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I do like the Streetdecks. The few I have been on have been comfortable experiences, to say the least. I would say they're pretty good. Though saying that I would take one of the N250's we have down here over a Streetdeck. But I don't really see why people would dislike the Streetdeck.
I've only ever rode a Streetdeck on the Oxford Park & Ride, as we have none in Devon.
I found them rattly and could do with a little more power but they were still lovely buses to be on.
Oxford Bus Company have fitted them with extremely comfortable fabric Civic 3 seats, tables and wooden floors. Very tasteful from a passenger's point of view.
@The Imaginative Lad Im not to familiar with Nottingham but isnt it a skyblue route with E200's instead of solos. I'm going to guess that that the destination is wrong as I be live it goes further and does a loop of somewhere north of Arnold.
Sky Blue 46/47 use 10.2M E200s and go to Woodthorpe. The route number 46 and 47 determines the direction of the loop after Mapperley Plains.
A few years ago this route was much longer, it would go all the way to Gunthorpe via Arnold, Woodthorpe and Lowdham First it was shortened to just Lowdham, then Arnold was taken off the route and then it was further shortened to just Woodthorpe when they withdrew the Slimline Solos and replaced them with E200s. It's a shame this route was shortened as the 46A was once the longest route served by NCT, longer than Navy 1 to Loughborough.
I love a good 90s bus! And it looks like it's been worked on quite a bit! I've always liked the Spectra - especially the rear lights, having seen them first on those Scunthorpe school buses down Holderness Road at Big Weeekend - and I really can't wait to see if this comes out!
I was looking at a thread earlier, lamenting the scrapping of the ALX400 that V3D based his rather magnificent bus on.
It amazes me how modern buses are scrapped at relatively 'young' ages when you consider how long the RM, RT and RF lasted in active service; especially bearing in mind the prices the vehicles command when new - a double decker kerching-ing at £300/350K. If fifteen years is a fairly average lifespan that equates to somewhere around £20,000 p.a in 'lost value' .
I can only assume that lost value is offset against tax on profits, leaving little incentive to purchase more durable vehicles, especially with increasingly strict anti-pollution measures, but the environmental impact of manufacturing and disposing of these vehicles on such a frequent cycle has to be considerable - but doesn't seem to be taken into account....
It's several decades since my involvement in the industry and I am a bit of a dinosaur in that I am old-school in terms of public transport; think along the lines of London Transport - Design-Refine-Build-Maintain-Refurbish, quality vehicles that are rugged, repairable and long-lived. Even at garage level you could do an engine change on an RM between peak hours, with the vehicle returning to service for the evening rush-hour. I worked at the Aldenham Works where tired work-worn buses were thoroughly and regularly overhauled, so I know what I'm talking about. For anyone interested there are some splendid archive films on YouTube showing the process.
There's still great merit in that model of operation but it doesn't work with fragmented small-to-medium sized fleets, especially mixed fleets with small batches of vehicles.
I still look at operators abroad - having lived in Brussels and worked for the STIB for some time I'll use BXL as an example, especially the tramway side of things. Currently in service still are a number of vehicles dating from the 1970's, based on a sound concept of vehicles of modular design and many common components. The PCC tram. Originally entering service in the early 1950's as a single 4-axle car, now sadly withdrawn, refined in the 1960's as a 6-axle articulated model, and a final iteration as an 8-axle double articulated behemoth. Those early 7000 series cars had the incredible lifespan of almost sixty years with a couple of refurbishments, and must have had a tiny environmental footprint and equally small lost value figure. The tramway in BXL is thriving and expanding, fares relatively cheap - especially if you have an 'Abonnement' or season ticket, and public transport is subsidised.
I just can't help thinking that here in the UK we have, and continue to get urban public transport horribly wrong.
I suppose it's because technology has advanced exponentially over the past few years, I mean, we have things like free WiFi and charging stations on almost all modern (post 2015) buses as well as Euro 5 and 6 engines. To not follow the trend and comply with regulations and expectations by the establishment and general population companies would quickly lose out.
Take this as an example. For a while down in Torbay we had mostly Stagecoach with First running smaller services and the big service between Paignton and Totnes/Plymouth. Stagecoach wanted this vitally important route, so they made their own route using the Gold branding on the route, along with many nice mod-cons on the buses that they made a big song and dance about, mainly lovely high backed seats and WiFI on board. A couple of years later First lost the battle, mainly down to shoddy bus quality, they were nowhere near as modern or fancy as the Stagecoach ones, and the public flocked to the Gold. Now there is not a single First operated route down here, they got booted out basically.
So I suppose it's to follow the trend and attract as many customers as possible, and damned the environmental consequences of binning perfectly fine buses such as ALX's and Darts. It's a shame but it's the way the market operates these days
How very strange... looking at photos of it and others in its batch it seems to have had it a very long time. I doubt it's to do with emissions given how long it's been on and the fact that you wouldn't run any pipes up from the engine to the front like that.
@Benji Saw your bus and 471 at the Scarborough rally today - well turned out, I say. I was looking forward to seeing the East Yorkshire, especially - not to say yours isn't as good, I love the desties on yours, too - 471, because it has rollblinds!
One question, though - did weather stop you both from having a good wash? I was surprised to notice that both of the Darts there weren't exactly squeaky clean for the show. Not that it takes anything away from them, just that it was a bit odd for a show vehicle. Or maybe they were cleaned (if not totally, then as best as possible, weather-permitting), and I just didn't notice.
Had a photo in front of yours, anyway - won't show, because it has my face on it - and I have to say I love the attention to detail with the signs, tags, and other things, and I was especially fond of the 'mascot' you put in the driver's seat. I'm looking forward to how they both turn out!
On looking back on photos on 471, I've just seen a big scratch/dent mark... ouch. Hope that can get fixed.
Four of these hanging on, don't know how long for, but I can't see them lasting much longer. (Ones left are 60066/60067/61036/61040, I've photographed 60066 & 61036, plus 60212 and 60172 which are withdrawn).
Four of these hanging on, don't know how long for, but I can't see them lasting much longer. (Ones left are 60066/60067/61036/61040, I've photographed 60066 & 61036, plus 60212 and 60172 which are withdrawn). View attachment 29249View attachment 29250