Arriva North West has introduced fourteen brand new double deckers to their 15 service, which runs between Liverpool City Centre and Huyton Bus Station. This forms part of their pledge to introduce 106 brand new vehicles in 2015.
Seven of these vehicles entered service on Sunday 3rd May, with the remaining seven entering service on Tuesday 5th May. A further 21 vehicles are due to enter traffic on services 12 and 13 as part of a total batch of 35 vehicles in the very near future.
This year has arguably been the biggest change at Green Lane depot since the takeover of MTL North by Arriva in February 2000, with the depot’s previous 100% single deck allocation having changed with the introduction of double decked vehicles to the depot’s busiest services. This hasn’t taken long either, with a total 46 new double deckers arriving in the space of just a few months.
Service 15 received new vehicles much more recently than the 12 and 13, with a batch of seventeen VDL SB200LFs with Wright Pulsar 2 bodywork entering service in September 2011. Fifteen vehicles of this batch have since departed the North West for pastures new in the Arriva Midlands and Arriva the Shires divisions in early 2015.
The brand new vehicles for service 15 are 14 Alexander Dennis Enviro400s which are married to Alexander Dennis’ own Enviro40D chassis. Like the examples delivered earlier in the year to Green Lane, St Helens, Bootle and Chester depots, these new vehicles are powered by a Cummins ISB6.7EV engine which is coupled up to a ZF 6HP1203B gearbox, this combination featuring Euro V emissions. These brand new vehicles have replaced a mixture of saloons previously operated on this service, these primarily being VDL SB200LFs with Wright Pulsar and Pulsar 2 bodywork.
Thanks to new specification for all brand new Arriva buses that aren’t quite Max or Sapphire standard, these vehicles feature e-leather seating, complimentary WiFi powered by Icomera‘s Moovbox and LED interior lighting. These combined features provide an excellent travelling experience. The new vehicles each have a 21st Century CCTV screen on the upper deck, which can also be found on the CrossRiver hybrid double decked vehicles at Birkenhead depot. An additional feature is an illuminated glass panel positioned in the staircase which features Arriva’s logo.
|The upper saloon of SK15 GYH (4651)|
For our enthusiast readers, the registrations of the vehicles that were delivered for service 15 are as follows: SK15 GYC (4646), SK15 GYD (4647), SK15 GYE (4648), SK15 GYF (4649), SK15 GYG (4650), SK15 GYH (4651), SK15 GYJ (4652), SK15 GYN (4653), SK15 GYO (4654), SK15 GYP (4655), SK15 GYR (4656), SK15 GYS (4657), SK15 GYT (4658) and lastly SK15 GYU (4659). This batch follows on numerically from the batch delivered to Arriva Buses Wales’ Chester depot for Sapphire route 10 in March 2015.
It is certainly a pleasing sight to see double deckers entering service on Green Lane depot’s busiest routes, with service 10B receiving a batch of eleven vehicles earlier in the year. Over the two days I travelled on the new vehicles it appeared that a number of passengers were pleasantly surprised with the introduction of double-deckers on the route, with the free WiFi proving to be an extremely popular feature.
I pleased to report that I will also be writing a post on the introduction of further Enviro400s on the 12 and 13 circular services that operate between Liverpool City Centre and Stockbridge Village in the next few weeks, so please do keep an eye out for that in the very near future.