More Borismaster Discussion

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Robertj21a

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And if Red Ken had come up with the idea, would there be as much hate on here about it?
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For once, I don't this is so much about politics but more the nature of the bus design. London always considers itself a 'special case' and tends to avoid anything 'not invented here' - all of which is quite ridiculous. To think that London really *needed* an open rear platform when they had already coped well without it was, to me, the first bit of a wasted design initiative. Of course it then needed a second person to oversee the platform, but he/she wasn't to be a conductor responsible for revenue control - you couldn't make it up !
 
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Mikey C

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For once, I don't this is so much about politics but more the nature of the bus design. London always considers itself a 'special case' and tends to avoid anything 'not invented here' - all of which is quite ridiculous. To think that London really *needed* an open rear platform when they had already coped well without it was, to me, the first bit of a wasted design initiative. Of course it then needed a second person to oversee the platform, but he/she wasn't to be a conductor responsible for revenue control - you couldn't make it up !

But London is a special case, due to its size, narrow roads and the high use of public transport

There are big differences between the E400 Stagecoach uses in London spec, and the ones it uses for the rest of the country, the London ones being shorter, dual door (with wheelchair ramp on the rear door) and having a larger, straighter staircase
 

Robertj21a

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But London is a special case, due to its size, narrow roads and the high use of public transport

There are big differences between the E400 Stagecoach uses in London spec, and the ones it uses for the rest of the country, the London ones being shorter, dual door (with wheelchair ramp on the rear door) and having a larger, straighter staircase

Don't disagree about the E400s but the discussion was about the Borismasters. London only views itself as a 'special case', it's not really very different to other major cities in the UK or abroad.
 

Busaholic

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And if Red Ken had come up with the idea, would there be as much hate on here about it?

I can only answer for myself, to say that I loathe Red Ken, as you call him, from personal experience way back. Boris is just a chancer who will go through life convincing enough people (you only need about 25%) to vote for him, even though he has absolutely no track record on achieving anything worthwhile imo. So, yes, I would decry the NB4L in either case - I would be SLIGHTLY less critical if the original hop on/off intention had been kept for more than the minimum five minutes, but it was obvious to anyone with a brain and a calculator to tot up the cost of the extra crew member that it couldn't last.
 

A0wen

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Yes. A white elephant is a white elephant, regardless of which rosette it wears.

That's true - and whilst the NB4L may end up being a niche product it might also result in some of its technology 'trickling' down to more mainstream models which is a good thing.

Once again with the NB4L London Buses has managed to get a product which is virtually bespoke for its demands - and we've been there before too many times.... witness the Leyland Titan, original RM and many others.

However Livingstone also deserves to be derided for his enforced introduction of those infernal bendy-buses - replaying the exact problem London Buses (as LT) had in the late 60s when they introduced the AEC Merlins - which at over 11m were far longer than the buses they replaced resulting in operating difficulties and they caused traffic congestion being far less space efficient than the vehicles they replaced. The bendy-buses were no different and were another vanity project though this time from Livingstone who seems to have made a career out of useless vanity projects.
 

Tetchytyke

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The bendy-buses were no different and were another vanity project though this time from Livingstone who seems to have made a career out of useless vanity projects.

I get where you're coming from, but I'm not sure I agree. The RM and RTs had to go because disabled people couldn't get on them.

The bendies were a proven technology throughout Europe, and the buses were basically bought off-the-shelf from Mercedes-Benz. They were a solution to capacity problems, as they could carry many more people than a conventional double decker, as we saw when the PVR of the 38 (for instance) went up by 20 buses when the Citaro bendies went. London's roads are no narrower than roads in Hamburg, where double-articulated buses run without issue.

I'd say getting rid of them was a pointless political decision, truth be told. The problems with them were always vastly overstated.

As for the NB4L bringing through new technology, that may or may not happen, and may or may not have happened anyway. Assuming the NB4L is responsible, it means is that London's taxpayers have paid for a bespoke bus that the bus manufacturers will benefit from. It's interesting that you mention the Leyland Titan. That's not really a product anyone wants to emulate...
 
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Robertj21a

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However Livingstone also deserves to be derided for his enforced introduction of those infernal bendy-buses - replaying the exact problem London Buses (as LT) had in the late 60s when they introduced the AEC Merlins - which at over 11m were far longer than the buses they replaced resulting in operating difficulties and they caused traffic congestion being far less space efficient than the vehicles they replaced. The bendy-buses were no different and were another vanity project though this time from Livingstone who seems to have made a career out of useless vanity projects.


I really couldn't agree less with that. The artics were the most efficient people-movers that London has had and the rest of the world seems to agree. It was particularly unfortunate that Boris killed them off, largely based on his own ignorance and bias.
 

Bletchleyite

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I really couldn't agree less with that. The artics were the most efficient people-movers that London has had and the rest of the world seems to agree. It was particularly unfortunate that Boris killed them off, largely based on his own ignorance and bias.

Agreed, though I quite like the idea of a London-specific body[1] for the double deckers which would of course have remained.

[1] No need for it to be mechanically different - it could have been a London design of body on any suitable chassis, or even operator's choice.
 

johnw

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[Mod note - Split from the Stagecoach £97m order thread]

More to the point, the Borismasters were designed to spend their lives in London.

While Boris may have come up with the initial idea, the finished product is very much a product of TfL.

And if Red Ken had come up with the idea, would there be as much hate on here about it?
 

WatcherZero

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That's true - and whilst the NB4L may end up being a niche product it might also result in some of its technology 'trickling' down to more mainstream models which is a good thing.

Not sure on this, as I understand it the contract was written that Wrightbus owned the design until TfL had purchased in excess of 1000 units, the intellectual property rights then pass to TfL so they can commission more of the design from a different manufacturer however Wrightbus become unable to trickle down the technology in to their other products.
 

deltic

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However Livingstone also deserves to be derided for his enforced introduction of those infernal bendy-buses - replaying the exact problem London Buses (as LT) had in the late 60s when they introduced the AEC Merlins - which at over 11m were far longer than the buses they replaced resulting in operating difficulties and they caused traffic congestion being far less space efficient than the vehicles they replaced. The bendy-buses were no different and were another vanity project though this time from Livingstone who seems to have made a career out of useless vanity projects.

One reason given for withdrawing bendy buses was their high level of fare evasion due to boarding via 3 doors - so we have them replaced by NBL with its three doors for boarding and which seem to suffer with similar high levels of fare evasion and higher cost of operating services.
 

AndrewE

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I really couldn't agree less with that. The artics were the most efficient people-movers that London has had and the rest of the world seems to agree. It was particularly unfortunate that Boris killed them off, largely based on his own ignorance and bias.

So why assume that a great long bendy-bus has to be more efficient than a double-decker?
If you consider people moved for the road and junction-space occupied, a 2-man double decker has got to be the quickest way of shifting crowds, either that or a double decker with a big platform somewhere in it for people to "touch in" while it is already on its way to the next stop.
I would think that double-deck trams were probably the most efficient people-movers if my uncle-in-law's comments about trams clearing crowds from Old Trafford are to be believed.
 

deltic

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So why assume that a great long bendy-bus has to be more efficient than a double-decker?
If you consider people moved for the road and junction-space occupied, a 2-man double decker has got to be the quickest way of shifting crowds, either that or a double decker with a big platform somewhere in it for people to "touch in" while it is already on its way to the next stop.
I would think that double-deck trams were probably the most efficient people-movers if my uncle-in-law's comments about trams clearing crowds from Old Trafford are to be believed.

Because it carried more passengers and with three doors allowed faster boarding than a single entry door double decker. As mentioned above PVR have increased on some high frequency routes increasing operating costs and leading to greater bunching of services. As someone who used to take a child in a pushchair every day on a bus - routemasters were a nightmare, standard double deckers a pain and bendy buses a revelation
 

carlberry

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Not sure on this, as I understand it the contract was written that Wrightbus owned the design until TfL had purchased in excess of 1000 units, the intellectual property rights then pass to TfL so they can commission more of the design from a different manufacturer however Wrightbus become unable to trickle down the technology in to their other products.

I think that TfL now own the body design with all its design flaws (too hot on upper deck, needs two people to operate etc etc) the technology as such was a early hybrid bus driveline that's now been replaced, or will be replaced, by better designs or newer technology. I suspect that Wrights wont be that worried about losing the rights to it and (as the only people with a production line setup for it) nobody else is going to get a contract to build them even if somebody daft enough to pay for them suddenly arrived.
 

AndrewE

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Because it carried more passengers and with three doors allowed faster boarding than a single entry door double decker. As mentioned above PVR have increased on some high frequency routes increasing operating costs and leading to greater bunching of services. As someone who used to take a child in a pushchair every day on a bus - routemasters were a nightmare, standard double deckers a pain and bendy buses a revelation
I guess PVR means Peak Vehicle Requirement... but what vehicles? You don't consider junction occupation, just your speed of boarding and bunching of more frequent lower capacity buses, if I have read it correctly. What would be the crowd-clearing capability of a flow of big 3-entrance double deckers? With pram and wheelchair spaces on the lower floor of course...
 

Mikey C

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I really couldn't agree less with that. The artics were the most efficient people-movers that London has had and the rest of the world seems to agree. It was particularly unfortunate that Boris killed them off, largely based on his own ignorance and bias.

Horrible cattle trucks with no seats. And how many comparable cities actually use large fleets of bendybuses anyway? The Asian cities seem very happy with double deckers
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Not sure on this, as I understand it the contract was written that Wrightbus owned the design until TfL had purchased in excess of 1000 units, the intellectual property rights then pass to TfL so they can commission more of the design from a different manufacturer however Wrightbus become unable to trickle down the technology in to their other products.

Much of the chassis technology that Wrights developed for the Borismaster has been used for the integral Streetdeck, and their latest London body for the Volvo B5 is Borismaster derived
 

Busaholic

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Horrible cattle trucks with no seats. And how many comparable cities actually use large fleets of bendybuses anyway? The Asian cities seem very happy with double deckers

The bendybus had a lot more seats than are provided downstairs on a NBFL of any configuration, and you will almost always find more passengers downstairs than upstairs at any time of day on a double-decker, with the possible exception of schoolkids' time A lot of regular passengers are either not able to venture upstairs or are unwilling to with so many bus drivers today thinking they are auditioning for Formula One. Straight staircases rather than winding ones only acerbate the problem.

By the way, let no-one tell you that the intro of bendybuses in London was a political decision, it was a TfL one that then had to get political backing i.e. the opposite to the sequence of events that led to the NBFL.
 

Robertj21a

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Horrible cattle trucks with no seats. And how many comparable cities actually use large fleets of bendybuses anyway? The Asian cities seem very happy with double deckers
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Have you travelled abroad very much ?

It would be a long list for just Europe, let alone the Americas etc
 

Deerfold

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Horrible cattle trucks with no seats. And how many comparable cities actually use large fleets of bendybuses anyway? The Asian cities seem very happy with double deckers

Which Asian cities? China certainly uses vast numbers of bendy buses, some with 3 sections.
 

Mikey C

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The bendybus had a lot more seats than are provided downstairs on a NBFL of any configuration, and you will almost always find more passengers downstairs than upstairs at any time of day on a double-decker, with the possible exception of schoolkids' time A lot of regular passengers are either not able to venture upstairs or are unwilling to with so many bus drivers today thinking they are auditioning for Formula One. Straight staircases rather than winding ones only acerbate the problem.

By the way, let no-one tell you that the intro of bendybuses in London was a political decision, it was a TfL one that then had to get political backing i.e. the opposite to the sequence of events that led to the NBFL.

Not on the double deckers I use. The upper deck is always well used, whether during the rush hour or late at night
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Err.... Rome, Paris, Budapest, many European cities....

The other European cities are much smaller than London, more comparable to the likes of Birmingham and Manchester. Indeed maybe you should be asking why other British cities don't use bendybuses...
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Which Asian cities? China certainly uses vast numbers of bendy buses, some with 3 sections.

Hong Kong and Singapore to mention two. Most cities in mainland China have been heavily rebuilt with long straight roads, most unlike those of London
 

Tetchytyke

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Not on the double deckers I use. The upper deck is always well used, whether during the rush hour or late at night

Data is not the plural of anecdote, but I can say I've spent many a frustrating time waiting for the 43 and 134 in Muswell Hill because the driver doesn't stop as the bus is full. The downstairs was full of people not wanting to go upstairs for a ten minute ride to Highgate tube, but there was usually 10-15 seats upstairs.

The other European cities are much smaller than London, more comparable to the likes of Birmingham and Manchester. Indeed maybe you should be asking why other British cities don't use bendybuses...

Provincial bus companies don't often use bendies because the infrastructure isn't designed for them. Most bus stations up here are drive in and reverse out, which doesn't really work with artics. But where the flows demand it the provincial operators use bendies: Brighton and Hove and First Manchester both use plenty of bendybuses on their busiest routes.

There's nothing different about London compared to Berlin, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Brussels, Munich, or Sydney.

As for Asia, only Singapore and Hong Kong use double deckers.
 

TheGrandWazoo

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The other European cities are much smaller than London, more comparable to the likes of Birmingham and Manchester. Indeed maybe you should be asking why other British cities don't use bendybuses...
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Paris is as big as London and are you trying to tell us that Rome isn't some large historic city with an archaic road network? Really?

The reason why other UK cities don't use them extensively is complex and encapsulates areas like fare payment and structure, maintenance facilities, bus stop design etc.

Working on that logic, we would've been sat here 30 years ago saying that there's no role for trams as no UK cities had them.
 

MCR247

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Not on the double deckers I use. The upper deck is always well used, whether during the rush hour or late at night
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The other European cities are much smaller than London, more comparable to the likes of Birmingham and Manchester. Indeed maybe you should be asking why other British cities don't use bendybuses...

I mainly use busses in Nottingham, and it is not uncommon to board a double decker with virtually no seats downstairs only to find that there are two people upstairs!
 

AndyW33

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The other European cities are much smaller than London, more comparable to the likes of Birmingham and Manchester.

Have you actually been to any of these cities? Paris muncipality population 2.2 million, metropolitan area 10.5 million. Birmingham municipality population 1.2 million, metropolitan area 2.88 million. Rome municipality 2.6 million, metropolitan area 4.2 million. Manchester municipality 514,000, metropolitan area 2.6 million.
Even Budapest is much bigger than Birmingham or Manchester - municipality 1.7 million, metropolitan area 3.3 million.
 

Mikey C

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Paris is as big as London and are you trying to tell us that Rome isn't some large historic city with an archaic road network? Really?

The reason why other UK cities don't use them extensively is complex and encapsulates areas like fare payment and structure, maintenance facilities, bus stop design etc.

Working on that logic, we would've been sat here 30 years ago saying that there's no role for trams as no UK cities had them.

I think the numbers are 1bn bus journeys in Paris versus 2.4bn in London. Rome is far smaller than London, and most Italian cities seem to have straight, wide roads (where buses go down) and narrow streets (where they don't)

Maybe the question could be turned around, why don't European cities use double deckers? Maybe they have too many low bridges?
 
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