Arriva North West introduced sixteen brand new double deck buses into traffic on two of Arriva North West’s routes in Liverpool on Sunday 1st March 2015, which represented £3 million of a £10 million investment in new buses which hit the roads of Merseyside throughout the first quarter of the year.
A small launch for the new vehicles was held on Saturday 28th February in Mons Square at the New Strand Shopping Centre.
They are the first brand new double decker buses delivered to Bootle depot since a batch of twelve Alexander Dennis Enviro400 bodied Alexander Dennis Trident IIs were delivered to the depot in 2009.
Bootle depot has always had a double deck allocation which in recent times has included former Arriva London Alexander ALX400 bodied DAF DB250LFs (DLAs) and Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TLs (VLWs).
With the introduction of these new vehicles Bootle depot at the time of writing has the largest allocation of Alexander Dennis Enviro400s in the Arriva North West fleet with 46 vehicles of this type in service.
The routes these vehicles are deployed on services 52 and 52A between Liverpool and Netherton via Bootle New Strand. Previously the route was operated by VDL SB200LFs with Wright Pulsar and Wright Pulsar 2 bodywork although on occasion other vehicles types were employed on these routes.
The vehicles that will be operating on services 52 and 52A are sixteen 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.
On board 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 lighting is LED. 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.”
“The 16 brand new buses on the 52 service are a real boost for bus passengers in Merseyside. We are delighted to introduce double deck buses to these really popular routes, we hope our passengers enjoy the view from the top deck!”
This batch of Enviro400s follows on numerically from the batch delivered to Arriva North West’s St Helens depot for services 10 and 10A between Liverpool and St Helens. For our readers who may be interested the details of these vehicles they are as follows: SL64 JHX (4621), SN15 LME (4622), SN15 LMF (4623), SN15 LMJ (4624), SN15 LMK (4625), SN15 LML (4626), SN15 LMM (4627), SN15 LMO (4628), SN15 LMU (4629), SN15 LMV (4630), SN15 LMX (4631), SN15 LMY (4632), SN15 LNA (4633), SN15 LNC (4634), SN15 LND (4635) and SN15 LNE (4636).
I sampled three vehicles on their first day in traffic. I was pleased to find the vehicles to be very warm on what wasn’t the warmest of days and the complimentary WiFi powered by Icomera‘s Moovbox worked very well on all three vehicles. I found the e-leather seating to very comfortable for each journey and it was a pleasing sight to see a full allocation of double deckers to services 52 and 52A.
I look forward to reporting on the launch of even more brand new double deckers for Arriva North West later on in the year. Thirty five are due or Green Lane depot operated services 12 and 13 that operate between Liverpool and Stockbridge Village and service 15 that operates between Liverpool and Huyton.
To celebrate the launch of these new vehicles Arriva North West offered free travel for all passengers travelling on services 52 and 52A on their first day in service. Passengers were issued with a Zero Fare ticket as shown above. I was very pleased to note that the driver of each vehicle that I travelled on throughout the day informed passengers when they boarded that for the day all single journeys on the 52 and 52A were free of charge.
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