Bus News: February 2015

Quite an interesting month, February.  

Route 109 and 125 passed to Abellio and Metroline respectively, and route 488 leaves Stagecoach later tonight. 

We've got the Gemini 3s and Enviro 200s for Tower Transit on delivery, and Metroline's MMCs for route 332 are being delivered as we speak. Let's get on with the news.

Arriva London:
- LT356 has yet to enter service on route 137.

- Probably news Arriva fans have been waiting for. Arriva have managed to retain quite a few routes in the last round of tenders! These routes are in the form of South Croydon (TC) routes 198, 264 and 312. 

- 198 will retain the current 2010-plated Enviro 400s on the route, whilst the last DLAs in South London will be replaced by the 08-plated Enviro 400s currently on route 135 which is set to go to Go-Ahead in June. 

- 264 is said to get newer buses, most likely from a contract loss or a Borismaster conversion. Several enthusiasts have ruled on route 73 sending some of the hybrids to South Croydon (TC) as possibly these buses have already been destined for routes 141 and 253. However the buses, Gemini 2 DWs on the VDL DB300 chassis, currently on 141 may be the new face for route 264.

- 312, as our very own London Bus Breh did actually say about 2 months ago, will get a full allocation of Optare Metrocity EVs, with 6 more purchased for the route. 312 will become the first  fully electric single-decker route in London.

- However, traditionally, Arriva had to lose some routes. This time round saw Metroline going to Walthamstow on route 34, and now Walworth Old Kent Road Tesco on their [Metroline] latest gain, route 168 from Arriva. The route will be transferring to Metroline on the 26th September 2015.

- Arriva have a demonstrator Wright Streetdeck, and it's not DW411 (LJ11 AEB) you're thinking of. It's a brand new one called SW1, formerly WS1, registered SN64 CTU which is rather unusual for a Wrights vehicle. This bus is expected to run out of Wood Green (WN) garage, possibly on route 221 like the Wright Gemini 3 bodied Volvo B5TL VGD1 (BF63 HDE) for comparison tests, or on route 29.

Arriva cease operation on route 444 on the 6th March.

- By the next edition, route 444 between Turnpike Lane Station and Chingford Station will have been lost to Tower Transit, which this takes place on the 7th March with last Arriva buses running on the 6th March. On the very same day, route 415 is lost to Abellio London, which will see a few more, if not all DLAs, from South London withdrawn.

- Another setback sees VLW56 (LF02 PSZ) catch fire on the 25/02/15 whilst in service on route 253. At least 25-30% of the engine has been damaged and is a possibility the bus may be written off. On the same day, DW303 (LJ10 CVL) was involved in an incident whilst on route 41 as the driver was feeling very unwell, the bus crashed into a bus shelter and overran into the pavement.

Arriva TGM:
- Not much, but 3948 has been equipped with blinds after several appearances on Heathrow (HE) route E10. TGM's 3428 (YX14 RYT) performed Working of the Year on route 428 doing the SDO journey as a one-off, a working usually done by double-deckers.

Abellio London:
- Following on Abellio's winning streak last year, their gains in March will see route 415 between Elephant & Castle and Tulse Hill Station won from Arriva. Abellio's Enviro 400 MMC hybrids for the route is a batch of 10 of the aforementioned vehicles. These will be numbered 2515-2524 with route 415's PVR raised to 9 as the route is being extended on takeover to Old Kent Road, Tesco.

- All of the Enviro 400 MMCs have entered service on route 109, between Brixton and Croydon via Norbury. An iBus glitch occured during the half-term which saw 2494 (YY64 TYS) do route T33 on the London Vehicle Finder, however it wasn't actually in service for those few who are still confused.

Abellio 9770 (YN51 KWE) on route 350, Heathrow Terminal 5.

- Following shortly after 415's batch will be 350's batch of brand new Enviro 400 MMCs, these also being hybrids. However these are not expected to enter service until early April, also there is a hint that we could see these vehicles in town by the end of March. Route 350 runs out of Hayes (WS) using 51-reg ALX400 bodied Tridents (which are still in good nick) and runs between Hayes Clarendon Road and Heathrow Terminal 5 via Stockley Park, West Drayton and Harmondsworth. 

- Enviro 400 MMC DIESEL demonstrator, on the E40D chassis, has arrived in London. This bus is for some weird reason, despite being a diesel, called 2400 (YY64 GXG) and will be running as a top-up on route 415, as well as running other Walworth (WL) routes. It has already seen service on route 40 and 381 (Jubilee LIne extra, no iBus therefore not registered on London Vehicle Finder).

- Abellio have gotten their Darts and Enviro 200s back after their stint at Go-Ahead London on route 100. It is said the Enviro 200s will go to route P13 at Beddington Cross (BC) to replace the handful of Euro 2 Pointers that run the route, and to update the stock. The 2004 Darts will be withdrawn from London service.

CT Plus:
- A number of Optare Solos have been seen on route 153 lately, these being from another HK (Hackney) route. They were blinded, although the destination blind is actually a side blind instead, so buses displayed '153' twice, with the destination blind saying '153 Moorgate Finsbury Square'.

CT Plus will cease operation on route 212 on the 6th March.
- CT Plus unfortunately lost the tender for school route 675. Go-Ahead have gained the route and will operate it from Northumberland Park (NP). 

- CT Plus also, to their misfortune, will cease operation on route 212 on the 6th March 2015. The route, which uses 10 Scania OmniCities runs between Chingford Station and St James's Street Walthamstow Station via Friday Hill, Highams Park, Wood Street and Walthamstow Central. The route has been lost to Tower Transit.

- The OmniCities on route 212 are expected to move to route 388 to oust out the older vehicles on the route. 

Go-Ahead London:
- All 5 Enviro 200s from First/ Metroline have entered service across the company. SEN41-43 are at Metrobus, frequently seen on routes T32, 359, R1 and R4. SEN38 and SEN39 are at Rainham (BE) for routes 193 and 646. SEN44 is at Northumberland Park (NP) for routes W4 and W10.

- WSD1 (SN64 CTV) is the name for Go-Ahead London's Wright StreetDeck which is currently at Camberwell (Q) garage. Do not be fooled by the fact that this bus has the Go-Ahead interior, even though it is a DEMONSTRATOR. This bus will be allocated to route 12 to run alongside V6 (BJ14 KTL) which is the B5TL equivalent of WSD1......

-......Or possibly not, as V6 has been spotted blindless at Bexleyheath (BX) garage today. Rumours has it that the bus may be withdrawn, or that the bus may be re-allocated to 229, however the chances of that are minimal.

- Route 12, between Oxford Circus and Dulwich Library, is next in line to get the Borismaster buses after route 15. This service change will take place end of March/ early April. Buses will be LT417+ for those who are interested. The current WHVs on the route, 10 of them, will be re-blinded to have route 432 on the sets.

- Not more enthusiast-wise, but a one-hit wonder. Camberwell (Q) clearly enjoy their bus strikes as they made a 'Bus Drivers Anthem' which can be seen here on YouTube. 

- Back to the buses, SE213 (YY64 GWZ) is still not in service 4 months later, and chances are the new bus smell has worn off. It is also a possibility the bus may be re-registered to be a 15-reg, depending on how soon it enters service. 

- Metrobus were also quite lucky to gain route 246 from Stagecoach. The route runs between Bromley North and Westerham, or on Summer Sundays is extended to Chartwell. Speaking of which, the Summer Sundays arrangement returns this Sunday 1st March. Go-Ahead have planned to use the current MCV Evolution bodied MANs on route 202 for route 246. More can be seen on our tenders page.

- Route 202 has been successfully retained by Go-Ahead. The route will convert to double decker operation releasing some MANs to the 246 and to replace older stock. Also retained is route 119, however the double decker buses are to be advised.

- Go-Ahead also managed to retain Blue Triangle route 674. 

London Sovereign RATP Group:
- Another Dart has transferred to Harrow (SO) by the name of DPS586 (SN51 TDX). This bus is usually found on routes H9 and H10.

- Sovereign, as expected, lost route 324 to competitor Metroline after not getting a contract extension of 2 years. Sovereign cease operation on the 23rd October 2015 and will most likely sell off the very unreliable Enviro 200s, SDE19-24.

London United RATP Group:
- Route 116 is the next London United route to go double decker. Running Hounslow Bus Station to Ashford Hospital, the crowded single decker route has been retained by the RATP Group and will be double decker by the end of September.

- ADH1 and ADH15 have been refurbished, for routes 27 and 94. ADH1 has lost it's Green Leaves livery. ADH13 is currently at refurbishment. The work is being carried out by Hants & Dorsets Trim.

TEH2087 (LK15 CUH) is being followed by TEH2086 (LK15 CUG) whilst
being delivered to Perivale CELF. 

Metroline Travel:
- The first ever MMC batch for Metroline, numbers TEH2072-87 which consists of 16 vehicles are at CELF with the first to move to Cricklewood (W) next week. These will be allocated to route 332, between Brent Park Tesco and Paddington, Bishops Bridge. These were originally LK64 EJx plated, however all have been re-registered to be LK15 Cxx registration and therefore may not see service until March.

- The remainder of the Gemini 3s ordered for Potters Bar (PB) remain to enter service, however the last one should be in service by the end of March. These buses were ordered for routes 34 and 125.

- Speaking of Gemini 3s, Metroline's order of hybrids for routes 245 and 460 which were diverted to routes 6 and 98, around 15 of these vehicles out of 34 have been built. The first is expected to arrive at the end of March, at the CELF centre.

- Metroline were quite privileged at the last tenders, as they managed to scoop route 168 out of Arriva's hands. The double deckers are still to be advised, although chances are they should be hybrids. The Rumour Mill says that Metroline might be opening a new garage, possibly in Central London, to operate route 168 out of instead of Holloway (HT).

- To top that, Metroline managed to win route 324 between Stanmore Station and Brent Cross, Tesco. London Sovereign currently runs this route from their Edgware (BT) garage using 6 SDEs as the 7th one blew up whilst in service back in November. Metroline will run route 324 out of Cricklewood (W) garage using 7 of the DEs that will be released from route 326. They will be refurbished before use and this changeover takes place on the 24th October 2015.

- SEL753 (LK07 BBX) has been refurbished and will be back on the road soon.

Metroline West:
TP1539 (LK03 UFX) on route U4 in Uxbridge living out it's last days.
- The Presidents at Uxbridge (TPs) are slowly starting to be withdrawn. Parts of the batch, such as TP1539 (LK03 UFX) which is pictured, are at CELF pending to be disposed. These are being replaced by the SN09 Cxx Enviro 400s (TE1742/ 33602+) which are being freed from their duties at Holloway (HT) as the loaned Enviro 400s from route 91 are returning back home. However, as an example, some TPs will remain as a part allocation, such as TP1526 (LK03 UFE), TP1533 (LK03 UFR) and TP1534 (LK03 UFS).

- On the topic of Uxbridge (UX) garage, route U1 over the last week has seen a few TEs on the service, one of them being an SN09. It is a small possibility that Metroline and TfL are testing out if double deckers are fully capable of the route due to the overcrowding on the route, particularly in Ickenham.

- Also at Uxbridge (UX), Metroline managed to retain route A10 between Heathrow Central and Uxbridge via Stockley Park. The route will continue using the 2008-plated vehicles.

- 10 Enviro 200 MMCs have been ordered to the length of 10.8m, these being for routes U10 and 331. These vehicles will replace some of the Nimbuses currently on routes U2 and U3 also at Uxbridge Garage. 

- TE1715-41 (33575-33601) will enter service on the soon-to-be-taken over route, 482 between Southall and Heathrow Terminal 5 via Covent Way and Hounslow West. Route 482 will operate out of Greenford (G) garage. All the buses for route 482 have been refurbished and are in storage at Perivale East (PV). 

- At Greenford (G) also lingers TP1508 (LK03 NKC) which remains on route 282. However the bus will be off road soon. Interesting question here, and the answer most likely is no but I will still throw it - do you think this bus will manage to make it onto the 482 at least once, blinds or no blinds?

This bus, DN33577 (SN09 CDX) or TE1717 as it is now known as will be re-blinded soon to have the 482 in it's list and to get rid of routes E1 and E3 off the list. 33577 is seen at Bridgewater Road, Sudbury. You can see that this bus has been refurbished though.
- Metroline are also testing out if it is possible to convert the 487 to double decker operation suitably, hence why more double deckers are out on the Alperton (ON) route lately.

Stagecoach London:
- Stagecoach will not have the E40H/MMC combination before the Volvo B5L/MMC now, in London anyways, as the Enviro 400 MMCs destined for Leyton (T) route 56, as route 15 between Regent Street Trafalgar Square and Blackwall after route 55 will convert to Borismaster operation. As 15 has a similar PVR to route 56, the current 2012 registered hybrids will be re-allocated to the 56 instead.

- Whilst on the topic of Leyton (T) garage, route 55 has seen nearly all of it's Borismasters enter service. However, 55 will not be able to 'convert properly' as all 3 spares have crashed whilst in service within a week of each other. LT315 and 360 are two of these examples. Route 15's batch is LT392-416.

- Meanwhile LT262, from route 8, still has not returned to service.

- In other news, Stagecoach performed a few rare workings today. Leyton (T) decided to put a Scania OmniCity on routes 179 and 275, one each. This is said to be the first ever odd working on route 179 at Stagecoach, and this is about 17-18 months into the new contract. Lately has seen a number of Enviro 400s on route 165 at Rainham (RM) garage.

- Stagecoach announced this week that the Spirit of London (19000/ LX55 HGC) will transfer to Rainham (RM) and may be able to be found on all routes there. Routes 287, 372 and 165 are just examples of where 19000 can be found.

©London Bus Breh 2014.
- Also announced this week, Stagecoach are to withdraw all Optare Tempo Hybrids tomorrow at Catford (TL) garage and will sell them off, most likely to EnsignBus in a similar manner Metroline did with their batch of 5 vehicles on route E8. These buses are usually found on routes 178 and 380, so if you are interested in them (as they are the last Optare Tempo Hybrids in London), tomorrow is your last day to ride and snap as many of them as you can.

- Route 488 leaves Stagecoach tonight for Tower Transit. Route P4 will get more Enviro 200s sourced from this route to convert it to fully Enviro operation on the Catford (TL) route. Dennis Darts will still remain on routes 178 and 380.

- Route 387 has been given an extension for 1 year on it's contract and will be in the same tranche as the East London Transit whilst routes 241 and 330 have gotten 3-year extensions to the contract. 

Sullivan Buses:
- Sullivan may have placed in an unsuccessful bid for route 324, however it paid off with Sullivan winning routes 692/699 instead. Four double deckers will be purchased, second-hand, and we will inform you on Bus News in the next edition after they announce what they have bought. Routes 616 and W10 are up for tender, does anyone reckon Sullivan have a chance to win it?

Tower Transit:
- Update 02/03/2015: Route 70 will be extended to Chiswick, Business Park from Acton, High Street via Gunnersbury Lane, Bollo Lane and Stanhope Way on the 9th May 2015. The route however will stay single decker.

- Our last segment of the post, which hopefully you have enjoyed reading, is Tower Transit. Tomorrow morning at 0500 the money will start being reeled in for 5 years as route 488. Running Dalston Junction to Bromley-By-Bow Tesco, this route is to be allocated the last YY64 Enviro 200s in London, if not the UK. Registered as YY64 YKx, there are 10 of these vehicles which have been delivered for the route and will run from Lea Interchange (LI). If you're wondering what Tower Transit's livery looks like, it is actually an interesting one. Buses have a 'retro' theme with green poles and seats, with a grey interior. Some enthusiasts have liked it, others have loathed it. Personally, I definitely would say they work if they were allocated to the Tramlink Feeder routes.

©London Bus Breh 2012.
- Route 444 between Chingford Station and Turnpike Lane Station will be gained next Saturday 7th March 2015. The route will see an improved timetable and also brand new vehicles. These are 10.8m Wright Streetlites DF, all brand new except one. Ex-Demonstrator StreetLite DRZ6181 will enter service alongside the new vehicles on route 444 as well, however unusually is the only StreetLite at Lea Interchange (LI). The new vehicles will be delivered soon though.

- Route 212 will also pass to Tower Transit on the 7th March, with brand new Wright Eclipse Gemini 3 bodied Volvo B5L Hybrids. These are classed as VH38101-10 and carry BL64 MHx plates. VH38104 (BL64 MHJ) entered service during the half-term doing route 30, between Marble Arch and Hackney Wick however it and none others have been in service since/at all.

Thank you for reading this month's edition of Bus News! Stay safe!


  1. Will DRZ6181 get Tower Transit logos?

  2. I'm sorry - I forgot to add that starting from today, route 390 is to be curtailed to Lancaster Gate station.

  3. The abellio demo is on LVF

  4. Metroline DE1129, LK10 BYV was involved in a accident in High Barnet on 18 February whilst working on route 326.

  5. can't wait to see the new Wright Streetlites on route 444 next week and hope to run regular with improved timetable. the ex demonstrator will go on to route 444? just to ask you when is the 11 brand new streetlites gonna deliver? or is it gonna hire ex arriva Wright Cadets until the new Wright Streetlites has arrived? let me know on that and can't wait to go on route 444 next week.

    1. LOTS has stated that around 5 or 6 out of the 11 vehicles will be ready for next Saturday. There is a chance that a few new DMVs/ existing DMVs and DMCs will be on the 444 for the next week or so until all the StreetLites arrive.

      Their registration plates continue from 192's batch, so they will all be SN64 CVx.

  6. Any idea what's going to happen to the Enviro200's on the 246 once the contract passes to Go-Ahead? I would of thought hopefully it goes to Catford to update the 178 & 380

    1. Most likely, as Darts still roam on those routes.

  7. I wonder if the Enviro 200s from the 331 and U10 will go to Go-Ahead London to replace the 03-reg Darts on the 130 at Croydon (C) or the 55/06-reg Omnitowns on the 181 at Orpington (MB).

    1. No, as far as I know as stated in the post, they'll be going to routes U2 and U3. Some Enviro 200s from 326 might join them.

  8. will the Wright Streetlites for Tower Transit for route 444 will be all 15 plate register or mixture of 64 and 15 plate register on Wright Streetlites?

  9. The New MMCs might not even go to route 332, instead they might to route 16, this would allow route 332 to benefit by getting newer buses from route 16.

    1. Yeah, they will frequently be seen on routes 16 and 332.

  10. TfL are at it with the bus cuts again - this time some really big bus cuts. Route 13, between Aldwych and Golders Green, is to be withdrawn completely in one go with cuts on route 189 to Marble Arch as well. https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/finchleyroad

    1. TfL have changed there mind they said:

      We received over 3000 responses to the consultation which is now closed. However, concerns have been expressed that the consultation has been partially undertaken during the pre-election period which runs until 7th May.

      It is therefore our intention not to progress the scheme at this time. The comments received from this consultation will however be used to inform future bus network planning in the Finchley Road and Abbey Road areas, and any resulting proposals would be subject to further public consultation.

  11. What will happen to the 444's buses

    1. They will be withdrawn from London service.

  12. is the old rubbish DWLs wright Cadets from route 444 is gonna transfer to other arriva companies out of London and the PDLs from route 444 too since they withdrawn from London service? is the brand new 10.8m Wright Streetlites gonna have cool air con for route 444 when it's hot in the summer? I hope it has because the rubbish Wright Cadets on route 444 bus is very stuffy and has the heating on the summertimes and most people complains about the heating is on! i'm sure the brand new Wright Streetlites are gonna be better than older wright cadets. I can't wait to get on the new 444 bus on Saturday 7th March 2015 and will have more space and room on the brand new 10.8m Wright Streetlites on the new contract of Tower Transit new to the route and the Arriva London had the route 444 since 1995! well done tower Transit has ordered brand new 10.8m Wright Streetlites for route 444 and has more spacious and the new timetables has improved as well to run the regular route!

  13. 9073 has been missing since 03/02/15. Could it be being refurbished along with 9066? Anyone with any ideas?

    1. That could be possible - and on the topic of Abellio, 2429 (SN61 CYL) has just been involved in an incident whilst on route 344, so that bus will be off road for quite a few months - it was damaged quite badly on one of the sides and at the front.