Arriva North West introduced eleven brand new double deck buses into traffic on one of Arriva North West’s Quality Bus Partnership routes in Liverpool on Friday 2nd January 2015.
The launch for these vehicles was held a few weeks previously, in Huyton town centre – the terminus of the route these vehicles serve. The investment represents part of a £10 million introduction of new buses which will hit the roads of Merseyside early this year.
The route these vehicles will be deployed on is the service 10B operating between Liverpool city centre and Elizabeth Road in Huyton – previously operated primarily by VDL SB200LFs with Wright Pulsar and Wright Pulsar 2 bodywork, although other vehicle types were deployed on this service at times.
These vehicles are unique to Green Lane depot in being the first brand new double deckers delivered to the depot since 1988 when the depot received fifteen Alexander bodied Leyland Olympians – this being when the depot was operated under Merseybus operations.
The last double deckers to be based at Green Lane depot were a batch of former MTL North “Millennium Fleet” Volvo Olympians with Northern Counties Palatine II bodywork between 2001 and 2003. It is of note, that last year, two of Green Lane’s final batch of Alexander bodied Leyland Olympians were still in use with Arriva Buses Wales as open top vehicles based at Rhyl depot which operate along the Welsh coast in the summer months.
The vehicles that will be operating on service 10B are eleven brand new Alexander Dennis Enviro400s on the company’s own Alexander Dennis Enviro40D chassis. They are powered by the Cummins ISB6.7EV engine and feature a six-speed ZF 6HP1203B gearbox – featuring Euro V emissions. The new Enviro400s feature a higher specification from the vehicles that previously operated this service although they aren’t quite to Arriva MAX or Arriva Sapphire specification, but are certainly bright and airy nonetheless.
Internally the vehicles have 58 Esteban Civic V2 seats with the lower saloon featuring three tip up seats and around twenty modular seats which are found over the wheel arches and the back seats of the lower and upper saloons. All 78 seats are covered by a navy blue e-leather whilst the saloon has a light and airy feel due to the LED lighting and additional opening hopper windows. Also featured on board is free WiFi which is provided by Icomera’s Moovbox. All round Hanover LED destination equipment is also fitted to these vehicles.
Howard Farrall, the area managing director for Arriva Merseyside said: “Arriva is committed to providing the best possible service for our customers, and we continue to invest in our fleet.
“New buses not only make a huge difference to our passengers in terms of comfort and reliability, but also have an impressive environmental impact. The 10s are an important group of services which link St Helens, Prescot, Page Moss, Huyton and Liverpool, and are part of the Quality Bus Network, so it’s great that we are able to invest in new buses for the route.”
This batch of Enviro400s follows on from those delivered to Arriva North West’s Southport depot for services 375 and 385 between Southport and Wigan. For our readers who may be interested the details of these vehicles are: SL64 JCX (4584), SL64 JCY (4585), SL64 JCZ (4586), SL64 JDF (4587), SL64 JDJ (4588), SL64 JDK (4589), SL64 JDO (4590), SL64 JDU (4591), SL64 JDX (4592), SL64 JDZ (4593) and SL64 JEJ (4594).
I am pleased to report that I will also be writing about the introduction of twenty six more Enviro400s next month which will be identical specification to these vehicles on the 10 and 10A routes between Liverpool and St Helens, so please keep an eye out for that.
I sampled four examples over the course of a day, overall I found they were good vehicles, although I hope to ride on the rest of the batch in the near future. I found the e-leather seating very comfortable for each journey and in my opinion are more comfortable than the seating fitted with moquette. The on board WiFi which was advertised on the exterior of the vehicles worked very well, and in my opinion the slightly higher standard specification provides an excellent travelling experience.
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