The landmark of the May Day changes was the fact that a new breed was introduced to the London market: the MCV Evoseti.

MHV11 crosses London Bridge on route 40.©Kieran

As the sun rose at dawn, the manufacturers were at the ready to finally showcase their brand new Euro 6 range buses to be the successors to their Euro 5 counterparts. The first of these 'new-generation' buses was the Wright Gemini 3, who somewhat resembles more features of the Borismaster. The smaller windows, more black than red. Wright really did take pride in that bodywork, and also worked with Volvo to formally introduce the Volvo B5TL chassis, calling for an end to the Volvo B9TL chassis and Wright Gemini 2 bodywork. Metroline and Stagecoach were amongst the first to order these buses, found on Perivale (PA) route 7, and Plumstead (PD) route 53.

Wherever there's a Wright, there's an Alexander Dennis. Their Trident counterparts decided to also call revisions to their successful Enviro 400 bodywork, and complete with facelifts, a new, more airy interior, much improved air conditioning - yet it still is loud, and the end to the plastic wheel-arch seats that would serenade you in discomfort if you sat in them more than you should have. Abellio were the first to catch this breed, on Beddington Cross (BC) route 109, and Walworth (WL) route 415 and Hayes (WS) 350.

But hold on.....someone else has bought their game to the market. Putting aside the boring Wright vs Alexander Dennis war, MCV were ready to up the game. They do have a somewhat hidden yet known presence in London, particularly with the 100 or so MCV Evolutions roaming around all 4 corners of London on either the MAN or E200 engines at Go-Ahead or Metroline.
MHV16 is seen at Clapham Junction. ©EastLondoner
But the Egyptians have never really been around for the double decker share of the market. Oh no, but if anyone remembers, two outstanding buses were manufactured and registered for the years 2011 and 2012. Both in London numbered VM1, the 2011 one being based with Docklands Buses on routes 474 and D7, whilst the London United 2012 one based at Hounslow (AV) garage for route H32. They provided both buses with a Volvo B9TL chassis, and a hint of charm.

But there was something that really attracted me to the DD103. It was a different bus. The main competitors were the standard Enviro 400 and Gemini 2. The bonded glazing windows which actually worked on this model unlike the Gemini 2. The capacity was a lot better than on the Gemini 2 especially, the Gemini series being renown for the fact that they get suffer poorly capacity-wise whilst their competitors delivered better. The Enviro 400 tried to deliver oh so many seats, however failed at providing decent legroom. However MCV matched these poor features, and changed them to polar opposites with the DD103.

The air conditioning also stood out. I loved it, the fact that they spread throughout the entire bus: both sides, both decks. And the ride? Smooth. None of the features made such a racket, the bus barely rattled or vibrated. The air conditioning wasn't loud. Unfortunately the series was discontinued upon the new dawn.

So I was obviously ecstatic to hear that MCV were returning to the double decker market with a brand new bus. The MCV EvoSeti they called it. And you can imagine the look on my face when I heard within a year of production, the first models would be arriving in London for Go-Ahead's wins of routes 35 and 40 from Camberwell (Q) garage on the 30th April. Delivered as part of a 20-strong batch, I was out to the streets of South London to try out these vehicles in mid-May.

Upper saloon of the Evoseti. ©Kieran

Lower saloon of the Evoseti. ©Kieran

Having arrived at Clapham Junction some Saturday Afternoon ago, quite bored by the last few buses I had gotten (to tell you the truth, the scene isn't all that interesting in Battersea), using London Vehicle Finder I had noted that majority of the MHVs that day were on the 35 diagram as opposed route 40 (which they were technically ordered for), whilst the other route used the Enviro 400H MMC buses also ordered for the routes.

Letting an EH-class bus on route 35 go, a 14-minute wait definitely paid off as MHV16 (BU16 OZA) was my bus to prove the Evoseti's name glory. With several people embarking at The Falcon, our bus was slowly on it's way touring through the suburban streets of Clapham. There is a small hill just as you leave Clapham Junction town centre on the 35, and MHV16 quickly gained pace, in a similar manner to my closer-to-home SEL buses that I do adore. That had already started to tick my boxes. At the 'top' of the steep incline, the speed that the bus had gained was maintained through Long Road. The speed was somewhat hovering around the 30 mark, and for a densely populated and high built area like Battersea, it was impressing me.

So 10 minutes into the assault course, we arrive at Clapham Common station, notorious for the island platform underground, above ground a bunch of junctions are presenting themselves. And with all the hustle and bustle of cars being stuck in yellow boxes and the bus seconds to being stuck at a red light, MHV16 weaved through the presented agility course, through the several cars that would otherwise be obstructing our path. Now heading for Brixton, parked cars, bollards and traffic islands were the second part of the agility course. Running alongside E67 (LX57 CJJ) on route 45, the side-to-side maneuvers by the bus were rather swift and made the journey exciting.

Brixton, now. Several people had interests to alight here, and the stop bell, which is a 3 second beeping tone you get accustomed to on long journeys quite like my one. Traffic was slowly starting to increase here, however the small peak had died down as the traffic had died down and we were back on the back streets once more. Although that didn't stay for long as we were back to the traffic just after Loughborough Junction Station. Efficiency was the new agenda here, as the bus was stuck in first gear as the traffic was getting pretty slow for over 15 minutes as we approached King's College Hospital. The parallel circuits provided by Volvo on this chassis were clearly making their worthwhile, saving energy and fuel consumption.
MHV16 is seen at The Elephant and Castle. ©LondonBuses72

Past Denmark Hill now, the bus was flying through the streets of Camberwell and other areas of the Southwark borough. We were provided with a bus lane for the majority of the length of the road leading up to Elephant & Castle. It was quite like being on a tram. The quick and stop-start acceleration gave myself quite a thrill. Taking over 70 minutes, as route 35 is quite a long route (if you haven't got the time, the 40 is much shorter), my journey to Elephant & Castle was a worthwhile one, I having been satisfied by my trek to the other half of London.

Although I still think the MCV DD103 is slightly better, from the Euro 6 range offered by London's buses, I definitely think the hype for the Evoseti was worth it. They maintain majority of the features that the DD103s had, the good looks and the comfort (excluding the Rowan Telmacs Go-Ahead specified). Go-Ahead also agrees with Evosetis being a good breed of buses, as they, hence the title, have ordered in total (including this batch) over 60 buses. The next batch will be for routes 63 and 185. So, heads up London!

I would recommend anyone to try out these buses, they bring variety and an edge of unique to London's streets. Leaving you with a fleetlist, hope you enjoyed this post and stay safe!

BU16 OYK  - MHV4
BU16 OYT - MHV10
BU16 OYV - MHV11
BU16 OYW - MHV12
BU16 OYX - MHV13
BU16 OYY - MHV14
BU16 OYZ - MHV15
BU16 OZA - MHV16
BU16 OZE - MHV17
BU16 OZC - MHV18
BU16 OZD - MHV19
BU16 OZB - MHV20