MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Barking Sunday (London, 1984)

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we jump back in time to June 1984, and the eastern side of London, back in the days when Routemaster operated services still operated far out into the suburbs.


It’s Sunday 3rd June 1984, and West Ham’s RM580 is heading in from Becontree Heath, on the Sunday version of the route (which on weekdays ran as far as Waterloo, but on Sundays stopped at Old Street).  The picture is taken close to Barking.

Route 5 had an interesting history, having been converted to One Person Operation with DMS class buses in April 1971, running as an OPO route for a decade, before converting back to crew operation and Routemasters in April 1981.  Crew operation lasted until November 1985, when Titans took over. The route still survives today, but like many others, has been drastically cut back, and now comes no further in than Canning Town.

RM580 survived the conversion of the 5, and moved westwards, eventually ending its days on the 28, and being withdrawn when that route was converted to minibus operation in 1989, and recorded as scrapped the following year.


MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC – Shades Of Blue (Dublin and London, 1999)


AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we jump back in time to sometime around 1999, with pictures from both Dublin and London, themed around blue . .


At the end of 1997 Dublin Bus introduced a new livery of blue, orage and cream for it’s “core” fleet, thoses vehicles not in CitySwift or other special liveries.  The earliest single-deckers to be treated had a more simple version of the livery than the one eventually standardised on.

Above: One of Donnybrook’s AD-class DAF SB220/Alexander buses (possibly AD67) is seen on O’Connell Bridge in the early version of the livery, sometime around 1999.

Below: around the same time, in London, Arriva‘s new “aquamarine & stone” colour scheme was replacing the old two-tone green used by London & Country.   Route 85, from Kingston to Putney Bridge received new Northern Counties bodied DAF double-decks (DFD class?) replacing a fleet of impressively long Volvo B10M/East Lancs deckers, and bringing the new corporate colours close to the central area.

Before long, a policy change would banish non-red liveries from the TFL network, so this photo of R205CKD represents a fairly short period of time when these colours were seen in this location.



(NEWS, UK) CILT Welcomes London 2012 Transport Legacy Report [21July2013]

gamestop(allAboutBuses file photo)


News Release: 19/07/2013




The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport has welcomed the publication of Transport for London’s (TfL) ‘transport legacy – one year on’ report.


The TfL report looks at the transport legacy of the Olympics and builds on CILT’s own report on the summer 2012 logistics legacy, Maintaining Momentum, released earlier this year.

TfL’s report reveals the most visible Games legacy is the £6.5bn invested in new and improved infrastructure, providing greater capacity and reliability across the transport network, including to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The Mayor and TfL are now working to build upon this legacy through further investment in new, upgraded and extended transport links and road networks, with unprecedented levels of collaboration between transport operators being maintained.

CILT’s Maintaining Momentum report, extensively referenced in the Mayor’s Road Task Force report issued last week, calls for greater use of night time Quiet Deliveries and increased communication and collaboration between TfL and freight operators. CILT is pleased that these recommendations have been adopted in TfL’s legacy report.

Following the success of the Freight Demand Management programme for the London 2012 Games, TfL has set up a Freight Delivery Unit and will continue the Freight Forum, which brings together those making, receiving and managing freight and logistics in London, to build on the lessons from the Games.

TfL issued a Code of Practice, encouraging the use of ‘Quiet Deliveries’ of goods during non-standard delivery hours, the success of which has led TfL to develop permanent guidance.  This is expected to be published in early 2014.  The Department for Transport already has a commitment, from the Logistics Growth Review in 2011, to re-write its existing guidance on Quiet Deliveries.  This is expected to be published this summer, and it, too, will incorporate lessons learned from the Games.

1.     The full TfL ‘transport legacy –one year on’ report is available to download at

2.     CILT’s Maintaining Momentum: Summer 2012 Logistics Legacy Report is available at:

3.     TfL’s ‘Olympic Legacy Monitoring: Personal travel during the Games’ and ‘Olympic Legacy Monitoring: Adaptations to deliveries by businesses and freight operators during the Games’ are available to download at;

4.     The Mayor’s “Leaving a Transport Legacy – Olympic and Paralympic Transport Legacy Action Plan” published in March 2012 is available at

(UK, News) Mayor’s Task Force Recognises Needs Of All Road Users, Says CILT

IMG_5167Image: AllAboutBuses stock photo



 The Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport (CILT) welcomes the fact that, for the first time in living memory, London has an inclusive plan to get the best out of its road network for everyone who uses its infrastructure. The Institute holds a unique position in representing all those designing, delivering and using London’s road network; it therefore applauds the Mayor’s Road Task Force’s holistic vision for improving London’s roads to ensure the most efficient movement of freight and people. The new plan addresses the needs of all users, from buses and motorists to local residents, cyclists, retailers and freight and services providers.

 CILT’s Chief Executive, Steve Agg FCILT, a member of the task force charged with drawing up a vision to improve the performance of London’s road network to create a more ‘liveable’ city, says that this is the first time that road freight has had ‘a place at the table’, as an integral part of the vision to improve life in London.

 Drawing on the recommendations of the CILT’s influential recent report Maintaining Momentum: The Summer 2012 Logistics Legacy, the Roads Task Force is recommending a package of measures designed to improve the way freight traffic is managed in the capital that will enable deliveries to be retimed outside peak hours, with well-managed access for freight to support businesses, thereby reducing congestion and improving safety for all road users.

Steve Agg says: “The role of freight transport in keeping London moving during the Olympics was vital, and this was not forgotten with the formation of the new Task Force. Roads and the movement of people, freight and services are essential to the economic success of London – a city where people live, work and play.”

Central to the Task Force’s vision for freight transport in the Capital are measures to re-time deliveries by HGVs and freight out of peak hours, as seen during the London 2012 Games, and switching some deliveries to vans, bikes or powered two wheelers.

Other measures to be taken forward include ensuring efficient road links and reducing ‘pinch points’ at key junctions. These steps will support businesses, including tradesmen and small businesses reliant on vans, as well as access to suppliers and markets.

CILT also welcomes the introduction of more intelligent systems and technology, to reduce delays at traffic signals, smooth traffic flows and provide road users with the best possible real-time information to help plan journeys.

The Institute also applauds the Task Force Report’s call for even greater sustainability, embracing ‘next generation’ travel demand, encouraging a greater shift to more sustainable modes such as walking, cycling and powered two wheelers.

Steve Agg adds: “Coupled with existing plans for rail investment such as Crossrail 2, this is a great opportunity to get the balance right between the movement of goods and people, and establishing a sense of place.”

London MEP Visits Ballymena To See New Bus In Build 30/01/2012

MEP Marina Yannakoudakis on the platform of the New Bus For London at the Ballymena factory



London MEP visits factory building New Bus for London and other hybrid buses

Ballymena, 30 January 2012 – “Green transport will help London meet its obligations on EU air pollution regulations,” said London Conservative MEP Marina Yannakoudakis on a visit to the Wrightbus factory today.

Marina visited the vehicle factory in Ballymena, Northern Ireland which is currently constructing the New Bus for London, inspired by the iconic Routemaster. The bus, as well as being a new design classic for London, will use some of the most advanced hybrid technologies in the world making it more than twice as fuel efficient as conventional diesel buses and 25% more fuel efficient than even other London hybrid buses.

Marina said: “Standing on the platform of the New Bus for London today gave me a real thrill. The bus is a beauty and I’m pleased to be here in Northern Ireland to see how the best of British engineering can deliver a first-rate, hi-tech new vehicle for the 6.5 million passengers in my London constituency who travel by bus every day.”

“The bus doesn’t just look good, it will also emit less than half the NOx (oxides of nitrogen) levels of a conventional diesel double-decker. Costs of the bus are comparable to another hybrid double-decker, yet the technology used is extraordinary; this is the first British bus to use fibre reinforced plastic normally used in yacht racing.”

Marina Yannakoudakis upstairsin the new bus.

“I have also seen other green buses being put together here in Ballymena. Hybrid buses not only improve fuel efficiency making them cheaper to run, but they are also less polluting. Green transport will help London meet its obligations on EU air pollution regulations.”

“I look forward to seeing the New Bus for London on the streets of the capital later this year. Mayor Boris Johnson has kept his promise to deliver a 21st Century version of the Routemaster while improving air quality for Londoners.”

Wrightbus supplies approximately one-third of the double-deckers in London. In 2002 the Wright Group received £680,000 of EU funding from the PEACE II programme to back a dedicated automotive centre of excellence, focusing on Research and Development activities. The project allowed Wrightbus to improve its R&D capacity over the past decade.

RV334 into Ensign’s own fleet

Ex Dublin Bus RV334 is now 195 in the Ensignbus fleet

Ex Dublin Bus RV334 is now 195 in the Ensignbus fleet

UK dealer Ensignbus, who have handled the disposal of large numbers of Leyland and Volvo  Olympians for Dublin Bus have just added one of the most recent sales, RV334 into their own operational fleet.
Converted to single-door, with LED display and looking stunning in the operator’s blue and silver livery, RV334 (now No.195) will work a variety of services including rail replacement work in central and outer London, as well as local services in Essex.

Northern Irish built hybrid joins London fleet

Photo by TfL/Geoff Caddick

Photo by TfL/Geoff Caddick


The first production series hybrid vehicle was launched into service today (Tuesday December 2nd) by David Brown, Managing Director of Surface Transport, Transport for London (TfL).

The double deck, unveiled at Horse Guards Parade, demonstrates Mayor Boris Johnson and TfL’s commitment to cleaner, more fuel-efficient public transport.

The Gemini 2 HEV unveiled today is one of five going into service for FirstGroup with another five also due to enter service with Arriva in London this winter.

The Wrightbus Gemini 2 HEV, which made its debut last month at Euro Bus Expo, has been developed following a long-term in-service evaluation with Arriva in London. Also available in conventional diesel form, the Series Hybrid Electric variant features Siemens ELFA® traction components, with energy provided by a Ford Puma 2.4 litre diesel engine with Lithium Ion batteries.


The other new London hybrid vehicle to feature Wrightbus bodywork is the Volvo B5L Hybrid Double Deck, which sports the original Wrightbus Gemini body. The Volvo B5L Hybrid is specified with a driveline comprising Volvo’s D5E 5 litre, Euro 5 compliant, diesel engine and Volvo’s ISAM (Integrated Starter Alternator Motor) which provides parallel operation of diesel and electric power, coupled to the Volvo     I-Shift 12-speed gearbox.

The new double decks are not the first Wrightbus hybrids to go into service in London. The company supplied their first Electrocity single deck hybrids to TfL in 2006 and there are currently 12 of these, plus one Gemini HEV, already in operation in the capital.

Today’s launch was attended by the Wright Group’s Business Development Director, Jonathan Poynton and William Wright, Director and Co-founder of the group, who commented, “We’re proud to be leading the way in the development of hybrid vehicles for public transport and are delighted that Transport for London sees hybrid technology as playing a key role in the future of London’s public transport. We’re confident that our experience gained in operating this technology in London over the past couple of years means that the new vehicles will deliver even more in terms of improved fuel consumption, air quality and passenger satisfaction.”

Wright Gemini 2 launched at Euro Bus Expo


The new Wright Gemini 2 (photo: Wrightbus)


The first of a new generation of Double Deck bus – the Gemini 2 – that can be powered by both diesel and hybrid – electric drivelines has been unveiled by Wrightbus this week.

The Gemini 2 HEV on show at Euro Bus Expo is the first of an order of five hybrid-electric powered Double Deck buses which will enter service with Arriva in London this winter, with five of nine Gemini 2 orders from FirstGroup also destined for hybrid-powered operation in the capital.

The Wrightbus Gemini 2 has been developed as a modular concept, with the option of both Euro 5/EEV Diesel (DL) and Hybrid Electric (HEV) power, whilst at the same time being fully compliant with both TfL and provincial specifications.

Hybrid-powered buses are seen as an important way of further reducing emissions, which can add to pollution problems in densely populated cities such as London. With high oil prices now likely to be the norm, the potential fuel savings that can result from deployment of hybrid-powered vehicles means that the payback on the incremental capital cost is much quicker than was previously the case, making such vehicles a realistic economic proposition.

The Hybrid-Electric Version (HEV) of the new Gemini 2 has been developed following a long-term in-service evaluation with Arriva in London. The Series Hybrid Electric variant features Siemens ELFA® traction components, with energy provided by a Ford Puma 2.4 litre diesel engine.  The Diesel (DL) version of the new Gemini 2 features a 6.7 litre Cummins engine, with both variants offering the choice of ZF or Voith automatic transmission driving through a Spicer rear axle.

The new vehicle has been developed by the product development team in Ballymena lead by Product Development Director, Damian McGarry. A key objective was to develop a weight optimised vehicle which delivered excellent fuel economy.

For example, Wrightbus has also used its growing expertise and capability in LRTM (Light Resin Transfer Moulding) composite materials to extend the use of automotive quality panels on the new vehicle, enhancing fit and finish, as well as further reducing vehicle weight. Emission standards have been achieved without the need to fit a particulate trap, further reducing vehicle weight.

The resulting unladen weight of the new Gemini 2 is excellent, at 12,271kg and 12,075kg respectively for the HEV and DL versions to TfL specification, with the provincial specification DL version having a tare weight of 11,200kg (all weights stated are specification dependent).

Another major objective for the new bus has been to maximise seated passenger capacity, not just in the low floor area (where the new vehicle has ten seats) but throughout the entire vehicle.  With overall capacities of 87 (for HEV) and 91 (for DL) passengers in a two door bus to the latest London specification and 96 for the Gemini 2 DL to Provincial specification, the new Wrightbus Double Decker offers a class-leading proposition to bus operators in the Capital and other large cities.

Integral to the development of a modular driveline approach has been a new flat radiator design which sits 1.5m above ground, providing both improved engine cooling and quieter operation for passengers and other road users alike. The Wrightbus product development team has worked closely with chassis partner VDL on this and other aspects of chassis weight and layout optimisation.

A totally new drivers’ area has been created to deliver an efficient and comfortable place of work for the driver, featuring a Wrightbus-designed instrumentation panel with touch screen technology. An integrated telematics package is also the result of extensive development work by the Ballymena team.

With vehicle uptime of critical importance to bus operators, the new Wrightbus Gemini 2 will be fully supported by Customcare, a division of the Wright Group. Customcare is already highly experienced in supporting hybrid powered Wrightbus products in service, and have in place a mobile team of technicians who are experts in the specific requirements of hybrid-electric vehicles.

Speaking at the show, Group Managing Director Mark Nodder said “Double Decker buses are the mainstay of city bus operations in London as well as the large provincial cities, and have become a very important part of our company’s business.  Building on our experience of being first to make hybrid-electric technology a reality in city bus operations in the UK, we have been convinced of the need to offer a new vehicle which gives our customers the choice of either Euro 5/EEV diesel or hybrid electric drivelines, without changing the layout and specification of the vehicle.”