Isle of Man buses and coaches.

507021

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To avoid going further off topic in another thread, I thought it would be best to start a new thread for buses and coaches on the Isle of Man.

Bus Vannin is due to receive a number of Wright StreetDecks this year, with these replacing the first batch of Volvo B9TLs.
 
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Volvodart

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Ten new double deckers and six single deckers will be delivered to the island this year.

http://www.iomtoday.co.im/article.c...n maintenance'&sectionIs=news&searchyear=2020

Spending on new buses 'will save on maintenance'
Sunday, 9 February 2020 - Transport

by Adrian Darbyshire - Reporter

Ten new double deckers and six single deckers will be delivered to the island this year.

It’s part of a rolling programme of bus replacement which in 2018-19 cost £400,000.

Isle of Man Transport insists the size of the fleet had fallen from 90 to 68 and buying new buses each year saves on maintenance costs.

A Freedom of Information request in July 2018 revealed that Bus Vannin had spent more than £6.2m on buying new buses since 2016.

By that point Bus Vannin had a fleet of 52 Mercedes buses comprising 33 Citaro single deckers, which cost between £134,490 and £169,100 each, and 19 Sprinter minibuses costing between £56,960 and £86,975 each.

Bus Vannin has been testing a number of demonstrator buses in including a Wrightbus Micro Hybrid that boasts fuel savings of up to 21% and lower carbon dioxide emissions.

Twelve new single deckers were delivered in 2018 and 2019.

Five double deckers had their delivery delayed until this year due to a change of ownership of Wrights, with a further five provisionally ordered for 2020. Technical specifications are yet to be agreed.

Six single deck hybrid vehicles are also expected in 2020, again with technical specification to be agreed.

Orders are confirmed when the technical specifications are agreed and priced. New buses are built to order and prices are not published at the manufacturer’s request.

A spokesman for the Department of Infrastructure said: ’As you will see from the orders and future orders there is a rolling replacement programme in place involving a fleet of just under 70 vehicles which have a life of 8-11 years.

’There are minimum orders with some manufacturers that mean that IoM Transport tends to order six buses a year for single deckers and adds the double deckers when necessary.

’A lot of work was undertaken on the lifetime costs of buses, to explore how efficiencies could be made through a reduction in maintenance.

’Since the department started a rolling replacement programme the fleet has fallen from 90 to 68 and the technical team by four posts.’

The workshop at Bank’s Circus now also maintains 67 minibuses and 12 ambulances. Six minibuses were delivered in 2018 followed by eight in 2019. There are no new ones on order.

’The fleet size has remained constant by improving utilisation, despite the addition of Connect Villages, Connect Ports and patient transfer services to their workload,’ said the spokesman.

In 2018, the DoI declined an FoI request to detail how much it had spent buying new buses, insisting this was commercially sensitive information which would prejudice the interests of its transport services division and Mercedes.

Supplier EvoBus UK Ltd said it pricing information was confidential.

But the DoI was forced to publish the costs following a ruling from the Information Commissioner, who noted: ’Public authorities are expected to be accountable and transparent where considerable expenditure is incurred.

’Improving public awareness of how public money is spent, and the integrity of those expenditure decisions, are drivers of the FoI Act.’

In 2016 two big minibuses and four midis were delivered, followed in 2017 by two single deckers, four midis (delivered in 2018) and also two double decker to replace buses lost in the floods.
 

carlberry

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Two odd things in that article. I'm not aware that any manufacturers have a minimum order (other than 1 of course) without there's some seriously fussy specs involved and they're claiming that they've achieved a 25% reduction in the fleet purely by reducing the average vehicle age which is impressive if true.
 

507021

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Two odd things in that article. I'm not aware that any manufacturers have a minimum order (other than 1 of course) without there's some seriously fussy specs involved and they're claiming that they've achieved a 25% reduction in the fleet purely by reducing the average vehicle age which is impressive if true.
The size of the main fleet had decreased from about 90 vehicles in 2009 to around 65 by late 2014, and this was down to gradually reducing the PVR through a series of timetable changes, so over time less replacement stock was required. Unfortunately, the replacement stock mostly came in the form of Mercedes-Benz Citaros which aren't big enough for the island's busiest routes. If you're interested, I can send you a list of what was ordered and what it replaced over PM.

At the moment, the main fleet consists of 78 vehicles (24 deckers, 49 singles and 5 minibuses), with the dial-a-ride/patient transfer fleet consisting of 44 minibuses.
 

Tetchytyke

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As a recent arrival on the island, I find it fascinating. The PVR has definitely dropped, in March (pre-Covid) a fair chunk of the Douglas town services went and most of the scheduled services in the north went last year (not without complaint!).

I'm sceptical about the cost savings of buying new every year, if I'm honest. I know buses don't depreciate in the same way as cars, but still.

But then I like the shiny buses and I like the fact it's only £1.30 into town when the equivalent journey across would be at least double that. The Citaros seem to cope most of the time, the deckers seem to be sufficient to cover the busiest runs to the south. I've not seen a TT/MGP yet, mind, but the economics of running buses that are too big for the other 48 weeks can't make sense.

The article mentions hybrid singles. Do you know what they are?
 

507021

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I've not seen a TT/MGP yet, mind, but the economics of running buses that are too big for the other 48 weeks can't make sense.
Put it this way, a senior manager told me Bus Vannin was struggling for capacity at TT when they only had the first batch of Citaros.

The way I see it, is that it's better to have some surplus capacity for those 48 weeks, which may over time actually encourage more people to use the bus, than not having enough for the four busiest in the island's calendar. I don't think the island needs as many deckers as it had in 2009, by any means, but another dozen on top of the existing decker fleet would be sufficient, in my view.

The article mentions hybrid singles. Do you know what they are?
Citaros.
 
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randyrippley

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Put it this way, a senior manager told me Bus Vannin was struggling for capacity at TT when they only had the first batch of Citaros.

The way I see it, is that it's better to have some surplus capacity for those 48 weeks, which may over time actually encourage more people to use the bus, than not having enough for the four busiest in the island's calendar. I don't think the island needs as many deckers as it had in 2009, by any means, but another dozen on top of the existing decker fleet would be sufficient, in my view.
Why don't they just hire in ten or so double deckers for the TT/GP weeks?
Stagecoach usually have spares at Morecambe - three miles from the ferry terminal, while both Blackpool and Preston buses are within an hours drive
 

507021

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Why don't they just hire in ten or so double deckers for the TT/GP weeks?
Stagecoach usually have spares at Morecambe - three miles from the ferry terminal, while both Blackpool and Preston buses are within an hours drive
Cost, for a start. It costs a lot of money to ship buses to/from the island, and you can only carry a maximum of two per sailing anyway. Then you'll have to factor in driver and engineering familiarisation, and also storing the additional vehicles as well as the ones you aren't using during the festivals. It just isn't worth it.

It'd be far easier for Bus Vannin to have enough of their own deckers in the first place. Personally, I'd say about three dozen would be sufficient.
 

randyrippley

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Cost, for a start. It costs a lot of money to ship buses to/from the island, and you can only carry a maximum of two per sailing anyway. Then you'll have to factor in driver and engineering familiarisation, and also storing the additional vehicles as well as the ones you aren't using during the festivals. It just isn't worth it.

It'd be far easier for Bus Vannin to have enough of their own deckers in the first place. Personally, I'd say about three dozen would be sufficient.
Would it really cost that much? Steampacket is now government owned, so is the bus company - and you could certainly fit more than 2 physically into the Ben-my-Chree
 

Tetchytyke

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The Steam Racket is owned by the government but is operated commercially, so yes, it's expensive. Especially as you'd be trying to ship the buses over at the exact time the boats are full of bikers willing to pay the most eye-watering fares to come to the island.

I suppose the economics boil down to how fuel efficient a decker is compared to a Citaro, especially as fuel is 10p/litre more expensive here.
 

507021

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Would it really cost that much? Steampacket is now government owned, so is the bus company - and you could certainly fit more than 2 physically into the Ben-my-Chree
You can, but as I said, the guideline is a maximum of two buses per sailing.
 

507021

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I suppose the economics boil down to how fuel efficient a decker is compared to a Citaro, especially as fuel is 10p/litre more expensive here.
The StreetDeck gets about 9 mpg I believe, so they'd be a lot better than the Euro V Citaros, and probably slightly better than the Euro VI examples.
 

James101

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507021

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Appalling know it all attitude, ok sure. The tone of your original reply, starting with 'And' was confrontational. My point about Bus Vannin and their operating environment being incomparable to the uk still stands. Different financing, different priorities. It should come as no surprise that what dominated the Manx Bus Market is vastly different from across. Likewise for RoI, who seemingly also prefer Heavyweights.

The Citaro is an excellent choice of vehicle though, and I know a few Bus Vannin drivers too. Most enjoy driving them and I've never heard any negative comments from passengers.
I said what I said because you were telling me things about an operator I'd already told you I previously worked for, and I got the impression you thought I was stupid and didn't know anything about Bus Vannin. If you felt I was being confrontational and rude, then I apologise.

However, we'll have to agree to disagree on the Citaro. From my experience of driving them, the cab is decent enough and they drive well, but I had more standing loads at peak times than I can remember. They're too small for the trunk routes, but certainly ideal for the Douglas local routes.

I don't believe they are better wearing than Citaros though, and with the change of Fleet Policy (Early withdrawals to cut maintenance costs & increase re-sale value) make it difficult to compare. I don't see any Citaros lasting long enough to get a re-trim to be honest, but not because of any flaw with the Vehicle. Purely due to current Bus Vannin Fleet Replacement Policy.
In all honesty, I don't see the Citaros reaching 20 years old and still being in service. The early DB250s and first batch of Tridents are now nearly 20 years old, and only a few have been scrapped so far.

Even though Bus Vannin are Nationalised, they can't wilfully throw taxpayers money away carting empty Double Deckers around all day though. There are currently 24 Deckers in the Fleet, so most peak services that absolutely require a Decker could get one.
I would say that replacing 121-6 after three years, and then 131-4/241-2 also after three years is a bigger waste of money than operating empty deckers between the peaks, to be honest. For me, the trunk routes should be standalone routes operated by deckers, with everything else interworking with single deckers, that way the deckers wouldn't get wasted carrying fresh air on the Douglas local routes which don't really need them.

The island certainly didn't need the 70+ deckers it had in 2009. I'd say around half of that now, maybe 40 at a push, would be plenty.

The ELC Myllennium Deckers were popular, but they cannot last forever. I think the StreetDecks will be excellent, and I can't wait to see them. Drivers I know liked the StreetDeck Demos, and the Daimler Mockup Wright sent over was well received.
Oh I knew they couldn't last forever, but the 2003/5 batches of DB250s should have been the last ones to go. The Tridents which outlasted them were dreadful on fuel, and I would assume the first batch of Tridents were as well.

Hopefully the Bus Vannin StreetDecks have the 6 cylinder engine, if they do I think they'll be good.

It's not that the B5TL wasn't an option, it's that Bus Vannin weren't entirely happy with it, compared the the B9TL.
I know my friend there isn't particularly fond of the B5TLs, to be fair. I didn't get to drive them as they arrived after I'd left.
 

markymark2000

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Cost, for a start. It costs a lot of money to ship buses to/from the island, and you can only carry a maximum of two per sailing anyway. Then you'll have to factor in driver and engineering familiarisation, and also storing the additional vehicles as well as the ones you aren't using during the festivals. It just isn't worth it.

It'd be far easier for Bus Vannin to have enough of their own deckers in the first place. Personally, I'd say about three dozen would be sufficient.
If the islands buses were franchised/contracted out to a private company (like Jersey and Guernsey) it would be done. Look at how GoAhead does things on the Isle of Wright. Loads of buses get sent over for the IOW festival and when it's finished, they all return and it just works because private companies somehow make it work. Depending on how many extra buses are needed (not sure if extra buses are needed or just extra capacity) but could it work so streetlites move to mainland and streetdecks move to the Island in a swap so no one is better or worse off. This all depends on the islands buses being ran under contract though to a private company.

It is good for Bus Vannin to have some deckers for the busy trips but having loads of deckers for 4 weeks of the year probably costs a fair bit in additional fuel and storage (as isn't the PVR about 30-40?)
 

507021

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If the islands buses were franchised/contracted out to a private company (like Jersey and Guernsey) it would be done. Look at how GoAhead does things on the Isle of Wright. Loads of buses get sent over for the IOW festival and when it's finished, they all return and it just works because private companies somehow make it work. Depending on how many extra buses are needed (not sure if extra buses are needed or just extra capacity) but could it work so streetlites move to mainland and streetdecks move to the Island in a swap so no one is better or worse off. This all depends on the islands buses being ran under contract though to a private company.
Bus Vannin don't have StreetLites anymore, thankfully. They were absolutely diabolical.

It is good for Bus Vannin to have some deckers for the busy trips but having loads of deckers for 4 weeks of the year probably costs a fair bit in additional fuel and storage (as isn't the PVR about 30-40?)
I'm not saying buy extra deckers just to use for four weeks of the year, because that's just completely pointless. I'm saying that in my opinion, and speaking from experience of working for Bus Vannin, the island needs about a dozen more double deckers instead of single deckers to make sure the trunk routes have deckers at all times.
 
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markymark2000

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Bus Vannin don't have StreetLites anymore, thankfully. They were absolutely diabolical.



I'm not saying buy extra deckers just to use for four weeks of the year, because that's just completely pointless. I'm saying that in my opinion, and speaking from experience of working for Bus Vannin, the island needs about a dozen more double deckers instead of single deckers to make sure the trunk routes have deckers at all times.
I midread above. I thought it said they were getting 6 single deckers from Wright as well as the Streetdecks.

As for deckers, I can't see the island needing that much in terms of deckers. It might need a dozen overall but not a dozen more. You just use the buses efficiently to match demand. I am 95% certain that the island doesn't need 36 deckers (24 current you mention above plus the dozen more) for a normal day if they are using the buses as efficiently as possible.
 

cainebj

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If the islands buses were franchised/contracted out to a private company (like Jersey and Guernsey) it would be done. Look at how GoAhead does things on the Isle of Wright. Loads of buses get sent over for the IOW festival and when it's finished, they all return and it just works because private companies somehow make it work. Depending on how many extra buses are needed (not sure if extra buses are needed or just extra capacity) but could it work so streetlites move to mainland and streetdecks move to the Island in a swap so no one is better or worse off. This all depends on the islands buses being ran under contract though to a private company.
It works with the Isle of Wight because it is part of England, operating under the same traffic commissioner and DVSA systems, so the buses operating on the mainland are already registered to operate there. Anything going over to the Isle of Man would have to be registered/tested to be able to be used there, and would likely have to be re-registered when it comes back to the UK. Manufacturers sending demonstrator buses over likely wouldn't fuss too much about that in the hope that they're going to get a sale from doing it but there's no benefit to UK operators doing so, like an earlier suggestion by someone else of Stagecoach loaning buses to them.
 

MotCO

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Isn't there an Isle of Man bus museum? Could Bus Vannin give some of the soon-to-be-retired double deckers (maybe a variety) to the Museum which could be on display during the year, but pressed into service during the TT Races? This would provide the extra capacity, and avoid the problems you alude to in getting buses transferred from the mainland, and presumably provide some extra income to the museum?
 

507021

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I midread above. I thought it said they were getting 6 single deckers from Wright as well as the Streetdecks.

As for deckers, I can't see the island needing that much in terms of deckers. It might need a dozen overall but not a dozen more. You just use the buses efficiently to match demand. I am 95% certain that the island doesn't need 36 deckers (24 current you mention above plus the dozen more) for a normal day if they are using the buses as efficiently as possible.
Like I said, I worked for them, and I can assure you the island needs about a dozen more deckers than it has now, and twelve would be nowhere near enough at all. If the trunk routes were standalone and operated by deckers, with singles interworking on everything else, then you could justify having more deckers because they wouldn't be running around carrying fresh air on Douglas locals as they often do due to everything interworking. Ideally, it would be nice to see the 213-224 batch of Citaros replaced with StreetDecks, as their excellent fuel effiency would put them on par with the Euro VI Citaros and boost capacity. However, I don't see that happening unfortunately.
 

507021

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Isn't there an Isle of Man bus museum? Could Bus Vannin give some of the soon-to-be-retired double deckers (maybe a variety) to the Museum which could be on display during the year, but pressed into service during the TT Races? This would provide the extra capacity, and avoid the problems you alude to in getting buses transferred from the mainland, and presumably provide some extra income to the museum?
Whilst it's not a bad idea, I'd imagine Bus Vannin will want to get some money back by selling the B9TLs on at a decent price. Several years ago, a friend and I inquired about buying one of the DB250s for the preservation group we're a member of, but there was no way we could have afforded it. Manx second hand stock is going for very good money because it's low mileage compared to vehicles of a similar age in the UK and in very good condition.

I have my eye on a Manx bus which is in service locally though, with the hope of returning it to the island one day.
 

Arriva Fan

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I said what I said because you were telling me things about an operator I'd already told you I previously worked for, and I got the impression you thought I was stupid and didn't know anything about Bus Vannin. If you felt I was being confrontational and rude, then I apologise.

However, we'll have to agree to disagree on the Citaro. From my experience of driving them, the cab is decent enough and they drive well, but I had more standing loads at peak times than I can remember. They're too small for the trunk routes, but certainly ideal for the Douglas local routes.



In all honesty, I don't see the Citaros reaching 20 years old and still being in service. The early DB250s and first batch of Tridents are now nearly 20 years old, and only a few have been scrapped so far.



I would say that replacing 121-6 after three years, and then 131-4/241-2 also after three years is a bigger waste of money than operating empty deckers between the peaks, to be honest. For me, the trunk routes should be standalone routes operated by deckers, with everything else interworking with single deckers, that way the deckers wouldn't get wasted carrying fresh air on the Douglas local routes which don't really need them.

The island certainly didn't need the 70+ deckers it had in 2009. I'd say around half of that now, maybe 40 at a push, would be plenty.



Oh I knew they couldn't last forever, but the 2003/5 batches of DB250s should have been the last ones to go. The Tridents which outlasted them were dreadful on fuel, and I would assume the first batch of Tridents were as well.

Hopefully the Bus Vannin StreetDecks have the 6 cylinder engine, if they do I think they'll be good.



I know my friend there isn't particularly fond of the B5TLs, to be fair. I didn't get to drive them as they arrived after I'd left.
Ok, let's start fresh then, and I apologise if you thought I was implying you were stupid. I've made my point about why I think what Vehicles Bus Vannin order can't really be compared to UK operators due to their different operating environments and we'll leave it there.

They certainly won't reach 20 years with Bus Vannin, but I'm not sure it's impossible for them to reach their late teens if properly maintained. There are some 2004/2005 Citaros operating with McGill's for example, so the Citaros could probably last as long as the ELC Myllennium Deckers.

The problem was 121-126 were the some of the first StreetLites ordered, so the chance to trade them in and upgrade was a smart move I would say and one which also brought a small capacity increase. 131-134 and 241/242 were delivered in 2014 and withdrawn 2019, so five years from them and an upgrade to the Citaro K allowing the StreetLites to be sold while they had a higher value was also a good decision, in my opinion. The problem with an Interurban/Urban split is you would loose some of the efficiency gained through inter working, perhaps leading to higher costs. I think another six Street Decks next year, to compliment existing Decker Fleet would be as far as I would go before any new StreetDecks are replacing the 2013/14 B9TLs.

I don't have the engine details yet, but I believe it will be a 6-Cylinder Daimler Engine.

Also, well done starting this thread. I'm a huge fan of Bus Vannin, and I'm hoping to drive for them myself soon.
 

markymark2000

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It works with the Isle of Wight because it is part of England, operating under the same traffic commissioner and DVSA systems, so the buses operating on the mainland are already registered to operate there. Anything going over to the Isle of Man would have to be registered/tested to be able to be used there, and would likely have to be re-registered when it comes back to the UK. Manufacturers sending demonstrator buses over likely wouldn't fuss too much about that in the hope that they're going to get a sale from doing it but there's no benefit to UK operators doing so, like an earlier suggestion by someone else of Stagecoach loaning buses to them.
As it's in everyone's best interests, surely something could be set up specifically for these extra buses given that they would be in regular service on the mainland.


Like I said, I worked for them, and I can assure you the island needs about a dozen more deckers than it has now, and twelve would be nowhere near enough at all. If the trunk routes were standalone and operated by deckers, with singles interworking on everything else, then you could justify having more deckers because they wouldn't be running around carrying fresh air on Douglas locals as they often do due to everything interworking. Ideally, it would be nice to see the 213-224 batch of Citaros replaced with StreetDecks, as their excellent fuel effiency would put them on par with the Euro VI Citaros and boost capacity. However, I don't see that happening unfortunately.
So as I said, they aren't using resources efficiently to keep the deckers. You don't need all trunk routes to have deckers surely in the same way that no where else has all trunk routes with deckers. That sort of thing is TFL logic. If there are more than 10 passengers, you need deckers.
 

philthetube

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It works with the Isle of Wight because it is part of England, operating under the same traffic commissioner and DVSA systems, so the buses operating on the mainland are already registered to operate there. Anything going over to the Isle of Man would have to be registered/tested to be able to be used there, and would likely have to be re-registered when it comes back to the UK. Manufacturers sending demonstrator buses over likely wouldn't fuss too much about that in the hope that they're going to get a sale from doing it but there's no benefit to UK operators doing so, like an earlier suggestion by someone else of Stagecoach loaning buses to them.
Big difference between a hop across the Solent and a four hour crossing on the North sea

If asked Red funnel could probably put an extra crossing on at the end of the day to take a load of buses, regardless of other issues there is no ship available for hire to do that to the Isle of Man, it would probably have to be a cargo ship and crane the buses on and off.
 

Arriva Fan

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If the islands buses were franchised/contracted out to a private company (like Jersey and Guernsey) it would be done. Look at how GoAhead does things on the Isle of Wright. Loads of buses get sent over for the IOW festival and when it's finished, they all return and it just works because private companies somehow make it work. Depending on how many extra buses are needed (not sure if extra buses are needed or just extra capacity) but could it work so streetlites move to mainland and streetdecks move to the Island in a swap so no one is better or worse off. This all depends on the islands buses being ran under contract though to a private company.

It is good for Bus Vannin to have some deckers for the busy trips but having loads of deckers for 4 weeks of the year probably costs a fair bit in additional fuel and storage (as isn't the PVR about 30-40?)
First of all, Mann is the mainland as we're not an English county like Wight. Which is exactly why this wouldn't work. Vehicles would have to be hired, tested, insured, taxed and possibly re-registered (unless an exemption was granted). Space on Sailings at the beginning and end of the TT is at a premium, meaning any hire vehicles might have to be Shipped off Island a few days after the TT. A two week hire at this point could have turned into three weeks plus. It simply wouldn't be worth it.

Southern Vectis being part of Go-Ahead Group are in effect just temporarily transferring Buses between Depots. The only real cost being shipping.

I midread above. I thought it said they were getting 6 single deckers from Wright as well as the Streetdecks.

As for deckers, I can't see the island needing that much in terms of deckers. It might need a dozen overall but not a dozen more. You just use the buses efficiently to match demand. I am 95% certain that the island doesn't need 36 deckers (24 current you mention above plus the dozen more) for a normal day if they are using the buses as efficiently as possible.
Twelve Deckers would be insufficient. 30 would be ideal, and plausible perhaps sometime next year. 10 StreetDecks in and 10 B9TLs withdrawn this year, and I'd order 6 more StreetDecks next year to bring us to a nice 30. That would be an optimal Decker Fleet.

It works with the Isle of Wight because it is part of England, operating under the same traffic commissioner and DVSA systems, so the buses operating on the mainland are already registered to operate there. Anything going over to the Isle of Man would have to be registered/tested to be able to be used there, and would likely have to be re-registered when it comes back to the UK. Manufacturers sending demonstrator buses over likely wouldn't fuss too much about that in the hope that they're going to get a sale from doing it but there's no benefit to UK operators doing so, like an earlier suggestion by someone else of Stagecoach loaning buses to them.
Exactly the above. It would be like Arriva bringing a Bus from the Arriva Italy division to operate with Arriva North West for two weeks, then sending it back. Isle Of Man is an independent country not a uk Island.

Isn't there an Isle of Man bus museum? Could Bus Vannin give some of the soon-to-be-retired double deckers (maybe a variety) to the Museum which could be on display during the year, but pressed into service during the TT Races? This would provide the extra capacity, and avoid the problems you alude to in getting buses transferred from the mainland, and presumably provide some extra income to the museum?
There is indeed, however the most modern preserved Vehicle (low floor) is a 1997 Marshall Capital Dennis Dart. All withdrawn low floor Deckers have left the Island, sadly, as new Fleet Replacement Policy of early withdrawal to cut maintenance costs and recoup higher resale value effectively prohibits Bus Vannin Vehicles entering retirement after withdrawal. All the DAF DB250s and Dennis Tridents were shipped to the uk after service.

Olympian 99 is in Jurby Museum and still in Bus Vannin ownership however, though unlikely she'd be brought out and inspected to run for two weeks.

Like I said, I worked for them, and I can assure you the island needs about a dozen more deckers than it has now, and twelve would be nowhere near enough at all. If the trunk routes were standalone and operated by deckers, with singles interworking on everything else, then you could justify having more deckers because they wouldn't be running around carrying fresh air on Douglas locals as they often do due to everything interworking. Ideally, it would be nice to see the 213-224 batch of Citaros replaced with StreetDecks, as their excellent fuel effiency would put them on par with the Euro VI Citaros and boost capacity. However, I don't see that happening unfortunately.
I can't see twelve additional StreetDecks, however replacing 213-224 with six StreetDecks and six Citaro Hybrids would be a good idea.

Whilst it's not a bad idea, I'd imagine Bus Vannin will want to get some money back by selling the B9TLs on at a decent price. Several years ago, a friend and I inquired about buying one of the DB250s for the preservation group we're a member of, but there was no way we could have afforded it. Manx second hand stock is going for very good money because it's low mileage compared to vehicles of a similar age in the UK and in very good condition.

I have my eye on a Manx bus which is in service locally though, with the hope of returning it to the island one day.
Interesting, which DB250 were you attempting to preserve? I'd have loved 55, purely because I have a model of her and it'd be amazing to have little and large.

Which Manx Bus is local to you?
 

507021

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Ok, let's start fresh then, and I apologise if you thought I was implying you were stupid. I've made my point about why I think what Vehicles Bus Vannin order can't really be compared to UK operators due to their different operating environments and we'll leave it there.

They certainly won't reach 20 years with Bus Vannin, but I'm not sure it's impossible for them to reach their late teens if properly maintained. There are some 2004/2005 Citaros operating with McGill's for example, so the Citaros could probably last as long as the ELC Myllennium Deckers.

The problem was 121-126 were the some of the first StreetLites ordered, so the chance to trade them in and upgrade was a smart move I would say and one which also brought a small capacity increase. 131-134 and 241/242 were delivered in 2014 and withdrawn 2019, so five years from them and an upgrade to the Citaro K allowing the StreetLites to be sold while they had a higher value was also a good decision, in my opinion. The problem with an Interurban/Urban split is you would loose some of the efficiency gained through inter working, perhaps leading to higher costs. I think another six Street Decks next year, to compliment existing Decker Fleet would be as far as I would go before any new StreetDecks are replacing the 2013/14 B9TLs.

I don't have the engine details yet, but I believe it will be a 6-Cylinder Daimler Engine.

Also, well done starting this thread. I'm a huge fan of Bus Vannin, and I'm hoping to drive for them myself soon.
No problem, happy to do that. :)

Quite possibly, it's just modern buses have a lot more electrical features (sensors etc) and they can be quite expensive to replace. It's the same with modern cars with DPFs, once they reach a certain age the cost of replacing a DPF exceeds the value of the car.

I thought 121-6 were alright, but 131-4/241-2 were absolutely dreadful. For me, what should have happened is 121-6 were retained longer, and then replaced with Citaro Ks. My main issue with the interworking is that if one bus is running late it can lead to a knock-on effect across the network, whereas if the trunk routes were operated separately then this won't have as much of an effect. I can see the benefits to interworking, but the former is the main downside, as well as high capacity buses end up being wasted on routes where they're not needed.

Had this order been all for StreetDecks, I think that would have been ideal, but another six next year instead could well do the trick. I'm quite interested to see how the hybrid Citaros fare though, being the island's first hybrid buses, so I'll definitely be asking my friend how they're doing once they've entered service.

Good news to hear Bus Vannin have chosen the six cylinder powerplants, that means they'll have plenty of power for the island's hills.

No problem, I hope you get to drive for them one day. :)
 

507021

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So as I said, they aren't using resources efficiently to keep the deckers. You don't need all trunk routes to have deckers surely in the same way that no where else has all trunk routes with deckers. That sort of thing is TFL logic. If there are more than 10 passengers, you need deckers.
No, they aren't being used efficiently. I suggested a way for the deckers, plus the extra ones I believe are required, to be used efficiently.

How is it TfL logic to have the island's busiest bus routes with the correct level of capacity? I drove them for a living, and a Citaro simply isn't big enough for them, even between peak periods I had Citaros which were full or nearly full. They should be kept on routes like the 4 and Douglas local routes.
 

507021

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I can't see twelve additional StreetDecks, however replacing 213-224 with six StreetDecks and six Citaro Hybrids would be a good idea.
Yeah, that probably wouldn't be a bad idea tbh.

Interesting, which DB250 were you attempting to preserve? I'd have loved 55, purely because I have a model of her and it'd be amazing to have little and large.

Which Manx Bus is local to you?
We asked about one of 55 or 80 when they were the last two of 2002 batch left in service, as that was our favourite batch of DB250s.

Locally, Maghull Coaches have 8, 41-43 and 44-46, and Ashcrofts have 89-91. A bit further afield, but not all that far away, Howards Travel Group have 7 and 10. I'd like to have another go at buying either 55 or 80, if not then I'd try and go for one of the 44-46 batch.

So far, the only ELCs which have been scrapped after leaving the island are 78 and 92-94, although one of the latter was destroyed by fire.
 

duncombec

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Isle of Man timetables being extremely complex, and no routing of the Douglas locals seemingly lasting more than a year or two, are you able to give us an idea of roughly what interworks with what? As a 'student of timetables' these things interest me greatly, and it isn't always easy to do a paper exercise, even if I did have the time!

Incidentally, the first time I ever rode a Streetlite was on Man, from Ramsey to the Jurby Transport Museum. I wholly concur with their dreadfulness, and it has clouded my view of the things ever since!
 

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