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Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by Mojo, 9 Jan 2016.
Yes, well, a current Council scheme.
I do understand that and am also myself getting to an age where I can't really avail myself of the upper deck unless I am going to the terminus, and therefore have plenty of time to get off without falling down the stairs. However, I still feel that there has been an over-emphasis on the tiny percentage of passengers who are wheelchair bound to the detriment of the huge numbers of passengers with varying degrees of disability, often age-related, who in many ways have lesser degrees of comfort etc in a modern bus compared to its predecessors.
Quite probably but the Act was passed very many years ago and it doesn't look likely to get changed now !
I fear not!
Hear Hear. The modern bus is a miserable environment to the majority of passengers.
On old buses, there was the challenge of the entry steps, granted, but once you were on it was a fairly welcoming and comfortable place.
What do we have now with low floor? Firstly, the wheel arches at the front are obviously intrusive due to the floor height and waste space that used to be a convenient first port of call for the infirm. They also create a narrow corridor of exit and entry causing conflict.
Once past this you have the vacuous space where wheelchairs and pushchairs go, another obstacle to be negotiated before you can get to a seat. The grab rails here are not sufficient in number and spaced too far apart, where you used to have one above every seat, so you go on a virtual cakewalk from the front of the bus to the middle.
That of course is if there isn't a wheelchair and two pushchairs on, with handles and bags etc protruding into the corridor.
Once in a seat, well if it's the flip down one (the most accessible to an infirm passenger) it is possibly the most uncomfortable thing you will ever sit on. if you make it to a forward facing seat, it will have zero legroom due to the vacuum needed for the wheeled passengers and the window sill will be level with your nose, creating a thoroughly awful travelling environment.
The ride quality will generally be dire due to the fact you are virtually sitting inside the chassis.
No wonder people despise buses now.
In London, the flip down seats have been got rid of, presumably on the basis that it's so much easier for a person with a stick, say, to stand and not to have the bother of sitting down and then having to get up again. It certainly is no surprise that those with the option of a car often choose that, even if they are entitled to free bus transport. Maybe that's the real idea.
An outstandingly accurate description of my own thoughts on modern buses.
But please add in:
lack of luggage facilities,
poor heating in winter,
poor cooling in summer,
poor quality component design / specification and build quality leading to shakes and rattles on buses only 12 months old.
Surely buses don't have to be like this? It's not as if they're cheap in price, only in quality. The most expensive of them all, the so-called New Routemaster, is hardly any better and, in some respects, worse than the competition. I wonder how many of the old managers of munisipal fleets, some of whom had fantastically exacting standards, would have reacted to today's designs. I suspect rebuilds/refurbishments of existing stock would nave become quite prevalent.
How much do Enviro 200/400 cost compared to a Citaro or MAN Lion's City?
You can't really compare a Lion's City to an E200 price-wise as nobody knows what a Lion's City would cost in the UK. However, in terms of a Citaro you are looking at about two Citaros for same price as three E200s/StreetLites/MetroCitys - but the phrase 'you get what you pay for' is very apt where a Citaro is concerned.
Edit: Those would be retail prices, rather than what one of the groups would pay.
How does the price of a Lion's City compare to a Citaro in countries where both vehicles operate?
I regret I can't provide those figures. My few rides on Citaros,though, left very good impressions.
Oh, give over, low floor buses aren't anywhere near that bad.
Even on step-entrance buses you don't have seats until well after the front wheel arches. The first row of seats on a Gemini is pretty much exactly where the first row of seats was on the Olympians I took to school 20 years ago. The window line is pretty much in the same place too. Luggage space has nothing to do with the low-floor and everything to do with the fact the operators now have a Metro newspaper stand, or sometimes additional seating, where the luggage racks used to be.
As for poor heating, the Roe Atlanteans I took to school were the very definition of cold and draughty.
Build quality on Citaros is better than on Wright or ADL buses, but then again the Citaros are not without problems: when the Citaros first arrived up here there were huge complaints about the, er, eccentric seating plan. Most of the squeaks and rattles are because the internal fixtures are bolted to each other rather than the bodywork. Wright are changing that with the StreetDeck, but it'll cost you.
Lothian, who basically are managing a municipal fleet, do seem to have custom interiors and exacting standards, but equally do seem to buy new kit off the shelf. The problem with old kit is that it's high floor.
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Yeah, the weird seating plan is one of the many ways in which the older Mercedes O405 is a far better bus than the Citaro.
Body distortion caused by the flexibility of large single-glazed windows is also a big cause. Double glazing reduces it significantly as it is far more rigid - ride a UK single-glazed Citaro and a European double-glazed one and the difference is noticeable.
Notably, also, the smaller windows on the newer Wright buses reduce body distortion.
If you visit certain eastern European cities you can see second-hand O405s still running around, sometimes with German advertising and route maps, or with "Bahnhof" left on the LED display. They still ride well.
They are an absolutely excellent bus, very difficult to fault. Quite possibly the best low-floor single-decker bus ever built, and the O405G (the bendy version) is superb too.
Not many made it to the UK, but Finglands in Manchester had one or two.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_O405 for more info. They did a chassis and an integral version - my compliments apply to the integral version.
Yeah, the Optare Prisma was bloody awful.
I have dipped out of this discussion (as I said I would) but we've moved onto vehicle design.
Personally and having been on many of the Tees and District versions, the Optare Prisma was absolutely brilliant in terms of performance and reliability. The only real issue was the higher floor in comparison to other design.
I would agree the Citaro is a good machine though.
However, best guard against the rose tinted spectacles of yore (which I think is where Arctic is coming in). I am old enough to remember days on ECW bodied Bristol RELLs; slider windows wedged closed with tickets, the screen behind the driver rattling like a machine gun! Plus a cab door hanging off under the weight of a mechanised Setright!
Then you had the Bristol VR - rear wheelarches coming adrift and enabling water ingress, and the rattling of the destination access. And that was then assisted by the fitment of Taperlite springs "with a life of up to three and a half times that of conventional multi-leaf springs according to Tinsley Bridge. Weight savings of up to 50% on conventional suspensions are also claimed, and ride is said to be comparable with that of air suspension." It wasn't - was like being at sea!
That said, for modern designs, I have a special room 101 for the Plaxton Prestige. Absolute junk!!
Yes well thankfully I grew up in an area where the only Bristol incursion was a mistaken order from WMPTE and they quickly realised the error of their ways and got rid. Apart from that little episode there weren't any for miles around here.
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Not quite correct. Leyland Nationals, Olympians and Tigers, and MCW Metrobues and plenty of others all made good use of the wheelarches for convenient and accessible bench seating.
The best buses we had was the route master double decker coaches on the like of the 721 service via Romford, and the single decker coaches, 724 , and of course the LT routemaster the old version, plus the likes of eastern national and east kent had some very nice buses, and the council owned fleets was very good very high std , not like nowdays,