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LGWflyer
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Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:52 am

About an hour and a half ago the last bendy bus made its final journey and now London has no more of them operating.

What do you think about this? I for one wish they stayed.

A link about the bendy buses from the BBC News website:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-16091997
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2707200X
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Sat Dec 10, 2011 2:33 am

I remember in the news some years ago that the bendy bus was to replace the legendary Routemasters, the iconic double-decker bus as they retired and where relegated to "heritage" routes for tourists.

It seemed like an odd decision to use the articulated bus considering that the streets of London are often small, narrow and organic in design and the bendy buses are long and consume a lot of street space. It would only make sense to replace the Routemaster double-deck bus with with another similar sized double-deck bus considering the large number of seats the bus has and the relatively small area it takes on the street.
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Sat Dec 10, 2011 2:52 am

Quoting 2707200X (Reply 1):
I remember in the news some years ago that the bendy bus was to replace the legendary Routemasters, the iconic double-decker bus as they retired and where relegated to "heritage" routes for tourists.

Yes I remember seeing that on the news, such a shame! Every time when I go to London it doesn't feel right without all the Routemasters, say for example when walking down Oxford or Regent Street.

Quoting 2707200X (Reply 1):
It seemed like an odd decision to use the articulated bus considering that the streets of London are often small, narrow and organic in design and the bendy buses are long and consume a lot of street space. It would only make sense to replace the Routemaster double-deck bus with with another similar sized double-deck bus considering the large number of seats the bus has and the relatively small area it takes on the street.

Yes I know what you mean, also many drivers and cyclists have had trouble when close to them in small congested areas. The bendy buses are going to be replaced by the normal double-deckers, which I suppose isn't that bad.
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signol
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Sat Dec 10, 2011 8:12 am

This is more of a political move by the mayor, Boris Johnson. Granted many of the routes they operated would be better operated by double deckers, due to the narrow twisty nature of a lot of London's roads, but there must be some routes where the bendy busses would be perfect? Eg. on the arterial routes into the city, like the A4 by Heathrow. Or if they were that worried about fare dodging, how about using them on "express" routes that only stopped at bus stations (not stops) where tickets could be easily checked before boarding?

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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:38 pm

Quoting signol (Reply 3):
This is more of a political move by the mayor, Boris Johnson. Granted many of the routes they operated would be better operated by double deckers, due to the narrow twisty nature of a lot of London's roads, but there must be some routes where the bendy busses would be perfect? Eg. on the arterial routes into the city, like the A4 by Heathrow. Or if they were that worried about fare dodging, how about using them on "express" routes that only stopped at bus stations (not stops) where tickets could be easily checked before boarding?

Whilst I am not a fan of the bendy-bus in London, there was quite a strong logic behind their use. The difference in capacity behind a bendy-bus and regular double decker is quite significant. The bendy-bus has far more standing room, plus the lack of stairs and extra door (the bendy bus has 3 doors for boarding and alighting rather than one door for entry and one door for exit) reduces the amount of time a stops which in theory means a faster service.

I believe on some routes the bendy bus has been replaced with a more frequent double decker service, but given that some bendy bus services operated every 4-5 mins it is hard to see what benefit the increased frequency is - especially considering the extra congestion from having more buses on the road.

Quoting LGWflyer (Reply 2):
The bendy buses are going to be replaced by the normal double-deckers, which I suppose isn't that bad.

I prefer double deckers as I'm generally able to get a seat upstairs, unlike the bendy bus where more often than not I end up standing, however from a strategic point of view I think their removal was a mistake.
 
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:20 pm

Nobody seems to be looking at a loss of function for wheelchair and elderly patients in this. Through my wife's grandmother (who lives in Greater London), I've learned most buses are difficult to step into. Are there any new buses coming into the fleet which "kneel" or have an extendable platform such as what's used in NYC?
 
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:42 pm

Seems like the extra emmissions and congetsion by the greater number deployed is also getting short rift.

Quoting signol (Reply 3):
Granted many of the routes they operated would be better operated by double deckers, due to the narrow twisty nature of a lot of London's roads, but there must be some routes where the bendy busses would be perfect? Eg. on the arterial routes into the city, like the A4 by Heathrow. Or if they were that worried about fare dodging, how about using them on "express" routes that only stopped at bus stations (not stops) where tickets could be easily checked before boarding?

Depending on how they are being disposed of this may still be an option if pressure is bought to bear, if they are owned, used them some place.
 
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Sat Dec 10, 2011 2:13 pm

Quoting mdsh00 (Reply 5):
Are there any new buses coming into the fleet which "kneel" or have an extendable platform such as what's used in NYC?

A huge part of the fleet - if not all of the fleet - already has this capability. I've often seen buses in London kneel for the elderly - unfortunately it does not seem to be a courtesy that drivers exercise often enough as I also often see the elderly struggling to board. Most - if not all - of the fleet also has a built in ramp (usually at the second / exit door) for wheelchair users. This feature is actually quite good! I think TfL have been quite keen to improve bus accessibility given the difficulties involved with improving accessibility to the Tube.
 
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:39 pm

Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 7):
Most - if not all - of the fleet also has a built in ramp (usually at the second / exit door) for wheelchair users. This feature is actually quite good!

I actually saw one of those ramps in use for the first time a couple of days ago - I didn't even know they existed until then. Mind you, it's probably the first time I've seen anyone brave enough to board a bus in a wheelchair anyway, especially considering (in my experience) the "wheelchair space" is usually crammed with two or three baby buggies that seem to be the size of small cars these days. I wonder what would happen if someone in a wheelchair wanted to board and the space was already taken - I can't imagine the driver turfing all of the baby buggies off the bus, so I imagine the poor wheelchair user would just have to wait until a bus came along with enough space to accomodate them.
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:14 pm

Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 4):
The difference in capacity behind a bendy-bus and regular double decker is quite significant. The bendy-bus has far more standing room, plus the lack of stairs and extra door

In my mind it depends on who the busses are optimized for. If it is commuters, then the Routemaster is ideal with lots of seats with the ability to hop on and off. If its the OAP's with wheelchairs and mum's with pushchairs, then all this space makes sense. Or tourists, which often come with large suitcases, again the space is nice. It seems the bendy buses were intended to be a compromise.

However, from my personal experience, the design is not suited to London. I remember when they were first introduced and they went up Kingsway to Holborn and turned left. They had a bus lane up Kingsway, which was fine, but then to turn the corner, they had to pull out in to the traffic to get the back end round - which kinda defeated the purpose of the bus lane...

Coincidentally, I was in WH Smith earlier in the week and while I am no bus buff, I did pick up a bus magazine with a new retro Routemaster on the front cover, it had an article about Boris driving the first example out of the factory - I didnt read it, but from the photos it seemed a pretty faithful rendition of the original AEC. Are these actually going ahead, or just another Boris pie in the sky idea?
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Sun Dec 11, 2011 12:05 am

Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 9):
Coincidentally, I was in WH Smith earlier in the week and while I am no bus buff, I did pick up a bus magazine with a new retro Routemaster on the front cover, it had an article about Boris driving the first example out of the factory - I didnt read it, but from the photos it seemed a pretty faithful rendition of the original AEC. Are these actually going ahead, or just another Boris pie in the sky idea?

Ah yes, the "Borismaster" being Built by Wrights in Ireland



according to all of the industry mags we've got lying aroud at work it is going into full production and should even appear in the next Bond film.
 
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Sun Dec 11, 2011 2:06 am

Quoting GBLKD (Reply 10):

That is one nice-looking bus!

That said, I'm a fan of the articulated...sorry..."bendy" bus myself. Then again, I live in the US where plenty of large cities have them, and very few have double-deckers (though Megabus has a pretty good-sized fleet of them).
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Sun Dec 11, 2011 2:28 am

Quoting GBLKD (Reply 10):
GBLKD

Wow they look pretty good! Im glad at least they will have some routemaster routes in the design.
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:45 am

Quoting mdsh00 (Reply 5):
Nobody seems to be looking at a loss of function for wheelchair and elderly patients in this. Through my wife's grandmother (who lives in Greater London), I've learned most buses are difficult to step into. Are there any new buses coming into the fleet which "kneel" or have an extendable platform such as what's used in NYC?

As others have mentioned almost all double decker buses have kneeling and ramps.
Yeah the bendy bus was wrong for London, I quite like the double decker buses...
A good compromise is what the new routemasters are... even then they could have stretched ones for certain routes with an extra rear axle (frankly I'm surprised that the new ones don't have this as they are reasonably long and the extra weight of an upper deck must be a strain).
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Sun Dec 11, 2011 4:58 pm

Quoting LGWflyer (Thread starter):
bendy bus

You mean the last of London's free buses.  

I was on the bus the other day when a guy walked on and went past the driver. When he was called back he said 'Sorry, I'm not used to touching in. I normally catch the bendy bus'.

One thing that gets me about the current double deckers is the large amounts of wasted space where you can't stand and there are no seats. Hopefully the new double deckers will be a bit more space efficient.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Sun Dec 11, 2011 5:47 pm

Just a question , would those Borismasters have a two man crew as otherwise I can see people just getting on and off the rear without paying
 
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:23 pm

Quoting vc10 (Reply 15):
Just a question , would those Borismasters have a two man crew as otherwise I can see people just getting on and off the rear without paying

Yes, at certain times during the day. When there's not a second member of staff, the rear doors will be shut.

I can take or leave bendy buses, they're novel and are quite spacious, but I prefer travelling on double deckers. And don't get me started on Boris Buses... could've bought a bigger fleet of Enviro 400s (and the eco ones at that) that cost less and hold more people.

[Edited 2011-12-11 10:24:36]
 
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:38 pm

Dan , thanks for the reply and I looked up the Enviro 400 which seems OK , but has not got that much loved rear door where you can jump off a moving bus at the corner or even run after a bus and jump on.

Ah memories that might of been the case for me some 50 years ago but nowadays I think i will have to opt for the Enviro as long as it can knell   
 
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:17 pm

Quoting vc10 (Reply 17):
but has not got that much loved rear door where you can jump off a moving bus at the corner or even run after a bus and jump on.

A novelty I may have to try out once or twice myself when the Boris Buses arrive! I have a feeling I'd miss and fall flat on my face though...
 
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:40 pm

Quoting DanTaylor2006 (Reply 16):
I can take or leave bendy buses, they're novel and are quite spacious, but I prefer travelling on double deckers. And don't get me started on Boris Buses... could've bought a bigger fleet of Enviro 400s (and the eco ones at that) that cost less and hold more people.

I've never seen the point in the Boris bus. At the end of the day, it's just another double decker bus - just a very expensive one; no matter how retro the design is, if it's not a Routemaster, it's not a Routemaster. Arguably, people have been a bit nostalgic and overlooked the flaws of the original; for families with children, people who have difficulty getting around due to disabilities, and the elderly, the genuine article is a pain and an inconvenience.

Quoting vc10 (Reply 15):
Just a question , would those Borismasters have a two man crew as otherwise I can see people just getting on and off the rear without paying

People go on and on about how others can use bendy-buses without paying. Oddly enough, if you operated Routemasters without a conductor, people would be able to use them without paying too. In fact, unless they had an Oyster card it would be pretty much impossible to pay...
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:11 pm

Quoting 2707200X (Reply 1):
It seemed like an odd decision to use the articulated bus considering that the streets of London are often small, narrow and organic in design and the bendy buses are long and consume a lot of street space.

Agreed. The bendy bus was not appropriate for London's layout.

Quoting signol (Reply 3):
Or if they were that worried about fare dodging

They operated bendy buses on a penalty fare system - so that was obviously built into the analysis.

Quoting mdsh00 (Reply 5):
Are there any new buses coming into the fleet which "kneel" or have an extendable platform such as what's used in NYC?

All of them are accessible. That's why the Routemaster's were replaced in the first place.

Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 4):
however from a strategic point of view I think their removal was a mistake.

Not really, because they are completely impractical on most routes.

Quoting GBLKD (Reply 10):
Ah yes, the "Borismaster" being Built by Wrights in Ireland

Cool bus, but why is it so expensive?

Quoting DanTaylor2006 (Reply 16):
Yes, at certain times during the day. When there's not a second member of staff, the rear doors will be shut.

Interesting.

Quoting DanTaylor2006 (Reply 18):
A novelty I may have to try out once or twice myself when the Boris Buses arrive! I have a feeling I'd miss and fall flat on my face though...

You never jumped on the back of a Routemaster in the old days?
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:43 am

Quoting IH8BY (Reply 19):
Arguably, people have been a bit nostalgic and overlooked the flaws of the original; for families with children, people who have difficulty getting around due to disabilities, and the elderly, the genuine article is a pain and an inconvenience.

Once again I don't get what the point trying to be made here is... the original routemaster was from days before accessible access for wheelchair users... double decker buses are just as accessible as bendy buses without the problems those buses face in London. In fact they are perhaps better because they can get closer to the kerb in most stops due to being shorter than a bendy bus! The up stairs does not need to be used if people don't want to... the fact is that most people going more than about 5 minutes on the bus chose to use it for a seat and a better view leaving downstairs for familes (if they don't want to go upstairs), and people going short distances.
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B747-4U3
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:07 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 20):
Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 4):
however from a strategic point of view I think their removal was a mistake.

Not really, because they are completely impractical on most routes.

Perhaps you would like to expand on that a little? In what sense are they impractical?

In your statement, are you considering the shorter stop times and larger capacity? All of those factors add to the practicality of the vehicle. You also have to consider that to get the same capacity from normal buses you need more buses. More buses = more traffic, so it is not as if adding capacity with extra buses rather than larger ones is a practical solution either.


I do wonder why in London we don't have the slightly longer triple-axel double deckers like they have in Hong Kong. Again, perhaps the length is the issue - but then again we already have coaches on London's roads that are that size.
 
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:14 am

Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 22):

I do wonder why in London we don't have the slightly longer triple-axel double deckers like they have in Hong Kong. Again, perhaps the length is the issue - but then again we already have coaches on London's roads that are that size.

as do I! :

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 13):
even then they could have stretched ones for certain routes with an extra rear axle (frankly I'm surprised that the new ones don't have this as they are reasonably long and the extra weight of an upper deck must be a strain).

The rearmost axle can actually have a steering mechanism installed in it to help with tight turns.
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BAViscount
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:07 pm

Quoting DanTaylor2006 (Reply 18):
A novelty I may have to try out once or twice myself when the Boris Buses arrive! I have a feeling I'd miss and fall flat on my face though...

I once slipped off the back of an old Routemaster! Don't ask me how it happened as I have no idea - all I know is that one minute a mate and I were standing at the back ready to get off at the next stop, then the next minute I was a crumpled heap in the gutter and my mate was laughing at me from the bus as it drove away. Luckily only my pride was bruised!
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:49 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 20):
You never jumped on the back of a Routemaster in the old days?

I wasn't around for the Routemaster's heyday! And even if there were any left post 1990, I rarely visited London and used the tube or walked everywhere when I did!

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 24):
I once slipped off the back of an old Routemaster! Don't ask me how it happened as I have no idea - all I know is that one minute a mate and I were standing at the back ready to get off at the next stop, then the next minute I was a crumpled heap in the gutter and my mate was laughing at me from the bus as it drove away. Luckily only my pride was bruised!

Oh dear   
 
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:50 pm

Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 22):
Perhaps you would like to expand on that a little? In what sense are they impractical?

London isn't made for such large vehicles to get around.

Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 22):
More buses = more traffic, so it is not as if adding capacity with extra buses rather than larger ones is a practical solution either.

The more buses = more traffic would make sense if not for the widespread use of bus lanes.
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:04 pm

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 8):
I wonder what would happen if someone in a wheelchair wanted to board and the space was already taken - I can't imagine the driver turfing all of the baby buggies off the bus, so I imagine the poor wheelchair user would just have to wait until a bus came along with enough space to accomodate them.

When I was a city bus driver I actually ran into this situation quite often and the previous comments are correct. Buggies are getting longer and wider and people are boarding buses without folding them to make room for other passengers.

Only once did I have a problem where a customer refused to fold her stroller when I politely asked her to do so. I turned the bus off and explained that we wouldn't move until the stroller was folded and the customer in the wheelchair was able to board. Unfortunately, it delayed our trip by approximately 5 minutes, but when the other customers turned on her and started yelling at her to fold it, she quickly obliged.

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 23):
The rearmost axle can actually have a steering mechanism installed in it to help with tight turns.

Some do, some don't. The Alexander Dennis Enviro has a stationary tag axle as far as I remember. I haven't driven them in over a year but from what I do recall, the axle doesn't turn which hinders turning capability. There are various models of bus (mostly coaches) that do have steerable tag axles that operate in a variety of ways.

The design that allows for the tightest turns is a steerable tag axle which actually turns the rear wheels in the opposite direction the steering wheels are turning (up to 30 km/h; otherwise they lock in the straight position).

Another design is a caster system that allows the wheels to turn as the bus operates below 30 km/h. As the bus turns, the wheels are able to move on the caster (about 3 degrees).

The third most common type is one where the tag axle is lifted off of the ground manually by flipping a switch in the Driver's area before or during a turn. Upon completion of the turn, the wheels must then be lowered to reduce excessive stress on the chasis.

-Mark
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GBLKD
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:22 pm

Quoting EmiratesA345 (Reply 27):
The design that allows for the tightest turns is a steerable tag axle which actually turns the rear wheels in the opposite direction the steering wheels are turning (up to 30 km/h; otherwise they lock in the straight position).

Another design is a caster system that allows the wheels to turn as the bus operates below 30 km/h. As the bus turns, the wheels are able to move on the caster (about 3 degrees).

The third most common type is one where the tag axle is lifted off of the ground manually by flipping a switch in the Driver's area before or during a turn. Upon completion of the turn, the wheels must then be lowered to reduce excessive stress on the chasis.

Very interesting Mark, had no idea that Canadian coaches had lifting tags. Over here our tri-axles are all rear steer, lifting tags are only on trucks. Funny, we were discussing this at work today, the boss went down to the local Van Hool place to look at a new TX tri-axle with a Daf engine and AStronic gearbox.
 
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:49 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 26):
Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 22):
More buses = more traffic, so it is not as if adding capacity with extra buses rather than larger ones is a practical solution either.

The more buses = more traffic would make sense if not for the widespread use of bus lanes.

Even so, it is not uncommon to see a traffic jam made primarily of buses, or 4 or 5 buses in a row, in a bus lane queuing for a stop.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 26):
Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 22):
Perhaps you would like to expand on that a little? In what sense are they impractical?

London isn't made for such large vehicles to get around.

Whilst admittedly there are a few areas where operating a bendy bus is tight, the majority of the route mileage is made up on roads that are suitable. If we pick the 25 for instance, with the exception of a few twists and turns in the City, the bulk of the route is on a long straight road leading from the City, through Whitechapel, Mile End and Bow to Stratford and then Ilford.

I'm no fan of the bendy bus and in all honesty I do think it is a bit too long for Central London but I think it is unfair to say that it is impractical just because of that. Whilst negotiating some of the twists and turns on small roads in Central London is tight for the bendy bus, this has to be weighed against the advantages. Bendy-buses have shorter stop times meaning faster journeys and can carry significantly more people - double that of a double decker. They were introduced as people-movers and that is what they did.

I think on balance the capacity and speed advantages do outweigh the "length" issues, especially given that the length of the bendy-bus is not an issue for the majority of the routes that the bus serves.
 
emiratesa345
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:42 pm

Quoting GBLKD (Reply 28):
Very interesting Mark, had no idea that Canadian coaches had lifting tags. Over here our tri-axles are all rear steer, lifting tags are only on trucks. Funny, we were discussing this at work today, the boss went down to the local Van Hool place to look at a new TX tri-axle with a Daf engine and AStronic gearbox.

A Quebec based company, Prevostcar, owned by Volvo builds the H3-45 and X3-45 models with raising tag axles. When you flip the switch, the rear wheels lift off the ground causing an alarm to sound in the Driver's area. This alarm reminds you that the wheels are raised so that you remember to lower them when you've made your turn.

I'm curious to know what he thought of the AStronic transmission. Shoot me a PM.


-Mark
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MasterBean
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:31 pm

The new Routemaster will cost around £300,000 and is a diesel hybrid sort of thing. It has a 4.5 litre engine which charges a big battery that powers an electric motor. It supposedly does 10mpg which is about double that of a regular bus.
 
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:35 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 20):
Cool bus, but why is it so expensive?

Because like the VC-10 and the Trident, they have been designed and built with only 1 customer in mind. The more that get ordered, the cheaper they will be - basic supply and demand. They mentioned this in the news article the day that Boris drove the first one.

Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 22):
I do wonder why in London we don't have the slightly longer triple-axel double deckers like they have in Hong Kong.

Me too, especially seeing that they are made in the UK too !!. I often see them on their delivery journey on the motorway. Always makes me smile seeing the Chinese letters on the destination board.

 
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Zkpilot
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:15 am

Quoting EmiratesA345 (Reply 27):
Quoting BAViscount (Reply 8):
I wonder what would happen if someone in a wheelchair wanted to board and the space was already taken - I can't imagine the driver turfing all of the baby buggies off the bus, so I imagine the poor wheelchair user would just have to wait until a bus came along with enough space to accomodate them.

When I was a city bus driver I actually ran into this situation quite often and the previous comments are correct. Buggies are getting longer and wider and people are boarding buses without folding them to make room for other passengers.

In London it is a requirement for buggies to move out of the wheelchair user space. Technically it is just that a wheelchair space that baby buggies can use if not being used by a wheelchair.
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:24 pm

I'm a bus driver (what a waste of a CPL   ) in Manchester, so I'll just add my wisdom here...

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 8):
I wonder what would happen if someone in a wheelchair wanted to board and the space was already taken - I can't imagine the driver turfing all of the baby buggies off the bus, so I imagine the poor wheelchair user would just have to wait until a bus came along with enough space to accomodate them.

As someone has said, all we can do is ask the buggies to be folded - however I can't recall the last time I actually saw someone travel with a folded buggy! If they refuse we have to decline the wheelchair user travel on the bus - a bit harsh, but it saves a lot of confrontation. In this situation we get on the radio to traffic who will ask the next driver to ensure he has space to accommodate them.

Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 22):
I do wonder why in London we don't have the slightly longer triple-axel double deckers like they have in Hong Kong. Again, perhaps the length is the issue - but then again we already have coaches on London's roads that are that size.

We had them in Manchester (they came back from Hong Kong!) not so long ago for the MagicBus services (although before my time). Apparently they were an absolute nightmare due to the extra length. Oddly they only had a very limited standing capacity, so didn't offer a huge capacity increase anyway.

Quoting EmiratesA345 (Reply 27):
The Alexander Dennis Enviro has a stationary tag axle as far as I remember. I haven't driven them in over a year but from what I do recall, the axle doesn't turn which hinders turning capability. There are various models of bus (mostly coaches) that do have steerable tag axles that operate in a variety of ways.

Rear axle is stationary, though turning capacity isn't too bad in the Enviro400s I drive.

Quoting MasterBean (Reply 31):
It supposedly does 10mpg which is about double that of a regular bus.

Our hybrid buses do about that; though from the stats I've seen our regular buses aren't too bad on the mpg in comparison. I'd give out the figures but i'm not sure whether they might be commercially sensitive or not! Some of the older ones do only do about 5mpg mind, but these can't take fuel additives and have huge engines and heavy chassis unlike the newer Enviros which are largely plastic!
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:59 pm

Quoting mhodgson (Reply 34):
As someone has said, all we can do is ask the buggies to be folded - however I can't recall the last time I actually saw someone travel with a folded buggy! If they refuse we have to decline the wheelchair user travel on the bus

That is ridiculous! It is a wheelchair space... in fact I'm pretty sure it is illegal in the UK to deny a wheelchair user travel if there is space (ie no other wheelchair user). Buggies do not count and need to be folded up....like they are designed to be!
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:59 am

Quoting mhodgson (Reply 34):
As someone has said, all we can do is ask the buggies to be folded - however I can't recall the last time I actually saw someone travel with a folded buggy! If they refuse we have to decline the wheelchair user travel on the bus - a bit harsh, but it saves a lot of confrontation. In this situation we get on the radio to traffic who will ask the next driver to ensure he has space to accommodate them.

Funnily enough I was on a few buses today and I noticed the sign said words to the effect that the wheelchair area could be used by baby buggies as long as there were no wheelchairs that needed to use it. So they're basically saying that wheelchairs get priority, and quite rightly so. Personally I remember a time when the only option for baby buggies was to fold them up and store them in the area under the stairs. I spent many a bus journey with my sister and nephews when they were small and we had the process down to a fine art. My sister would carry the kids, I would fold the buggy and carry any bags or shopping, pay the fares and put the buggy under the stairs...it was the only option. I appreciate that often she was lucky to have me there to help out, but if I wasn't around, she had to cope on her own. Granted, back in those days there was no way a wheelchair would have made it aboard a bus (I'm talking the mid to late 70's), but it does annoy me these days that parents with buggies seem to think it's their right just to wheel their precious cargo onto a bus without any thought for anyone else. They do have the option of being able to fold the buggy and carry their child, but what alternative to wheelchair users have?
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mhodgson
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:25 am

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 35):
That is ridiculous! It is a wheelchair space... in fact I'm pretty sure it is illegal in the UK to deny a wheelchair user travel if there is space (ie no other wheelchair user). Buggies do not count and need to be folded up....like they are designed to be!

It is - though I don't think it specifies that only another wheelchair user may occupy the space as the space is provided for standing OR a wheelchair and if there is no space there isn't a lot we can do.

The problem is we can't throw passengers off, especially not mothers with children. If they refuse to fold the buggy there is not a lot we can do. It certainly isn't fair, but realistically we have no other option. Of course it works both ways when I have had to decline travel to a mother with a pram as they wouldn't fold it and the spaces were taken - I don't think it's any fairer for them to be decline travel over a wheelchair user, but that's how it works sometimes.

It has never happened to me fortunately, and I suspect most passengers would be happy to fold the pram up if requested; however inevitably there are occasions where people think that only they are important. We do have a company procedure whereby we will send a taxi or our own wheelchair ramp equipped minibus to a wheelchair passenger if a driver cannot accommodate them, however this is very rare as most of our services offer a frequency that means the next bus is more practical.
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:09 am

Quoting GBLKD (Reply 10):
it is going into full production and should even appear in the next Bond film.


Bond is upgrading in size??
Bye bye Aston Martin / BMW etc.

Quoting LGWflyer (Thread starter):
London has no more of them operating.

Where did the buses go to??
Other UK cities??

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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:30 pm

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 35):
Buggies do not count and need to be folded up....like they are designed to be!


mmmm - Interesting concept.
Here in Sydney AFAIK baby stroller(buggies) and wheelchairs have to be accommodated in the approp location and secured with an inertia reel seatbelt like device.

If those locations are occupied then potential passengers are obliged to wait for the next avail service.

Making a parent fold up the stroller and hold the infant could create some interesting liability issues in case of an accident.
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:24 pm

Quoting notaxonrotax (Reply 38):

Where did the buses go to??
Other UK cities??

Well according to this website they will most likely be shipped abroad, mainly places like Malta and other countries with left hand drive. Doesn't seem they will be staying in the UK, its a shame but I suppose its better than them being scrapped.

He is the website I found just now that you might find interesting.

http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/the-last-ever-bendy-bus-ever
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Thu Dec 15, 2011 8:27 pm

Quoting stealthz (Reply 39):
Here in Sydney AFAIK baby stroller(buggies) and wheelchairs have to be accommodated in the approp location and secured with an inertia reel seatbelt like device.

If those locations are occupied then potential passengers are obliged to wait for the next avail service.

Making a parent fold up the stroller and hold the infant could create some interesting liability issues in case of an accident.

That is the only place I have seen that for strollers. Wheelchairs more often. Quite simply buses in general do not have (and are not required to have) seat belts so any legal liability pertaining to accidents would not matter in the case of an infant.
If you think of it another way, a lot of parents don't use strollers for their infants (esp if they know they are going to be on public transport), the have backpacks or frontpacks (harnesses). If it is too big for that then it is big enough for a seat or lap.
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RE: Bendy Buses Are No More In London As Of Tonight

Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:52 am

Quoting LEEZYJET (Reply 32):
Because like the VC-10 and the Trident, they have been designed and built with only 1 customer in mind. The more that get ordered, the cheaper they will be - basic supply and demand. They mentioned this in the news article the day that Boris drove the first one.

One huge customer. That should help the economies of scale.

Quoting MasterBean (Reply 31):

The new Routemaster will cost around £300,000 and is a diesel hybrid sort of thing. It has a 4.5 litre engine which charges a big battery that powers an electric motor. It supposedly does 10mpg which is about double that of a regular bus.

Well, the fuel economy helps its case. 10 mpg is amazing.
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