Bus News: Summer 2016 Part 2

There's much more news to report, so let's get on with it.

Abellio London:
- Brand new buses for the route 344 contract have entered service, starting from the 13th August. The new vehicles are numbered 2534-2551, of which majority have already entered service. These are Enviro 400 MMC bodied E400 hybrid buses and will be operated out of Queenstown Road (QB).

- The current LJ09 buses on route 344 are withdrawn, in the form of 9467-86. 9487 and 9488 will become part of the new 156 contract. 

- Route 152 saw an incredibly rare working last night, in the form of 2400, the Enviro 400 MMC diesel demonstrator that Abellio have originally based at Walworth (WL), now having been at Beddington Cross (BC) for a few months on route 109.

- Abellio put out their sole Trident 9821 (LG52 XYY) on route E9 earlier this week on a late working. The bus isn't blinded for the E9, and therefore just displayed blanks or 'Ealing Broadway' as a destination. They have since started to re-blind some of their Enviro 400 MMC and standard Enviro 400H buses to cater to their recent win.

- Abellio London have their new Enviro 200s in service on routes C10, E5, E7 and 481 from Walworth (WL), Hayes (WS) and Fulwell (TF).

- At Battersea (QB), route 211 has converted to Borismaster operation releasing the buses on the route to other routes at the garage and to the 345 and 381 at Walworth (WL).

Arriva London:
- Route 253 is to convert to Borismaster operation from their Stamford Hill (SF) garage making the garage win a title once again, for being the first garage in London to be fully operated by Borismaster buses (the other route being the 73). 

- Route 340's new Wright Streetdecks SW2-10 have all entered service at Garston (GR) garage. Meanwhile, some ex-Stagecoach Enviro 200s are replacing Cadets at the garage, with numbers ENL101-112.

- Route 254 saw a HA vehicle type on the 22nd August, in the form of HA1 operating the route in the late hours. This is, if I am correct, the second time this has happened on the route since the introduction of these vehicles half a year ago.

- Grays (GY) garage have been taking short term loans over the last few weeks, such as VLA108 (LJ05 BLN) from Barking (DX) garage to cover for decker shortages. Normally in place are single deckers such as Cadets and Enviro 200s on their flagship route 370.

- Route 64 is being taken over from Thornton Heath (TH) garage this Saturday using Enviro 400s buses carrying LJ60 Axx plates ex-route 341 from Tottenham (AR) garage. These have been refurbished and have new white blinds.

- Route 133 and 333 are to have, in addition to the 20 HVs off route 76, brand new Enviro 400H City buses that are filling the rest of the allocation for the two routes at Brixton (BN) garage.

- Route 259 has Wright Gemini 3 bodied Volvo B5L Hybrid buses (HV-class) on order, with the new 'Frogface' front. These will be the first Gemini 3 buses that Arriva have ordered for their London operations with Volvo chassis. Route 259 will be taken over in March 2017 from Tottenham (AR) garage.

- Route 123 operates from Tottenham (AR) garage at night on weekends to compliment the new night tube service on the Central and Victoria Lines. The route uses 4 Gemini 2 DW buses.

- Route W3 operates from Wood Green (WN) garage at night on weekends to compliment the new night tube service on the Victoria Line. The route uses 3 Enviro 400 buses from it's own allocation.

CT Plus:
A City for the City.
- Route W19 is getting what could be the last of the old shell Enviro 200s in London for when CT Plus take over the route in November. These are 17 vehicles with a 9.6m length. 

- Route 388 has been retained, and will be getting new hybrid buses. HEA1 will continue to operate the 388 route. The SD vehicles have an undecided future.

- Route 26's Enviro 400H City buses have all entered service, 2501-2520. Following the earlier move of 26 to CT Plus than anticipated, the buses came in later than the start of the contract date. They have been given positive reviews in general as buses, but as to the route they run it is quite boring and short.

Go-Ahead London:
- A gradual conversion of route 353 to Olympuses has finally taken place from the Wright Eclipse Geminis and Scania OmniDekkas.

- The new 12 metre BYD K9E/Enviro 200 MMC buses that are fully electric single deckers for the Red Arrow routes 507 and 521 are being delivered with fleet class SEe - yes you need to make the second 'e' lower case to cater to the fact it is electric. They also have the 'new style' iBus that was trialed on one of the WHVs on route 12/436 - which will still announce stops and destinations as now, but it is a TV screen instead displaying a live map of where the bus is, the time, live travel statuses, the news and a list of stops. 

- The current Citaros on the Red Arrow routes will be divided amongst the garages for different routes and new contracts. Route 108 will receive a full allocation of Citaros to allow extra capacity on the ridiculously busy route as the route cannot take double deckers due to the height restrictions on the Blackwall Tunnel.

- A couple of MECs will then transfer to the 646 and 648, and then the rest is undecided as it stands, but it is predicted that 170 may be subject to getting the rest of the vehicles.

- Go-Ahead lost the 146 and 336 on the 20th of August to Stagecoach London from Bromley (TB) garage. 

- Go-Ahead lose the 64 next Friday to Arriva London from Thornton Heath (TH) garage.

Recently refurbished EN5 and EN7 (behind) take stand time at
Enfield Highway on Tuesday instead of Brimsdown on the 191.
- Route 191 was curtailed last week to Enfield Highway due to a gas leak in the Brimsdown area. The road at Brimsdown Avenue with the junction of Green Street is closed for roadworks, and as a result Brimsdown Avenue had no bus service. 

- The SN58-reg ENs are currently undergoing refurbishment, with new panels, repaints, seat trim and white blinds.

- Putney (AF) route 485 has been re-routed to serve Wetlands Centre in Barnes, still at an every 30 minute frequency whilst the 283 is withdrawn from Barnes. The route will double run during the opening hours of the centre, or will run direct at all other times. 

- Routes 424 and 485 will not be swapping routes, and will be left as they are, following the consultation report from Transport for London. This is as a result of several objections from residents, calling it 'pointless' and 'link-breaking'.

Metroline Travel:
- Route 189's LT conversion from Cricklewood (W) garage is currently on hold whilst rectifications are made to the layout at Brent Cross Bus Station, as the current layout does not support vehicles 11.3m in length.

- Metroline's route W7 from Holloway (HT) has introduced a 3x an hour night service at weekends to compliment the night tube service on the Victoria line.

- Route 297 throughout the month, on weekdays, has been on diversion via the A40 Western Avenue via Greenford and Hanger Lane roundabouts whilst it is diverted away from the Perivale area due to roadworks.

- The SEL refurbishment is nearly over. The project, which started in 2013 with SEL746 (LK07 BBE) is now to either cease with SEL750 (LK07 BBO) or SEL754 (LK07 BBZ).

- Route 140 and 182's new VWHs are beginning to enter service a month early from Harrow Weald (HD) garages. The routes are still mainly VP operation at the moment, but it's a gradual conversion.

- Route W9 has been lost by Metroline from their Potters Bar (PB) garage to Sullivan Buses from South Mimms (SM) garage. The DEMs operating the route in the meantime will transfer to route 384 once the W9 leaves, whilst their long time future is decided.

- Route 714 has ceased operation, and has been replaced by route 84A on an extension to Luton via Luton Airport, and has been in this fixture for about 4 weeks.
The A Stands for Airport: DEL855 picks up
passengers at Potters Bar Station.

- On route H12, the VPs will remain however the VWs are starting to become common on the route although this will be a short lived working as they are ousted out by the end of the month.

- Route 117 will be using DE952-960 and a top-up from elsewhere to create a batch of 10 buses for the homecoming at Brentford (AH). Route 117 will be taken over on the 3rd September, running from West Middlesex Hospital to Staines via Hounslow Bus Station.

- This one's a bit complicated to explain. Realistically (as in what you see), the 82 is being renumbered to the 13. Contractually, the 139 contract will take over the 13's contract, and the 82's contract would not be renewed. The 82 will be withdrawn. 

- In early June, VWH2094 did a duty on route 217 in the late evening from Potters Bar (PB), this being the only time a VWH has done the 217.

VWH2094 after the accident.
- Speaking of VWH2094, the bus was involved in an accident at Brimsdown Station with TE1448 on route 307 on the 23rd August. Both now remain off road until repairs are done.

Metroline West:
- Route 245 moved to Perivale (PV) on the 6th August, and is no longer operated from Alperton (ON) garage.

- Routes U4 and U5 moved out of Uxbridge (UX) last week to Hayes (HZ) garage to make way for the 114 at Uxbridge (UX) garage on the 3rd September. The U4 will now be allocated buses from VP604-611 ex-Harrow Weald (HD). Meanwhile at Uxbridge (UX), the U1, U3 and A10 may be subject to a double decker conversion using VP473-482.

- Route 487's new Enviro 200 MMC buses have already arrived into Alperton (ON) garage, but as said in the Perivale (PV) re-opening post, Metroline are awaiting a green light from TfL at the moment as the buses cannot navigate the Park Royal area properly as they are currently too long, standing at 10.8m

- Route 483 will be allocated to Alperton (ON) garage, using a part allocation of LK59-reg VWs off the 83, a part allocation of VW1243-8 and top ups from Holloway (HT) garage, most likely released indirectly from the LT conversion upcoming on route 189.

RATP Group:
- Route 114 is spending it's last days at London Sovereign's Edgware (BT) garage before the route transfers to Metroline. Primarily allocated it's own batch of VLEs, the route has seen an influx of VHs ex-route 13 and VLEs ex-57. The route's last day with Sovereign will be on the 2nd September 2016.

- A huge muddle with the brand new VH buses has caused fleet shuffles to go all over the place. Route 94's LJ65-plate VHs have all transferred to Edgware (BT) route 13 whilst a few more brand new VH buses have entered service on route 13. It isn't clear why everything is the way it is, but the LJ16-plated ones are for route 72. However due to constraints at Hammersmith Bridge, the 72 cannot operate with double decker vehicles for another good year. 

- Route H14 will be double decker soon operating with 'scraps' around Edgware (BT) garage to match the uprising demands along Harrow View.

- Route 85 and 265's new buses from Tolworth (TV) garage have all entered service. 85 has brand new VHs, which are LJ16 plated, whilst the 265 has LJ16 Exx plated Enviro 200 MMC buses which are 11m in length and have Voith gearboxes, like the 499's buses at Stagecoach Romford (NS).

VLE20 at West Harrow on route 114.
- Some of the VLEs ex-57 have transferred to Edgware (BT), only some of them for short-term work on route 114. The rest have been withdrawn from TfL service.

- The YX09 DEs off route 72 have started to transfer to Harrow (SO) taking up duties primarily on routes H9 and H10. In their place are spare Plaxton Pointer buses, especially as the short workings to Hammersmith have been shortened to Lonsdale Road, Hammersmith Bridge South Side resulting in a slight decrease in PVR.

- Route 283 has indefinitely been withdrawn between Hammersmith and Barnes Pond or Barnes Wetlands Centre at all times of the day due to more restrictions being applied on Hammersmith Bridge.

- ADH20 (SN60 BYS) made a debut on route 27 at Stamford Brook (V) garage. The Shepherd's Bush (S) route 94 is on a short term loan to cover for bus shortages.

Sullivan Buses:
- Route 298 has been retained by Sullivan using AE11-16. The buses will be refurbished to have the Enviro 400 City interior that is currently on 26 and 78's buses, whilst the W9 has been won by Sullivan with new buses that will be delivered with the same interior.

Stagecoach London:
- Route 53 has gotten brand new Enviro 400 Hybrid MMC buses from Plumstead (PD) garage.

-This in turn has allowed most of the diesel Enviro400s from Plumstead (PD) to move to Romford (NS) garage for route 86, with the Gemini 3 buses moving to route 96.

-Routes 146 and 336 were taken over by Stagecoach on the 20th of August using brand new Enviro200 MMCs numbered from 36609 to 36621, these are 8.9m buses and are single door. The routes operate out of Bromley (TB) garage.

-At Barking (BK) the Enviro200 refurbishment programme is coming to a close with almost all of the vehicles for route 366 refurbished. Once the last few buses return from refurbishment it should allow from Optare Versas (25306-25309) to be stood down from service at the garage.

-Talking of route 366s refurbishment programme, over the past few months Barking (BK) has seen a lot of Single Decker shortages, even with route 396 fully running Double Deck. This has resulted in some loans over the past few months. 36264 was the most recent one spending from the 8th of August to the 12th of August at the garage, with some interesting blind displays. 

-Tendering has been a mixed bag of news for Stagecoach recently. They have lost two of their long standing routes, route 48 which has been operated by Leyton (T) from 1968 (with a three year gap), that route will be taken over by Arriva London in February 2017. The second route, the 387 has been at Barking (BK) from inception in 1993 has been lost to Go Ahead London from February 2017.

-Routes 97, 215, 273, 277 and 380 have all been retained, with routes 273 and 380 getting brand new Single Deck buses, route 97 getting Scania Omnicity buses which are currently on route 277, route 215 getting Enviro400s which are currently on route 387 and route 277 getting 5 Enviro400s from route 387 and the rest of the allocation being made out of new Hybrid Double Deckers.

Tower Transit:
- Route 69 has all Enviro 400s in place, however the route maintains a very bad reputation for it's ongoing reliability issues which have been cited time and time again. The all-electric DH class buses on route 69 are now 'flexible' in the times they operate, and can operate any duty during the day.

- Route 28 is slowly getting it's BF62 reg VNs back. They were used as refurbishment floats for route 25's VN36101-65 at Lea Interchage (LI). About 20 or so vehicles have been refurbished in this batch, mainly the lower numbered ones. The vehicles are being refurbished in chronological order at the moment.

All change please! This post ends here. Thanks for reading, and please stay safe!


  1. What is happening to route 82 and the 13. Sounds very confusing

  2. did route 131 VLEs got pulled out as well?