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Old 11th January 2017, 18:01   #136
GusB
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Casting my mind back to the late 1980s, I reckon my most hated bus would be the Dodge/Renault S56.

My local operator was Northern Scotttish and they decided to convert Elgin town services and the evening rural runs to minibus operation using 6 ex-Central Dodges. They were horrendous.

Second to that would be the original Darts.
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Old 11th January 2017, 18:09   #137
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There was more than one of the post-deregulation minibus types that was dreadful; the Freight Rover Sherpa would give an S56 a run, although the few East Lancs-bodied Dodges were a special kind of dreadful. Iveco Dailys of that generation were bad too.

Optare has also produced its share of junk in the past, with the Excel and Vecta up there. Regardless of body the Dennis Lance was generally poor, while the asthmatic Volvo B6 was never anywhere near a Dart in terms of... anything.

The original-shape E200 must also count as dreadful, given that most rattled like mad from new.
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Old 11th January 2017, 18:27   #138
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What surprises me is how many buses that I thought were well regarded are on this list! Citaro's, Omnidekka's, Wright Eclipse, Wright Commander/Pulsar on SB200 etc. What buses are good?
All to everyone's opinion. I like all these buses (excluding the Omnidekka), but I've always like Alexander Dennis products better, for being very robust and comfy. Wright products can feel cramped at the top because of their curvy roof, and Citaro's just like fire for some reason...
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The original-shape E200 must also count as dreadful, given that most rattled like mad from new.
Kinda depends really. The 60 reg ones are so much better in rattle absorbing than the ex-Tates 56 ones. Our 65 reg MMCs are so much better than both of them though.
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Old 12th January 2017, 01:16   #139
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Royale's as they're cold in winter, felt old (considering that the ALX series was low floor and were cutting edge at the time), the design was something reminicent of a bus derived class 150/1 and for some strange reason always had that creaking and ball bearings rattling upstairs. The lurching about on these buses also did my head in.

One or two of the then Holmfirth Connection branded vehicles also had some large sections of rubber surround cut out from where the top left window is along with some metal flange plates which suggested that these "plates" were only there to hold the window in.

Got to admit now the new Geminis that are used on the rebranded Holme Valley Connection are a damn sight better than it once were.
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Old 12th January 2017, 11:31   #140
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I think the DM/DMS wasn't all bad, not from a travellers perspective. They had a poor infrastructure around them. Repairs were a problem as parts were unable to be sourced around LT garages. Whereas with the RT/RM they were designed around Aldenham works and had fewer problems. The routemaster wasn't particularly successful at first and wasn't generally liked, but LT had to work with it, where with the DMS was not seen as politically viable and so withered away. It could and indeed should have been so different.
The problem was with LT not the DMS.

Fleetlines were used extensively in and around Birmingham, Manchester and Coventry for example.

In London they were based in the outer area - places such as Edgware, Uxbridge or Croydon - and I don't believe for a minute that traffic conditions and infrastructure in those areas were significantly different than around Birmingham, Manchester or Coventry.

LT's problem was their "not invented here" attitude. They tried the same trick when replacing the DMS by pushing for the Titan - which few other places adopted, eventually prevailing upon the Olympian which was very successful and widely used.
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Old 12th January 2017, 11:52   #141
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I can only talk from my experience...

To drive: Guy Arab. Horrid gearbox. Or anything with a Gardner engine with the governor hitting the wall at just over 30 mph.

To ride: anything by Bedford or Ford. Or perhaps a Bristol LH.

To maintain: Guy Wulfrunian of course! But Bedford VAL would be close behind if the brakes needed adjusting; or perhaps a Daimler Roadliner, never came across one.
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Old 12th January 2017, 11:59   #142
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The problem was with LT not the DMS.

Fleetlines were used extensively in and around Birmingham, Manchester and Coventry for example.

In London they were based in the outer area - places such as Edgware, Uxbridge or Croydon - and I don't believe for a minute that traffic conditions and infrastructure in those areas were significantly different than around Birmingham, Manchester or Coventry.

LT's problem was their "not invented here" attitude. They tried the same trick when replacing the DMS by pushing for the Titan - which few other places adopted, eventually prevailing upon the Olympian which was very successful and widely used.
Absolutely spot on. There was an article about 30 years ago (think it was a Buses Annual or something) that related to Derby buying some. They couldn't believe the bargain they got and that there were some fundamental maintenance issues that they just couldn't understand - it was as if LT fitters couldn't cope with something that wasn't an AEC.

Of the van derived minis, whilst there were some iffy ones (and some people will never concede they had their uses anyway and why couldn't everything remain operated by a VR), it was the Dodgey S56 for me as I've said before.

Modern day "classics" are the Plaxton Prestige - shocking build quality and an internal design seemingly done by a committee - and the Temsa Avenue.

Before we all get too rose tinted, there have always been iffy designs and vehicles. The Bristol VR had major issues - the mitre box fault within the drive train and the weakness of the ECW body around the rear wheelarches were well known
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Old 12th January 2017, 13:53   #143
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Optare Solos.

There was nothing worse than one of these turning up instead of a double decker.
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Old 12th January 2017, 21:05   #144
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B7tl plaxton presidents

I HATED these buses when Metroline ran them for so long, rattly, And noiser than the aircraft at Heathrow airport , from which they ran their president equipped 140

Thankfully they are starting to go, replaced by b5tl Gemini 3s which are much quieter

I quite like the Wright streetdecks on 340 too, but arriva really can't look after them. 16 plate and they look shabby
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Old 12th January 2017, 21:11   #145
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Originally Posted by A0wen View Post
The problem was with LT not the DMS.

Fleetlines were used extensively in and around Birmingham, Manchester and Coventry for example.

In London they were based in the outer area - places such as Edgware, Uxbridge or Croydon - and I don't believe for a minute that traffic conditions and infrastructure in those areas were significantly different than around Birmingham, Manchester or Coventry.

LT's problem was their "not invented here" attitude. They tried the same trick when replacing the DMS by pushing for the Titan - which few other places adopted, eventually prevailing upon the Olympian which was very successful and widely used.
DMS were not used exclusively in outer areas. I travelled on one most days from Charing Cross to Euston on the 170 route in 1973/4, and that was one of the first routes to be converted to the type. Other examples were used for crew operation of the 16 and 24, to name two very prominent central London routes, although of course Routemasters formed the bulk of operations in the centre then. Actually, the thinking behind their use was to see if trunk routes into central London could be converted to their use, preferably with opo, with outer routes left to flat-fare (where possible) single deckers, although by the time they began to be introduced it was clear that the AEC Swift was going to be no more use than the AEC Merlin for the latter. Red Arrow routes were a special case, LT only allowing flat fares in central London for limited distances, and, in any case, the lack of suitable inner garages effectively stifled their expansion.
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Old 14th January 2017, 23:27   #146
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After today, BYD Electrics...
The one I had in Nottingham earlier was awful, made me, gulp, wish for the Solos back! Now there's a statement I never thought I would have to say...
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Old Yesterday, 21:18   #147
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After today, BYD Electrics...
The one I had in Nottingham earlier was awful, made me, gulp, wish for the Solos back! Now there's a statement I never thought I would have to say...
Can you elucidate? I haven't been on one, so would like to know what to expect.
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Old Today, 00:16   #148
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Originally Posted by Master29 View Post
I think the DM/DMS wasn't all bad, not from a travellers perspective. They had a poor infrastructure around them. Repairs were a problem as parts were unable to be sourced around LT garages. Whereas with the RT/RM they were designed around Aldenham works and had fewer problems. The routemaster wasn't particularly successful at first and wasn't generally liked, but LT had to work with it, where with the DMS was not seen as politically viable and so withered away. It could and indeed should have been so different.
LT's maintenance policy for RTs and RMs had been to remove body from chassis, and refurbish each separately. Eventually a refurbished body would meet a refurbished chassis/running gear set, but it was never the same vehicle. Just like when you have a brush and the handle fails. Then the brush-head gets worn out. You still have a brush, but none of the parts are original.

From Rear-engined Double-deckers by Gavin Booth:
Quote:
This 'off-the-peg' model based on the Daimler Fleetline did not perform in London, and seemed unsuitable to LT's maintenance system. The size of London's order delayed Fleetline deliveries to other operators. And when LT decided to sell the vehicles prematurely, they were quickly snapped up by a wide variety of operators, who chose these in some cases instead of new buses, further depressing the new bus market. The ghost of the DMS has haunted the British bus scene since 1970...
There was nothing wrong with the Fleetline. The simple fact of the matter was that they weren't suited to an organisation whose maintenance and overhaul methods had hitherto relied on bespoke solutions. We're going to see problems when the NB4L (a bespoke London solution) becomes life-expired in the capital, but has nowhere to go when it reaches the end of its London life.
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Old Today, 09:48   #149
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LT's maintenance policy for RTs and RMs had been to remove body from chassis, and refurbish each separately. Eventually a refurbished body would meet a refurbished chassis/running gear set, but it was never the same vehicle. Just like when you have a brush and the handle fails. Then the brush-head gets worn out. You still have a brush, but none of the parts are original.

From Rear-engined Double-deckers by Gavin Booth:


There was nothing wrong with the Fleetline. The simple fact of the matter was that they weren't suited to an organisation whose maintenance and overhaul methods had hitherto relied on bespoke solutions. We're going to see problems when the NB4L (a bespoke London solution) becomes life-expired in the capital, but has nowhere to go when it reaches the end of its London life.
Further questions were asked about the DMS in the mid-80s when a number of LRT contracts were let which were won by independents using DMSs which London Buses had been busy divesting themselves of - notable winners being London Buslines and Ensign. The obvious question was why when LT operated them didn't they work properly on the route yet when an independent took them on they did........

I believe such losses enforced a change of policy by London Buses who then kept the remaining (mainly B20) Fleetlines until the late 80s / early 90s when they'd previously been slated for withdrawl.
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Old Today, 11:22   #150
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Further questions were asked about the DMS in the mid-80s when a number of LRT contracts were let which were won by independents using DMSs which London Buses had been busy divesting themselves of - notable winners being London Buslines and Ensign. The obvious question was why when LT operated them didn't they work properly on the route yet when an independent took them on they did........

I believe such losses enforced a change of policy by London Buses who then kept the remaining (mainly B20) Fleetlines until the late 80s / early 90s when they'd previously been slated for withdrawl.
More embarrassing was the re-purchase of Fleetlines from Scotland for use by LBL on Bexleybus work!
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