This is a follow up to my previous article titled ‘£2 million higher fuel cost for New Routemasters’.
More bad news just in concerning the 3 door 2 staircase hybrid bus called the New Routemaster. (NRM)
Today (July 11th 2016) the news has broken that TFL will be cutting all of their conductors as part of TFL’s plan to freeze fares and to have a 1 hour bus ticket scheme.
From ITV London News
New Routemaster bus conductors are to be abolished in a £10 million cut by Transport for London, ITV London can reveal.
There are currentlty six routes operating with conductors on New Routemaster buses. Another 19 routes that use New Routemasters already do so without conductors
Routes 9, 10, 11, 24, 38 and 390 currently have conductors on New Routemaster buses
"The conductors on these routes have done a great job, but the New Routemaster routes that don’t have conductors also operate very effectively and we can no longer justify the £10m of extra costs that could otherwise be invested in modernising the transport network.
We are now working with the bus companies to find conductors other opportunities within the transport industry so they can continue to play a part in keeping London moving."
– Leon Daniels, TfL’s Managing Director of Surface Transport
TfL has found that having conductors on board made only a "modest difference to customer satisfaction" - increasing 86.7% to 88.4%.
Tfl say not having conductors would "save around £10m a year", adding that thus will be reinvested in modernising the transport network.
According to the redundancy notice from Go Ahead London, they will be withdrawing New Routemaster conductors on Saturday 3rd September 2016.
I do feel sorry for the conductors having to put up with the stress over this bad news and I wish them the best of luck finding a new job in the transport industry.
Also, there's more bad news regarding the New Routemaster; route 189's conversion has been delayed due to modifications with the bus stands at Brent Cross.
From LOTS news:
1) Delivery of new buses to London continues, albeit a little more slowly at present. VHs for London United, LTs for Metroline (Cricklewood), VWHs for Metroline, StreetDecks for Arriva (Garston), E400Hs for Stagecoach. At present LTs are suspended from the 189 whilst modifications to the stand arrangements at Brent Cross take place. Meanwhile, delivery of Golden Tours new Volvo B5TL/MCV buses (batch 125-144) has been completed, leaving seven Tridents as ‘spare cover’ for service in London.
2) The first use of several of Stagecoach’s new E400Hs (batch 12365-400) has been at Silverstone over this current weekend with entry into service on route 53 at Plumstead likely to begin in the coming week, in turn releasing diesel E400s to Romford to replace older Tridents on route 86/N86. At CT Plus the full batch of E400H-City buses (2501-2521) are now in use on route 26, and the hired DN-class E400s from Tower Transit have returned home. Gradually and indirectly, this would allow some of Tower Transit’s VNWs and VNZs to depart the fleet.
This is not the end of the New Routemaster as thankfully the New Routemaster design has evolved to a more standard spec which features a 2 door and 1 staircase design, it also uses the Volvo B5LH hybrid system. The name of the bus is called Wright SRM (Son of Routemaster) and they will be purchased by private bus operating companies instead of directly by TFL. Six of these will appear on route 13 which is expected to happen by September 2016. Their alter ego is the Alexander Dennis Enviro400H City which features designs based on the New Routemaster and the Enviro200 MMC; they are currently on routes 26 and 78.
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Previous articles of interest:
By R Sones, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27638936