Some Frogs for Edmonton

During February, March and April many of London's bus routes are changing operators and are having various changes to their services. 

A 259 and 102 stand together at Edmonton Green
© EastLondoner
In today's post we will focus on route 259 which runs between Edmonton Green Bus Station and King's Cross.The route has changed hands from being operated by Go Ahead London from Northumberland Park (NP) garage to being operated by Arriva London from Tottenham (AR) with buses being stored at Edmonton (EC). The route was going to get Wright Eclipse Gemini 3/Volvo B5LH buses, known as "frogs" among many enthusiasts. Route 76 went the other way however the information about that service change will follow in a forthcoming post. Route 259 originally started operating in April 1961 running between Holborn Circus and Waltham Cross. In 1970 the route was withdrawn between lower Edmonton and Waltham Cross and then further shortened to Manor House in 1985 however in 1986 it was extended to Ponders End via Edmonton. In 1998 the route was withdrawn between Ponders End and Edmonton Green in the north and between King's Cross and Holborn Circus in the south, forming the 259 route which exists today. 

WVN44 takes stand time at King's Cross
© EastLondoner
During its stint at Go ahead London route 259 was allocated with Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B9TL buses. These were originally ordered by First London and Go Ahead London inherited them when First sold Northumberland Park garage along with all its routes and buses. Go Ahead London coded these buses with the prefix "WVN" instead of the usual "WVL" code. The buses were built to the usual First London specification with Lazzerini seats and purple and turquoise interior which they retained when Go Ahead London took over operation of Northumberland Park (NP) garage. Now that they have been relieved from their duties on route 259 they are expected to make their way to South London for the takeover of route 131 this Autumn. 

On the first day of Arriva operation I made my way to Edmonton Green to ride the route and sample the buses. As I arrived HV223 was sitting on stand. It wasn't long until the bus departed and we were cruising down Fore Street. Quite a few bystanders and passengers made some remarks about the brand new bus, even two 102 drivers who were at Edmonton Green Bus Station were making comments about the new bus. We got caught behind a 279 by the time we reached White Hart Lane. 

HV259 is seen preparing to start service at King's Cross
© EastLondoner
We eventually reached Tottenham Town Hall and were met with a load of traffic. It took us around 10 minutes to clear the lights. This was also the point in the journey where we were to have a change of drivers. The changeover didn't take too long, maybe two minutes at most before we were on our way towards Seven Sisters and Manor House. At Manor house were were met with more traffic, however this time it didn't take too long for the traffic to clear and we were cruising towards Finsbury Park. Upon arrival at Finsbury Park most of the passengers got off the bus.  It wasn't long until we reached Holloway, at this point TE684 was in front of our bus and kept on driving very slowly and refusing to let us overtake. This led to the journey becoming much slower than it already was. It wasn't until Caledonian Road & Barnsbury Station where we managed to overtake. However it wasn't long until we were met with roadworks. By the time we reached King's Cross I was looking forward to getting off the bus.  

Nothing really stood out to me about these buses. They were pretty much your average Volvo B5LHs. The bus didn't go into Stop/Start at any point during my journey - However that could be down to an issue with that particular bus. They were good buses, but nothing really stood out to me about them. However they get the job done, and arguably that is the most important thing about a London bus. 

HV264 is seen on stand at King's Cross awaiting departure to Edmonton Green
© EastLondoner

Here is a list of buses allocated to route 259. However we can expect some intermixing between this batch and the batch for route 19, which will also be operated from Tottenham garage (AR) come the 1st of April 2017.

HV212 LK66HCy

HV205 is seen at Caledonian Road
The service has been quite good so far under Arriva, there have been a few odd curtailments but that is to be expected in the first few days of a new operator running the route. Hopefully the service performs well under Arriva for the next 5 or maybe 7 years!

1 comment:

  1. Will any buses from Tottenham garage move over to Garston , like DW297 AND DW300 , to replace the crap VLAs , VLWs and DWs