Saturday, November 19, 2011

Double Decker or Bendy Bus ?

Which do you prefer, a double decker or a bendy bus? Anoraks on boys, I prefer single deck rigid low floor buses.

But there are some Double Deckers that I do like and these are not made by Volvo. The double deckers that I really like have two layers of crispy cereals and nougatine wrapped in delicious Cadbury chocolate - and there's a small amount of coffee in there too. I am a fan of the Cadbury Double Decker and have been for many years. It is my treat of choice and beats any other bar in the naughty aisle at the supermarket.

The packaging on my double decker the other day was different though. The printing of the wrapper was similar to other double deckers I have enjoyed but it was longer and had the word "duo" appended. The packaging contained 2 small bars that were shorter than a regular bar. Trouble is they were not joined and the packaging had no base. When you lifted the packet up there was a flexing as the tractor and trailer swung around in your hand. What is this I thought? This is a bendy bus, not a double decker! It was just a good as the double deckers I have had in the past. The only difference was that it was in two small segments.

There is however another double decker that I was very fond of when I was in my twenties. It was the double decker bus I learned to drive on and use on service in Bristol. It was a double decker that was way ahead of it's time with a low floor due to it's offset rear axle. These girls were a real joy to drive and had great character. Bristol, like Rome is built on 7 hills and a bus driver has to do numerous hill starts as part of his working day. Once you learned the knack, a snatch change from first to second on a crash gearbox was like sliding a knife through butter. Learning to drive with a crash gearbox and no power steering taught the driver how to think first and read the road, a skill lost on many of today's customer focused boy racers. A Cadbury Double Decker is a great treat to eat but the Bristol FLF is a classic bus to drive.
If you are asking whether or not it is a retrograde step to remove the articulate buses from the streets of London in favour of rigid double deckers, then yes, I think it is.

Boarding times on artics obliterate any other bus, primarily due to all three doors opening and boarding/alighting being permitted through any. Their replacements (and conventional 'deckers) take longer to load the same number of people as only the forward entrance can be used.

If you believe TfL, they claim artics were involved in no more accidents than rigid buses - pretty impressive if you ask me, considering their length. Motorists disliked them as they were less easy to overtake or cut up and it is this vitriol that caused the wave of negative publicity that effectively sealed their fate when BoJo came to power.

The number of vehicles used to replace the artics on routes they're being withdrawn from sees more vehicles used to cater for the same capacity. More buses, more engines, more emissions, more drivers, more cost all round.

Route 38 needs to supply a bus every 3-4 mins to cope with demand when the artics were removed (5-6 min frequency when they worked the route). I believe it is this service that has one bus a minute from 0650-0710 out of Clapton garage. This is completely ridiculous and unsustainable.

The trouble is, if Red Ken regains control of TfL at the next Mayoral Election, the cost to reintroduce them will be unpalletable, so this will be put on the back-burner, at the very best.
Did I read about problems of revenue loss/passenger fraud on Bendy Buses as passengers sneaked a free ride by boarding through the middle or rear doors? The honest passengers have to pay for this theft at the end of the day.
Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]