York & Leeds FTR Buses to be pooled onto Leeds - Bradford

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Bayum

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The title says it all really.

Proposals are in the water for the streetcars which used to run the '4' In York and Leeds are being looked to as replacements for double decked on the 72 route.


http://m.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk...lan-leeds-and-bradford-bus-overhaul-1-4643155

Transport giant First is ready to assemble a buses ‘superfleet’ to help meet the demand for commuter services between Leeds and Bradford.

The proposed fleet would be made up of the firm’s much-vaunted streetcar vehicles, which have been running on the Pudsey-Seacroft number 4 route in Leeds since 2007.


First is now planning to take its extra-long streetcars off that route for use on the 72 corridor that operates between Leeds and Bradford via Armley, Stanningley and Thornbury.


If the firm goes ahead with its proposals, those vehicles would be joined on the 72 by another batch of streetcars that until recently were based in York.


Conventional double-deckers would run on Leeds’s 4 route under the new set-up, which could be introduced as early as October this year.

First has developed plans for the scheme with council bosses in Leeds and Bradford as well as Metro, West Yorkshire’s publicly-funded passenger transport authority.

Metro chairman Coun James Lewis said: “The improved service would help reduce congestion by offering commuters an attractive alternative to the car.”
 
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Crossforth

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So that's where the bendy buses in York went and why the ones in Leeds have had their route branding removed
 

tbtc

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We lost our 07 plate Geminis from Midland Road in Rotherham to go to York as replacements for these daft purple things.

What 'deckers would be freed up from the 72?
 

Ivo

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A very sensible move, and which has been suggested (certainly on here) before now. If anything I'm surprised it's taken this long.

What 'deckers would be freed up from the 72?

Take a wild guess...

...yep. More Geminis :lol:
 

Schnellzug

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it's First Bus in a nutshell, really, isn't it. Introduce some gimmick in a half-hearted way, get bored with them after a few years and try to find something else to do with them. If it was going to Transform Travel :roll:, it really should have had dedicated busways and so on. At least First Bus seem to have acknowledged, if not publickly, that the 'ftr' was a silly gimmick, and this Enigma thing in Gosport has not only a dedicated Busway but sensible buses.
 

MK Tom

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it's First Bus in a nutshell, really, isn't it. Introduce some gimmick in a half-hearted way, get bored with them after a few years and try to find something else to do with them. If it was going to Transform Travel :roll:, it really should have had dedicated busways and so on. At least First Bus seem to have acknowledged, if not publickly, that the 'ftr' was a silly gimmick, and this Enigma thing in Gosport has not only a dedicated Busway but sensible buses.

Remind anybody else of the First Northampton 'GasBus' project?
 

anthony263

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I cant see Swansea city Council being too pleased if First Cymru try to withdraw the Swabsea Metro FTR service after all the infrastructure work the council did.

Then again the Swansea FTR service does seem to carry a good number of passengers especially during the peaks and is certainly handy when there are matches at the liberty stadium
 

Welshman

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I'm a little concerned that Metro is proposing to spend £74,000 in adapting bus stops to accommodate these vehicles when there's no guarantee they'll be a success between Leeds & Bradford.

Pardon my ignorance, but they've been withdrawn from York, so why are they better suited for this route?
 

tbtc

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Pardon my ignorance, but they've been withdrawn from York, so why are they better suited for this route?

The road from Leeds to Bradford that the 72 uses is pretty straight.

York city centre involves a number of tight turns.

Both of these facts should have been fairly obvious when First were looking at where to use their expensive purple buses...

...then again, First know that there's limited use for articulated buses because they've been keeping their "conventional" low floor bendis unused in yards for ages (whilst passengers use older step entrance buses - e.g. here in Sheffield First have had to take old P-reg Olympians out of storage due to lack of fit vehicles).

Won't be long until the ftrs are sat around in yards, unwanted.
 

Crossforth

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it's First Bus in a nutshell, really, isn't it. Introduce some gimmick in a half-hearted way, get bored with them after a few years and try to find something else to do with them. If it was going to Transform Travel :roll:, it really should have had dedicated busways and so on. At least First Bus seem to have acknowledged, if not publickly, that the 'ftr' was a silly gimmick, and this Enigma thing in Gosport has not only a dedicated Busway but sensible buses.

The problem with Gosport Eclipse service is it now takes longer to get from Gosport Ferry to Fareham bus station than on a conventional bus
 

Ivo

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First know that there's limited use for articulated buses because they've been keeping their "conventional" low floor bendis unused in yards for ages

Last time I was in Leeds the 95 was bendy-operated (using the sisters of our 'W'-reg set). Has this changed?
 

Bayum

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Last time I was in Leeds the 95 was bendy-operated (using the sisters of our 'W'-reg set). Has this changed?

They are indeed, in an orange promotional livery of a pound fare between Leeds and Headingley.
 

Ivo

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"Funny" orange livery? :p

It's the generic First Bright Orange livery, used for University services in at least three cities in the country (Bath and Swansea are the others I know of).
 

Failed Unit

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...then again, First know that there's limited use for articulated buses because they've been keeping their "conventional" low floor bendis unused in yards for ages (whilst passengers use older step entrance buses - e.g. here in Sheffield First have had to take old P-reg Olympians out of storage due to lack of fit vehicles).

Won't be long until the ftrs are sat around in yards, unwanted.

You don't see many in Glasgow any more, did make me wonder if they only use them when the rest of the fleet is in short supply. Never really understood why the companies thought they were better than double deckers.
 

IanXC

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York city centre involves a number of tight turns.

Although it doesn't stop them using bendy buses on the park and ride routes. Given the numbers being moved I think they'd be a bit stuck without increasing the frequencies further than the existing 10 minutes at peak times if they did withdraw them from P&R.

 

142094

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The decision to remove them from York was a bit of a political one - Labour hated it when the Lib Dems spent a great deal of money in coverting some of the narrow streets/corners so that the ftrs could get round them. I'm not sure if I've ever met anyone who has liked them, and First also had competition from York Pullman on the University route.

One of the consequences of the move is that the former 'customer hosts' who worked the ftrs were made redundant. A few of them were not exactly friendly, but the majority did a good job.
 

gordonthemoron

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I was under the impression that FTR buses were narrower than normal bendy buses to allow them to cope with York's narrow streets. Where is the sense of using them on wide Leeds & Bradford roads?
 

WestCoast

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I think the FTR projects had good intentions, but the introduction of the vehicles was haphazard and passengers weren't exactly thrilled at the 'enhanced' service. The ticket machine debacle was ridiculous and of course the issue of road modifications was well covered by the press in York.

Essentially, the Wright Streetcar is just a fancy (and expensive) articulated bus that supposedly resembles a tram - the vehicle itself is a bit of a gimmick if you ask me.

However, the whole FTR package could have been used to create a proper 'Bus Rapid Transport' style bus service - something frequent and innovative. The possibilities are numerous, the NEOMAN double deckers in Berlin are good in that they have three entry/exit doors, wide 'circulation spaces' and two staircases. You combine this with some decent off-bus ticketing or conductors, PIDs at stops, dedicated 'platforms' (if space permits, which is/would've been a challenge in York).
 

anthony263

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what they really could do with is doubly articulated trolley buses like in Zurich ;)

Dont give Swansea city council idea's. Double dendies would be a nightmare in Swansea.

As for the FTR concept I admit whole thing was not handled well when it was launched in York.

Mind you they did good when they launched things in Swansea and it has been a sucess and the streetcars are a novelty in Swansea now. Still I would have liked to see the streetcars as trolleybuses especially if they were run down to Swansea although a turning place would have to be found somewhere in Oystermouth/Mumbles.

I will be watching to see how the streetcars perform in Bristol (much to the horror of certain members of this forum :) )
 

142094

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I was under the impression that FTR buses were narrower than normal bendy buses to allow them to cope with York's narrow streets. Where is the sense of using them on wide Leeds & Bradford roads?

I don't know the exact measurements but I don't believe they are any smaller than the Mercs that First use on the Park and Ride services. Off the top of my head I can't remember how much City of York Council spent on infrastructure improvements to get them in on certain streets, but it was a lot of money.
 

Schnellzug

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I bet many councils would be drooling over the bus systems in South American cities...

You have enclosed shelters which can resemble mini-metro stations and the vehicles 'connect' to the stops.

I could just see that in the UK, or maybe not..:lol:

I suspect many operators would, but sadly it's down to the Councils to provide such things, and they (all together now, we all know the words) don't have enough Money, and whatever Councils may say , we all know that the only thing they're really interested in is trying to cater for the Car.
 

bb21

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However, the whole FTR package could have been used to create a proper 'Bus Rapid Transport' style bus service - something frequent and innovative. The possibilities are numerous, the NEOMAN double deckers in Berlin are good in that they have three entry/exit doors, wide 'circulation spaces' and two staircases. You combine this with some decent off-bus ticketing or conductors, PIDs at stops, dedicated 'platforms' (if space permits, which is/would've been a challenge in York).

One thing I never understood about artics operation in the UK is why have a vehicle that enables efficient crowd shifting and then only put two doors on them.

If passengers still have to purchase tickets from the driver (not ftr admittedly but I'm talking in general) then all the advantages offered by the artics are lost.

Many artics operation in this country failed not because they were unsuitable for our roads, but the incorrect manner in which they were deployed.
 

WestCoast

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One thing I never understood about artics operation in the UK is why have a vehicle that enables efficient crowd shifting and then only put two doors on them.

If passengers still have to purchase tickets from the driver (not ftr admittedly but I'm talking in general) then all the advantages offered by the artics are lost.

Many artics operation in this country failed not because they were unsuitable for our roads, but the incorrect manner in which they were deployed.

I completely agree with you. I know the "anti-articulated bus" lobby say our roads aren't suitable, but really have they seen where artics operate very successfully on the continent? France, Germany, Spain, Italy e.t.c. don't have American style blocks, in many places they have narrow, congested and twisty roads like the UK. However, in a lot of cases, they have the ticketing arrangements to make the best use of artics and that is profiting from allowing passengers to board/alight through 3 or more doors.

I am ignoring London on this issue because the capital's bus network effectively resembles a different country to the rest of the UK. I am thinking of the use of artics in the provincial cities and towns.
 

142094

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One thing I never understood about artics operation in the UK is why have a vehicle that enables efficient crowd shifting and then only put two doors on them.

If passengers still have to purchase tickets from the driver (not ftr admittedly but I'm talking in general) then all the advantages offered by the artics are lost.

Many artics operation in this country failed not because they were unsuitable for our roads, but the incorrect manner in which they were deployed.

The 4 route in York from the University to the city centre and out to Acomb is probably one of First's busiest routes, and the buying of the tickets was the reason why the ftr was designed to have no interaction with the driver. Of course the ticket machines were useless so they had to bring in the customer host. It did work in that it got the crowds moving quickly, and I never saw problems with the doors, but they had a bad rap from the start and that ultimately lead to its downfall.
 

bb21

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but they had a bad rap from the start and that ultimately lead to its downfall.

This is I believe one rather major reason that contributed to their ultimate demise in York.

The whole debacle at its launch was extensively covered and, as we say, first impression counts. The whole venture started up in the worst possible way.

Their withdrawal also meant that the corporation effectively admitted defeat in the whole "ftr" concept.
 
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First Leeds had only just ammended the 4 route to accomadate this buses better, by avoiding st james hospital and terminating at Seacroft instead of going into the tight streets of Whinmoor but now seem to be admitting defeat and transfering them to a more suitable route (which i think is a good call). Of course these changes then had a negative effect on the service 16 which then had to run to Whinmoor instead of the 4, thus making a long route even longer and thus making the punctuality of this service even worse than it was before.
The one good thing about the Ftrs was the dwell time at stops and the sooner we get smart cards the better. These weekly tickets that are sold by the driver at the moment which he/she has to faff around putting into a protective sleeve, then take a £20 note and give change are stupid and slow. Only cash fares should be single exact change only fares.
 
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