museum's February Flying Scotsman Season.
He said: 'The fitting of the equipment for the mainline really makes its return a reality.
'We still anticipate that the restoration work to return Flying Scotsman to steam will be completed in late 2015. This will be followed by a full programme of running in tests on heritage lines.
'Once it has built up sufficient mileage on the mainline - 1,000 miles under its belt - and it's resplendent in its new BR green livery it will be ready for its long-anticipated inaugural run between London and York - a triumphant return home at long last.'
The work on the Flying Scotsman is being carried out undertaken by Riley & Son Ltd in Bury, Greater Manchester who were appointed to complete the work in Autumn 2013 as an outcome of their successful tender bid to take on the high-profile work to bring a national steam icon back to the mainline.
'We have come through all the critical milestones for a locomotive restoration and although there is a lot of work still to get through and parts to fit, there is nothing significant standing in the way of Scotsman coming back to steam,' said Riley's co-director Colin Green. 
Engineering specialists First Class Partnerships are continuing to provide specialist engineering and project management advice to the museum with regards to this complex project.
Paul Kirkman, director of the National Railway Museum, said: 'We are still progressing towards completing the restoration this year and we are planning a whole season of events and activities from February 2016 celebrating this star locomotive in our collection.'

Once the return to mainline operation is complete, a commercial partnership agreement has been reached, under which Riley & Son Ltd will manage the operation of the locomotive for a period of two years. 
This will include a programme of ongoing maintenance and helping to resolve any issues that may arise.
Andrew McLean, head curator at the National Railway Museum said: 'The loco has been changed so often over the past 90 years that it is now practically impossible to present it in a wholly historically accurate appearance. 
'As well as the currently most well-known guises of the apple green 4472 and the BR green 60103, Flying Scotsman has also been numbered 1472, 103, and 502. 
'The loco will retain the double chimney and smoke deflectors it carried when the Museum acquired it in 2004. This being the case we have decided to present it in its final BR working appearance as far as is reasonably practicable.' 
Built in Doncaster in 1923, the locomotive was named the 'Flying Scotsman' after the London to Edinburgh rail service which had been running since 1862, and was the first train to complete the 392-mile route non-stop on May 1, 1928, as well as being the first to break the 100mph barrier in 1934.
Since then it has had various owners including record producer Pete Waterman, and has toured the United States and Australia where it set its second world record, for the longest non-stop run by a steam locomotive.
In 1948, with the nationalisation of the railways, it was renumbered again and painted Brunswick Green. The museum has decided to stick with the British Railways Green 60103 livery for the restoration. 
The Flying Scotsman made a special charter journey in 2005 before being moved to the National Railway Museum in York for complete restoration.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

1882 Carriage at Heart of Cornish Bungalow

A bungalow constructed around a refurbished 19th Century railway carriage is going on the market.
The Great Western carriage was placed on a site near Helston in Cornwall in 1930 by Elizabeth Richards, who lived there until she died in 1966.

Master carpenter Charles Allen restored the carriage, from 1882, and built a bungalow around it with help from his son-in-law Jim Higgins.
The estate agent in charge of the sale said the construction was "unique".
The antique carriage houses two bedrooms and a bathroom with a kitchen, lounge, sun room and reception hall reminiscent of a railway station platform in the rest of the bungalow.
Mr Higgins said Waverly was a five-door third-class carriage that had kept many of its original features.

He said the carriage had been "in a right state" when Mr Allen took on the project.
Philip Care, the estate agent handling the sale, said the property, near Ashton, appeared to be a normal bungalow from the outside.
"I've never seen anything like it," he said. "The quality of it is just phenomenal and you can spend hours looking at the details."
Mr Care said the bungalow was a "railway enthusiast's dream".
The bungalow will be sold at a public auction in August.

More pictures and estate agent's details here

Monday, 20 July 2015


London Underground launches official Night Tube map
London Underground (LU) recently launched its official Night Tube map ahead of introducing its first all night Tube services in less than three months’ time.
The new map has been designed to show customers clearly which Tube lines and stations will operate 24-hour services transforming night time journeys across London for millions of people.

The Night Tube will mean Londoners and visitors to the Capital can travel on the following lines on Friday nights and the early hours of Saturday and Sunday mornings:
·         Central line: trains will run between Ealing Broadway and Hainault;
·         Jubilee line: trains will run on the entire line;
·         Northern line: trains will run on the entire line except on the Mill Hill East and Bank branches;
·         Piccadilly line: trains will run between Cockfosters and Heathrow Terminal 5;
·         Victoria line: trains will run on the entire line.
The Night Tube will transform night time journeys across London for millions of people, cutting journeys by an average of 20 minutes, with some cut by more than an hour. London's night-time economy will be opened up to a host of new opportunities, with the Night Tube supporting around 2,000 permanent jobs and boosting the economy by £360 million.
As the most visited city in the world, London will be joining just a handful of other top world cities, including New York and Berlin, which also provide metro services through the night. The new services will help to maintain London's status as a vibrant and exciting place to live, work and visit.
Gareth Powell, London Underground's Director of Strategy & Service Development, said: “The introduction of the Night Tube is a historic step in our modernisation of the Underground.  The Night Tube map shows our customers exactly when and where they can use this landmark service, which will make their late night journeys quicker and easier than ever before. As well making life easier for people, the Night Tube will also boost London’s night-time economy – supporting thousands of jobs and stimulating hundreds of millions of pounds in economic growth.”

Sunday, 19 July 2015

megabus Announce UK to Italy Service

Further to recent postings here about the launch of new services within Italy, has now announced a new international route linking the UK with Italy for the first time.

The company is now operating two services a day in each direction between London, Lille, Paris, Lyon, Turin and Milan.
The new route – which is only direct coach link between London and Milan - is the first connection between the UK and Italy and for the first time also provides a direct link between London and Lyon.

The route connects Britain with the new domestic network in Italy which covers 13 cities including Rome, Milan, Naples, Venice and Florence.
Fares on every journey start from just £1 and all services will operate using state-of-the-art vehicles with free Wifi, power sockets, air conditioning and a toilet. Managing Director Edward Hodgson said: “This new route is great news for our customers in the UK who now have access to even more great value coach links across Europe as well as linking into our new low-fares domestic network in Italy for the first time.
“These new services will also deliver a further boost for tourism by making it even easier to access affordable travel to and from Britain for people who may previously have been prohibited by the cost of travel. We are the only coach operator in Europe to offer €1 fares on all services across all routes.”

Saturday, 18 July 2015


More than 50 all-electric buses to enter service in London
  • Routes 507 and 521 to convert next year, following conversion of route 312 later this year
  • Two new Irizar single-deck buses to join growing pure-electric fleet
  • Electric buses deliver improved customer experience with lower noise and vibrations
  • Zero tailpipe emissions will result in lower carbon emissions and significant air quality benefits
Transport for London (TfL) has recently announced that two further bus routes, the 507 and 521, will operate entirely with electric buses from autumn next year, lowering carbon emissions and helping to improve London’s air quality.
The 5-year contract to operate the routes has been awarded to Go Ahead following a competitive tender process, and will mean that 51 electric buses will operate across the two routes that will become the second and third pure electric bus routes in the Capital.  Go Ahead will confirm which manufacturer will supply the buses in due course.  By 2020 all 300 single deck buses operating in central London will be zero emission (either electric or hydrogen) and all 3,000 double deck buses will be hybrid. 

When fully converted, the electric buses on routes 507 and 521 will deliver a reduction of 408 tonnes of CO2 and 10 tonnes of NOx per year, when compared to single deck diesel buses.  They are emission-free at tailpipe, and will provide passengers with an improved experience with lower noise and vibrations.

Today’s announcement follows the introduction of the first of two new electric buses, manufactured by Spanish company Irizar, into passenger service earlier this week.  At a Global Clean Bus Summit hosted by City Hall in June, Mayor of London Boris Johnson also announced a world-first trial of a purpose built pure electric double deck bus that will begin in October.

The two Irizar single-deck buses will operate on routes 507 and 521, which link Waterloo station to Victoria and London Bridge stations respectively.  The new buses will join two existing electric buses, manufactured by Chinese company BYD, on the Go Ahead-operated commuter routes in central London.  Including the first Irizar bus now in service, there are currently 9 single-deck electric vehicles in the fleet will grow to 17 in September.  Once the double-deck trial begins in October, there will be 22 total pure electric buses on London streets.

The Deputy Mayor of London for Environment and Energy, Matthew Pencharz, said: “The expansion of London’s electric bus fleet demonstrates our commitment to reducing emissions from public transport in London.  The Ultra Low Emission Zone that will be introduced in 2020 is the most ambitious measure of its kind taken to tackle air pollution anywhere in the world, and it will transform our bus fleet into a cleaner, greener and more pleasant way of travelling for Londoners.”

Mike Weston, TfL’s Director of Buses, said: “TfL has always been at the forefront of deploying new, green technology in order to reduce harmful emissions from its bus fleet.  I am delighted to announce that two further routes are to convert to fully electric operation – giving our passengers a quieter, smoother journey and also delivering significant environmental benefits.  Electric buses represent another important step in our ongoing efforts to reduce emissions, significantly improving air quality in the Capital.”

A further six electric single deck buses, manufactured in the UK by Optare, are already in the TfL fleet.  Four of them operate on route H98 in west London and two serve route 312 in south London – that later this year will become the Capital’s first all-electric bus route.  

The Capital’s bus fleet already has over 1,300 hybrid electric buses and over 1,400 older buses have been retrofitted, reducing their emissions by up to 88 per cent.  The number of hybrid buses will increase to over 1,700 by 2016 – a figure that represents over 20 per cent of the fleet.  This includes 800 New Routemaster buses, which are one of the cleanest double deck buses of their type.  By 2016, when all 800 New Routemasters are in passenger service, these state of the art vehicles will reduce CO2 emissions by 27,500 tonnes a year.

In addition, there are eight zero emission hydrogen buses operating on route RV1, between Covent Garden and Tower Gateway.  In the autumn TfL will be trialling inductive charging technology that will enable special extended range diesel electric hybrid buses to wirelessly charge their batteries while they wait at bus stands. The technology will be trialled on up route 69 in east London, which runs between Canning Town and Walthamstow bus stations. 

TfL has also accelerated the introduction of ultra-low emission Euro VI buses – with more than 500 in service.  The effectiveness of Euro VI engines in reducing harmful emissions has been substantiated in testing by TfL that re-creates real world driving conditions in London.  During this testing, a bus with a Euro VI Engine was found to have 95 per cent lower NOx emissions than a bus with a Euro V engine (down from 10 g/km to 0.5 g/km).

By 2020, as part of the Ultra Low Emission Zone, TfL is committed to ensuring all 300 single decker buses operating in central London are zero emission (e.g. electric or hydrogen), and all 3,000 double deck buses are hybrid.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Enviro 400 MMC Demonstrator

Sean Blair has sent us pictures of the ADL Enviro 400 MMC Demonstrator vehicle YY64 GWX that is being loaned to UK operators. It has now reached north east England and is being evaluated for a two week period by Go North East on the X21 Bishop Auckland - Newcastle route.

Whilst it is in the the north east it is hoped that Wright StreetDeck (SN64CTU) will also join the Go North East fleet to allow comparisons between the two vehicles. The StreetDeck is expected to be picked up on Friday 17th July and will stay for a period of two months, in which time it will operate on at least two routes, one of which will be the X21.

 A somewhat luxurious interior is fitted to the vehicle

 Tables are also installed at some of the seats on the upper deck
 All pictures © Sean Blair..

Thursday, 16 July 2015


Heritage livery honours 10 years of Stagecoach buses in Barnsley

Yorkshire Traction will be back on the roads in Barnsley this summer!
Stagecoach Yorkshire has launched a special bus in heritage Yorkshire Traction livery to mark 10 years since they bought the company in December 2005.

The red and cream double-deck vehicle will operate on a variety of local Barnsley routes. Yorkshire Traction operated buses and trams in Yorkshire from 1902 until 2005 and was known locally as ‘Tracky’.The average age of the Yorkshire fleet is currently 7.6 years, with more new buses due to arrive later this year. An extensive network of local bus services, including night buses, carries 17.7 million passengers 8.4 million miles every year.Services operated by Stagecoach Yorkshire have a 99.1 per cent reliability rate and 95.9 per cent punctuality rate. Some have free WiFi and 100 per cent of its fleet is low-floor to provide easy access.In 2013, Stagecoach became the first transport operator in South Yorkshire to achieve a four-star Care4Air ECO Stars Fleet Recognition rating and Stagecoach has the Carbon Trust standard for reducing energy consumption. John Young, commercial director at Stagecoach Yorkshire, said: “In celebrating our success, we felt it was really important to remember our history. 

“Yorkshire Traction played a big part in the lives of many local people and we hope our customers enjoy seeing this nostalgic look back at ‘Tracky’ on the roads in Barnsley. “But buses have advanced in so many ways since the days of Yorkshire Traction and the public transport network in Barnsley has transformed over the last 10 years. Our customers are at the heart of everything we do. “Our ethos is all about caring for passengers and the local community. Through our policy of continuous investment, all our vehicles are fully accessible to all passengers, they are much cleaner and greener and an increasing number offer free WiFi for customers.”
Stagecoach has been named Britain’s best value bus company for the last three years and a recent Customer Tracking Survey found 99 per cent of customers intend to continue using Stagecoach.

For more information visit or follow @stagecoachyrks on Twitter.

The images used have been kindly provided by John Young 


From one Stagecoach owned Scania to another, but a few years younger. This time though in sunny Lincolnshire at the popular seaside location of Skegness. An album of buses and the odd coach in the town, especially the seasonal open-toppers, can now be viewed by clicking  here