London bus destination indicators

Status
Not open for further replies.

TheNewNo2

Member
Joined
31 Mar 2015
Messages
1,006
Location
Canary Wharf
It struck me the other day that pretty much every bus in London, even the most recent ones, still use destination blinds. By comparison in Nottingham, Bristol or Cambridge, every bus uses LED displays, and has done for years.

Why is London so far behind the times with this?
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Be3G

Established Member
Joined
14 Sep 2012
Messages
1,592
Location
Chingford
Issues surrounding legibility and longevity/durability I believe. Having said that, last year a bus with LED blinds was being trialled on some London routes and the clarity was excellent, so maybe we'll be heading that way eventually.
 

Tetchytyke

Veteran Member
Joined
12 Sep 2013
Messages
11,619
Location
Isle of Man
TfL standards state that a traditional roller blind must be used.

The rule came about about 10 years ago, apparently because it was felt that digital displays were not clear enough, as well as issues with longevity. But with technology developing as quickly as it has, I can see that changing. Lothian Buses had the same rules for the same reason but their new buses all have white LED blinds now.
 
Last edited:

jon0844

Veteran Member
Joined
1 Feb 2009
Messages
25,025
Location
UK
Seeing some buses outside of London it's easy to see why London is actually streets ahead. LED blinds are the future, but only when they're reliable enough and have a suitable resolution.

Just saw a bus with a flip dot display that must be from the 80s and so badly illuminated I struggled to see it even when it was stopped, and loads of buses have amber/yellow LED boards that have faded ridiculously. Far quicker than they should have done, but a reflection of early LED tech (like early light bulbs where individual diodes failed completely due to poor electronics/heat).
 

cf111

Established Member
Joined
13 Nov 2012
Messages
1,240
The orange displays Stagecoach seem to use everywhere are very clear.
 

jon0844

Veteran Member
Joined
1 Feb 2009
Messages
25,025
Location
UK
The orange displays Stagecoach seem to use everywhere are very clear.
New displays should be more like the new rail screens and able to last ages and not fade (noticeably) until years after the bus would have been scrapped anyway.
 

edwin_m

Veteran Member
Joined
21 Apr 2013
Messages
21,567
Location
Nottingham
Interestingly the trams in Croydon have LED displays, as do Underground and Overground trains, so it must be someone in TfL bus department who insists on blinds not TfL as a whole. The Bombardier trams were supplied with roller blinds but these have been replaced since.
 

SpacePhoenix

Established Member
Joined
18 Mar 2014
Messages
5,492
There can't be that many companies that use blinds, every company this way uses orange LEDs. Once blinds start to fade it becomes hard to see them from a distance
 

TheGrandWazoo

Veteran Member
Joined
18 Feb 2013
Messages
17,272
Location
Somerset with international travel (e.g. across th
Was it not Leon Daniels and his team that specified blinds?

The old flipdot displays aren't brilliant but not had any issues with the newer LED screens and, in respect of the reliability of blinds, we've all experienced buses with blinds set to "white blank" as it's either u/s or the destination isn't on the blind.
 

PeterC

Established Member
Joined
29 Sep 2014
Messages
3,246
At least with dot matrix it wasn't too difficult for Carousel to correct the spelling on the displays that said "Chesham Grammer School"
 

Goldfish62

Established Member
Joined
14 Feb 2010
Messages
6,101
TfL standards state that a traditional roller blind must be used.

The actual specification is for motorised blinds (manual winding blinds are not allowed) with LED backlighting, which makes for very clear illumination at night.
 

SpacePhoenix

Established Member
Joined
18 Mar 2014
Messages
5,492
The actual specification is for motorised blinds (manual winding blinds are not allowed) with LED backlighting, which makes for very clear illumination at night.

The buses this way before they had LED blinds used to have number blinds at the back that were motorised, it didn't take them long to break, they were then just set of black and never used again
 

Antman

Established Member
Joined
3 May 2013
Messages
6,842
It struck me the other day that pretty much every bus in London, even the most recent ones, still use destination blinds. By comparison in Nottingham, Bristol or Cambridge, every bus uses LED displays, and has done for years.

Why is London so far behind the times with this?

Just sheer bloody mindedness on the part of TfL, the not invented here syndrome!
 

90019

Established Member
Joined
29 May 2008
Messages
6,712
Location
Edinburgh
Lothian Buses had the same rules for the same reason but their new buses all have white LED blinds now.

And they're not very good - quite a few of them have problems with the brightness that makes them unreadable in daylight.
 

Busaholic

Established Member
Joined
7 Jun 2014
Messages
10,541
London buses, especially double-deckers, included many via points on their blinds until fairly recently. A traditional printed blind was considered far more practical for ease of reading these: now that the front blinds of buses only contain destination information, I suspect the changeover will occur in the not-too-distant future, perhaps soon after Leon Daniels's retirement.
 

Be3G

Established Member
Joined
14 Sep 2012
Messages
1,592
Location
Chingford
That's a good point about the via, erm, points, although even though these mostly no longer feature there're still some routes with small text used on blinds owing to the need to be very specific about the destination. For example, the 313s show ‘Ponders End, Mollison Avenue’ with frustrating regularity (seeing as it's not the end of the route), and that's a bit of a squeeze on a single-deck blind.
 

LexyBoy

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
23 Jan 2009
Messages
4,472
Location
North of the rivers
LED displays in the 90's and 00's were pretty terrible, I remember many a nearly-missed bus as I squinted to work out what the bus hurtling down the road was - too much glare at night, and not enough contrast in the sun.

Much better now due to better LED technology and more resolution so text is clearer.
 

Busaholic

Established Member
Joined
7 Jun 2014
Messages
10,541
That's a good point about the via, erm, points, although even though these mostly no longer feature there're still some routes with small text used on blinds owing to the need to be very specific about the destination. For example, the 313s show ‘Ponders End, Mollison Avenue’ with frustrating regularity (seeing as it's not the end of the route), and that's a bit of a squeeze on a single-deck blind.

The buses used until recently on the 417 route had a separate destination blind under the via blind and showed Clapham Common Old Town as the destination, except on one occasion it was Clapham Common Station, one stop before the Old Town terminus, and I queried it with the driver, who said there was a bus one minute behind going the 'whole' route but he'd been cut back to make up time! The buses now used, without the via points, just show Clapham Common.
 

johntea

Established Member
Joined
29 Dec 2010
Messages
2,015
One thing I like about London Buses is the visual and audio displays on route that actually inform you of the upcoming stops! Here in Yorkshire apart from a select few services it is pure guesswork as soon as you get going on the bus unless going to a terminus!

I remember Arriva back in the day used to have small TV screens on board some of their services ironically showing episodes of...On The Buses :D not that you could hear any audio!
 

SpacePhoenix

Established Member
Joined
18 Mar 2014
Messages
5,492
One thing I like about London Buses is the visual and audio displays on route that actually inform you of the upcoming stops! Here in Yorkshire apart from a select few services it is pure guesswork as soon as you get going on the bus unless going to a terminus!

I remember Arriva back in the day used to have small TV screens on board some of their services ironically showing episodes of...On The Buses :D not that you could hear any audio!

Years ago the buses here had a small LED dot matrix display that showed (well was supposed to show) the next stop but it was very hit and miss as to whether it worked
 

matt_world2004

Established Member
Joined
5 Nov 2014
Messages
3,523
One thing I like about London Buses is the visual and audio displays on route that actually inform you of the upcoming stops! Here in Yorkshire apart from a select few services it is pure guesswork as soon as you get going on the bus unless going to a terminus!

I remember Arriva back in the day used to have small TV screens on board some of their services ironically showing episodes of...On The Buses :D not that you could hear any audio!

Some of the abellio Surrey buses have TVs with a tube line like diagram showing you exactly where you are on the route and the next stop
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top