Reading orders Optare MetroDeckers

MotCO

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As reported on other threads, Reading Transport has ordered 5 Optare Metrodeckers for Green Line route 702 (and 703?).

http://www.route-one.net/articles/C...over__Optare_wins_debut_order_for_Metrodecker

Whilst I am glad that an order has at last been won, what I am surprised by is the fact that the buses will not be delivered until June 2019. Why will it take so long? Maybe this delay has put off other companies ordering any.

The other point to ponder is whether GoAhead North East will also order some Metrodeckers in due course.
 
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Tarminite

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As reported on other threads, Reading Transport has ordered 5 Optare Metrodeckers for Green Line route 702 (and 703?).

http://www.route-one.net/articles/C...over__Optare_wins_debut_order_for_Metrodecker

Whilst I am glad that an order has at last been won, what I am surprised by is the fact that the buses will not be delivered until June 2019. Why will it take so long? Maybe this delay has put off other companies ordering any.

The other point to ponder is whether GoAhead North East will also order some Metrodeckers in due course.
Good evening MotCO,

As the article states:

“Optare is modifying the design to enable three-point seatbelts - a Reading Buses requirement - to be fitted, along with a host of other operator-specific specifications.”

These specification will need to go through various design and testing stages, and will probably have to be sub contracted (tier 2 supplier), before they can be tested and fitted to the vehicles, together with the 3 point seatbelt systems and belts. This will all take some time to get through.

Kind regards
 

MotCO

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Good evening MotCO,

As the article states:

“Optare is modifying the design to enable three-point seatbelts - a Reading Buses requirement - to be fitted, along with a host of other operator-specific specifications.”

These specification will need to go through various design and testing stages, and will probably have to be sub contracted (tier 2 supplier), before they can be tested and fitted to the vehicles, together with the 3 point seatbelt systems and belts. This will all take some time to get through.

Kind regards
Fair points - but a year???
 

GusB

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As reported on other threads, Reading Transport has ordered 5 Optare Metrodeckers for Green Line route 702 (and 703?).

http://www.route-one.net/articles/C...over__Optare_wins_debut_order_for_Metrodecker

Whilst I am glad that an order has at last been won, what I am surprised by is the fact that the buses will not be delivered until June 2019. Why will it take so long? Maybe this delay has put off other companies ordering any.

The other point to ponder is whether GoAhead North East will also order some Metrodeckers in due course.
I've also been wondering if Optare would ever receive any orders, although I was aware that Reading had been trialling the Metrodecker for a while.

I'm puzzled as to why GoAhead North East has any connection, though.
 

ChrisPJ

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That's a really varied fleet at Reading these days, I wonder what their reasons for eschewing standardisation are?
 

GusB

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The GNE reference in connection with Martijn Gilbert heading there?
That clarifies things a bit. I did momentarily think that Reading might have been taken over by the Go-Ahead Group, but visits to their Wikipedia page (not entirely reliable, I know) and to Reading Buses' own web site suggested that they're still council-owned. Perhaps the OP should have made his/her thoughts a little clearer.
 

MotCO

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LOTS is reporting that Optare has received another order, this time from Metroline for 27 Metrodecker EVs for route 134.

http://www.lots.org.uk/

The contract starts in February; whether these will be delivered on time is not known.
 

Robertj21a

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LOTS is reporting that Optare has received another order, this time from Metroline for 27 Metrodecker EVs for route 134.

http://www.lots.org.uk/

The contract starts in February; whether these will be delivered on time is not known.
I thought it was for 31 buses. It's only the contract change in February, no doubt Metroline will continue to use the existing vehicles until such time as the electric buses are ready.
 

randyrippley

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Fair points - but a year???
The prototype they've been using would have been handbuilt from bits and pieces. Slow and time consuming.
Now they have an order, Optare will want to invest in proper jigs and tooling - that can take a long time to put together. Initial order will take a while, subsequent ones should be much quicker
 

MotCO

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No. It's 31 Optare MetroDeckers for the 134 and 37 BYD/ADL for the 43.
The figure of 31 is confirmed on Optate's website. I took the figures from LOTS' quote of PVR - there are presumably 5 ADL and 4 Optare mechanical spares to account for the difference.
 

Wirewiper

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As reported on other threads, Reading Transport has ordered 5 Optare Metrodeckers for Green Line route 702 (and 703?).

http://www.route-one.net/articles/C...over__Optare_wins_debut_order_for_Metrodecker
The Metrodeckers are intended for the 702, which has a daily requirement of four vehicles. The 703 (which requires 3 vehicles daily) will use buses from the existing fleet, as now - the regularly-allocated vehicles will be in Green Line livery.

Incidentally (and off-topic) Reading Buses is also supposed to be getting two BCI Excellence 12m dual-door vehicles. These will be dual-purpose, and will provide extra peak capacity on route 17, as well as extra capacity on Summer weekends and during school holidays on the 702.
 

borage

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News from the Oxford & Chilterns Bus Page:
It is now over two years since the order for five Optare MetroDeckers for Green Line 702 was placed. A combination of ongoing production delays, an inability to provide a delivery schedule, mixed reviews regarding the demonstrator and our very difficult financial situation due to Covid-19 means that we have taken the decision to cancel the order.
 

buslad1988

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Tbf I’m surprised it’s taken them this long to cancel. There’s probably more to the story but frankly Optare should be ashamed. They’ve had zero orders for the Metrodecker outside of London and had a real opportunity with Reading. Can’t see anyone else placing an order for them anytime soon, if at all! Yet they’re inviting operators to work with them on the all electric bus town scheme - this won’t provide confidence.
 

tramboy

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And a change of MD?
I would think that even if that had not occurred, any MD/CEO in the position at this time would find the fact that:

1 - These vehicles were ordered over 2 years ago, and even allowing for a COVID shutdown at Optare, there was no sign of them being placed into a build queue
2 - Spare fleet being available that is of reasonable age and to a fairly standard spec for Reading makes much more sense in the current circumstances.
3 - Financially speaking, if you can get out of the order and maintain the cash in your business, that makes much more sense at this time as well.

They also allude to "mixed reviews" with regards the demonstrator, which they've had for long enough to be able to be certain about them. Optare build quality can be mixed at best.

It makes sense from Reading's view to get out of a financial commitment for a brand new, untested product at the moment.

Tbf I’m surprised it’s taken them this long to cancel. There’s probably more to the story but frankly Optare should be ashamed. They’ve had zero orders for the Metrodecker outside of London and had a real opportunity with Reading. Can’t see anyone else placing an order for them anytime soon, if at all! Yet they’re inviting operators to work with them on the all electric bus town scheme - this won’t provide confidence.
You're right - it doesn't say much for Optare that they couldn't get their act together to get these built. I appreciate they've just started to deliver the York fleet, but even then, those are untested until they've done a few months of "real" service.

It does make you wonder for UK manufacturing at the moment - ADL probably best placed to survive (even with large job cuts), but Optare & Wrights didn't/don't have the same order volume - and it's not like anyone is going to be placing orders in the near and probably distant future.
 

jammy36

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1 - These vehicles were ordered over 2 years ago, and even allowing for a COVID shutdown at Optare, there was no sign of them being placed into a build queue
They did make it into a build queue - they were part complete and in build back in November 2019!
 

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