Bus News: Up Until Now (2015-2016)

I did promise a second post as the first post would become too long to read. Let's roll. Apologies for the sporadic posting, as I have been incredibly busy lately.
Tenders - they're back. Extensions and No Extensions to two routes in this photograph.

Since the last article, more tenders have been announced. Not that they sparked any interest, mostly routes in South London and a few Metroline routes. One tender sparked quite a lot of heat.

Tranche 530:
Routes 608, 652, 656, 679 and 686 have all been retained by Blue Triangle of Rainham with their current allocations of Olympus bodied Scania N230UDs. 

Routes 646 and 648 have also been retained by Blue Triangle, but the Marshalls (and MDL1) that currently run the routes will be replaced with the Citaros currently on the Red Arrow routes at Waterloo (RA) later this year.

All start dates are on 3rd September 2016.

Tranche 536:
Routes 21 (PVR 27), N21, 63 (PVR 32), N63, 321 (PVR 20), 363 (PVR 12) have all been retained by Go-Ahead London (from New Cross and Peckham garages). All routes are due new hybrid buses, bar route 363 which has not yet been confirmed.

Route P12 has also been retained by Go-Ahead London from Peckham (PM) garage with it's existing Enviro 200s, including some more from Docklands Buses route D8* as a PVR increase to 15.

*D8 is subject to consultation on a re-routing in the Stratford area. Read Go-Ahead segment.

Routes 21, N21, 321 and P12 start on the 8th October 2016. Routes 63, N63 and 363 start on the 12th November 2016.

No routes were contractually extended in this tranche.

Tranche 537:
Routes 16, N16, 32, 189 and 316 have been retained by Metroline Travel from Cricklewood (W) garage. 

Route 16 will continue to use the current Borismasters, and the PVR is going back up to 22. The extra buses will be covered by New Borismasters. 

Route 189 will convert to Borismaster operation. Subject to the Finchley Road review, the PVR is expected to be around the 19 region.

Route 32 (and route 210 although was not part of tenders) will convert to (part) hybrid operation, using the buses displaced off route 189. PVR 18.

Here was the heated one - route 316 retained by Metroline Travel. Oh no, not that. It's that it is staying single decker with it's current allocation of 2009 plated DEs. This is due to the MP that lives on the route, and refuses double deckers to be used on route 316 past North Kensington.  

All new contracts start on the 8th October 2016.

Routes 79 (yay!), 223 and 224 have received two-year contract extensions. All three routes are operated by Metroline from either Perivale (PA) or Alperton (ON).

Tranche 538:
Route 405D (between Purley and Croydon, schooldays only) has been retained by Arriva London South. The normal service on route 405 between Croydon and Redhill was not up for tender, and will still be operated by Go-Ahead. PVR 2. Contract starts on 29th October 2016.

Route 450 has also been retained by Arriva London South with brand new Enviro 200 MMC buses. PVR 17. Contract starts on 1st October 2016.

Route 403 has had a two-year contract extension.

Abellio London:
- Routes 3 and N3 are undergoing LT conversions at Battersea (QB) garage. As a result of no space, half of route C10's operation has been transferred to Walworth (WL) garage to make space.

- The hybrid buses off route 3 have been transferred to Walworth (WL) as well for route 381 which was retained about a month back. These will displace older buses in the fleet.

- 8051 has been withdrawn, and has been replaced by 8024 at Hayes (WS) garage for route U9.

- It is expected soon that route 211 will be converted to Borismaster operation soon, during the Spring. 

Arriva London:
- Route 229 was taken over by Arriva on the 23rd January 2016 with brand new buses T301-331. In addition to that, route 469 was taken over by Arriva on the same day with existing Enviro 200s drafted in from Grays (GY), South Croydon (TC), Barking (DX) and spare buses from Dartford (DT), where both routes are operated from.

- Route B13's new Enviro 200 MMC buses, ENR1-7 have all entered service quickly. Most of the Wright Cadets formerly allocated to this route have been withdrawn, although 3948 still stands for the time being in case required at Heathrow (HE) garage on route E10.

- Route 375 at Grays (GY) earlier this week, between Passingford Bridge and Romford Station saw to very rare workings on the same day, both of which are double decker buses. The first working was a VLA from route 370 used during the course of the afternoon, and then in the evening the bus was substituted for a DW off route 66. Both buses were not properly blinded for the route and had 'banditry'.

- All HAs for route 78 are now in service, and do see regular service on route 106 as well. One has strayed to route 254 so far, which was cut back to Whitechapel as a result of the Aldgate mash-up.

- Buses from all over Arriva London have sporadically been popping up at Garston (GR) garage and are spotted on route 258.  Buses such as DWs, VLWs and VLAs have been featured, but although after a fortnight, some buses such as VLA102 have returned to their respective garages. The working that VLA102 was on route 312 earlier this week was a hoax, as it was actually on allocated route 123 at the time.

CT Plus:
- A new fleetnumbering system is to be introduced at CT Plus, in Abellio's manner. They will be four-digit numbers only. The first buses under this new system will be the Enviro 400H City buses and will be rather confusingly numbered 2501+ (which matches the 109's buses).

- Routes 26 and N26 will be taken earlier than scheduled, on the 27th February as opposed to June. DNs from Tower Transit will be loaned for the time being until all new buses are in service.

(C) London Bus Breh

Epsom Buses:
- Route 463 is to start seeing 10 of the ex-route 192 StreetLites later this week that will form the new allocation of the route.

- As some may have heard, the rather popular HOV1 (OP07 ARE) which was demonstrated on Go-Ahead route 360 (South Kensington - Elephant & Castle) a few years back has made a return to London, this time on route 465 usually. Criticized by our London Bus Breh, he has stated the following about HOV1:

It's interesting how I liked this bus on route 360, because I was forgetting why when I boarded it today. The acceleration is poor for a route like the 465....it's more suited to slower routes, I think. The bus was simply disappointing, an adjective I do not usually link with Quality Line.

(C) London Bus Breh

Go-Ahead London:
- A Metrocity EV, which we did state months back would end up at Go-Ahead, has arrived at New Cross (NX) and is in service on route 108. It runs as NX #275 which is a duty that is usually off during the middle of the day and only out in the peak hours on a Monday to Friday basis.
Route 164, Sutton Station. (C) London Bus Breh

- New buses have been arriving at Sutton (A) and Merton (AL) garages. Merton has seen the delivery of 14 brand new Enviro 200s (with the old shell) for route 164 (that's the Sutton one) which was retained last year. The buses have made strays onto routes 163 and 219, but not onto the 485.

- Sutton (A) garage took on 6 new Enviro 200s for route 80, between Hackbridge, Reynolds Close and Belmont. The buses have seen regular service and will work alongside the existing fleet.

WHV91, named 'Kermit', is seen at Tooting Bec..
- Back to Merton (AL), where route 155 has gotten a full allocation of brand new Gemini 3 double deckers on the Volvo B5L Hybrid chassis. The buses were entered service quickly, and have released PVLs to garages such as Stockwell (SW) to withdraw older WVL class buses. Buses do also run route 93 in the morning off the 155 allocation. WHV85 did crash within the first week of service on a crosslink with route 93, in the Cheam area, following a brake system failure. As at the time, only about 3 other buses entered service, they were quickly withdrawn temporarily for about 2 days whilst checks were taken.

LDP294 is seen at Ram Street, Wandsworth on 485.
Is this a sight no more?

- Swinging to Sutton (A) once more, route 93 has gotten 5 brand new Gemini 3s in addition to the 155 batch. The Sutton (A) batch can be spotted on the route all day, as opposed to the Merton (AL) batch which can only be seen mornings. 93's actual buses are WHV105-110.

- So what's happened at Merton (AL) ever since we talked about Sutton? A lot more, obviously. Route 485, between Hammersmith Lower Bus Station and Wandsworth Ram Street is under consultation to be re-routed from Putney Pier to Putney Heath via the 424 route whilst the 424 is diverted to Wandsworth Riverside Quarter. It may have not struck TfL's mind, but 485 already serves the Quarter and provides more useful links as opposed to the 424 which takes a very roundabout routing to get to Fulham. The 485, quite a lot of the time, can also be quicker than the much busier 220 as well. The new allocation for 485 would have been ex-Greenford (G) DES class buses from route E10, instead of new SEs.

- MBK1 (BU13 ZVE) is to run from Orpington (MB) garage now as part of the trial. It will run on 246, 358 and R9 for the next few weeks.

- Routes 108 and D8 are to have a routing swap north of the river as part of the Isle of Dog consultation. Route D8 is to be re-routed via Bromley By Bow, whilst route 10 is re-routed via Devons Road and Poplar. Route 108 will be allocated Citaros ex-Red Arrow later this year whilst TfL are hinting that route D8 will see a double decker conversion to help out with capacity issues. In the consultation, route D7 is also expected to have a frequency decrease.

- Route D7 has also seen a few EHV workings in the evening ex-route 135. Route 150D (Becontree Heath - Gants Hill) continues to see these buses.

- Route 462 has not yet been re-routed to Limes Farm, although TfL say that this is to take place by the end of the month or the start of next month whilst flags and stop shelters are built in Fairlop.

Metroline Travel:
- The SEL refurbishment program has been ongoing for 3 years now at Perivale (PA) and there are still about 10 buses to be refurbished. These are SEL742, 743, 745, 750, 754, 761, 762, 764 and 807. 

- There are, unfortunately, about 6 TP/Ls left in the fleet now. All buses are based at Holloway (HT) and are commonly found on routes 4 and 17.

- DE1324 and TE1431 have been involved in collisions last month and are off road until they can be repaired.

- Route 263 was cut back on Saturday to Highbury & Islington Station from Highbury Barn. This will be the new fixture until March 2017.

Metroline West:
- At Uxbridge (UX), both TP1510 and TP1531 were withdrawn by the turn of the new year whilst the Nimbuses were all withdrawn as well, bar DC1541 which is usually seen on route U2 Monday to Saturdays only.

- DE1811 has been involved in a 'high-speed' accident at Ickenham last week whilst on route U1. The bus collided into a number of parked cars and the entire front end has been damaged.

RATP Group:
- MBK1, or MCS1 as RATP have called it, was at Hounslow (AV) garage on route 110 for a three-week period over December. 

An upgrade for route 85 from 13 year old buses?
- A surprise order arrived for route 94 is to get 14 Gemini 3 (VHs) to replace the TLA buses on the route within the next few days. Hounslow Heath (HH) is where VH53+ is currently being prepared for service. They will work alongside the existing ADH buses. These buses have the 'Smiling Frog' design unlike the older faced ones on routes 116 and 285. They also have a new interior design for RATP once again, with a blue, green and black theme.

- Route 85 is to go Tolworth (TV) garage and will get 18 brand new Gemini 3s. In addition, Fulwell (FW) is to get extra VHs to help aid the Ham - Kingston corridor. From those extra buses, about 7 SPs will go to route 183 at Edgware (BT).

- Route 265 has been confirmed for about 11 new Enviro 200 MMCs to be delivered later this year in the summer. These will replace the Darts currently on the route.

- Route 65 has been confirmed, as part of a PVR increase, about 4 or 5 brand new Gemini 3s on the Volvo B5TL engines. These are the first production ones to be ordered for London. 

Stagecoach London:
- Route 69 has been lost to Tower Transit on the 6th February. Stagecoach are loaning their 04-plate ALX400s to Tower Transit for around 2 months whilst the DNs are in use on route 26.

- A lot of buses are being withdrawn. Particularly Darts at Selkent which are being replaced with spare Enviro 200s, ALX400s as a result of contract losses and spare younger buses replacing them. 

Not long left.
- In addition, the Optare Versas at Barking (BK) are to be gradually withdrawn from service. All will be gone by the time the 62's new buses arrive, but the ones on route 396 are being replaced with the Enviro 200s ex-469.

- Route 47 has been seeing brand new Enviro 400 MMC bodied Volvo B5LH buses, all of which have entered service. The 55 and 06 reg buses have been spotted around Bromley (TB) and Barking (BK) garages.

- Romford (NS) garage have one 52-reg vehicle left as result of fleet movements, which is 17564 (LV52 HDX). This bus is usually on routes 247, 294 and 496.

Tower Transit:
- Route 69 has been taken over by Lea Interhchange (LI) using loaned buses from Stagecoach and extra buses from routes 26 and 33781 (SN12 AVX) from Westbourne Park route 23. 

- The VNs and DNs across the fleet are being fitted with the 'Borismaster' style blinds, with destinations being written in formats such as 'Clapton, NIGHTINGALE ROAD' on route 425 or 'Ladbroke Grove, SAINSBURYS' on route 23.

- 33779, with the Costa Rica advert, did a rounder on route 328 last week. 33781 at time of publishing is working route 212.

- Route 70 has finally been extended to Chiswick, Business Park from Acton, High Street. The PVR has been raised by 3 and is covered using buses from Lea Interchange. This change happened on the 30th January 2016.

Well, that's all for now. Stay safe!


  1. The 70's PVR according to londonbusroutes.net has only increased by 1, to 18

  2. How long are the Streetlites due for the 463?

    By the way, excellent post.

  3. How long will the streetlites for the 463 be?

    1. Hey,

      They will be 8.9m long, all 10 of them. They will also have the Go-Ahead interior as well.

      Stay safe, and I hope this answers your question!

    2. Thanks it does. A bit lazy of Epsom Buses not to refurbish Them!

    3. I can see why they haven't refurbished them as they are only 1 year old - the buses are in near mint condition.