Well the Christmas good news is the award of the New Bus for London contract to our friends at Wrightbus. I can do no better than quote the Press Notice:
The New Bus for London will feature:
• An open platform: a defining feature allowing the reinstatement of a hop-on hop-off bus service. The platform will have the facility to be closed off at certain times, such as at night.
• Green technology: the new bus will incorporate the latest hybrid technology and will be 40 per cent more fuel efficient than conventional diesel buses and 15 per cent more fuel efficient than current London hybrid buses.
• Air quality emissions will be reduced by 40 per cent for NOx* emissions and 33 per cent for PM** emissions when compared with conventional diesel buses.
• Three doors (including the rear platform) and two staircases, giving an innovative new design and aiding speedier and smoother boarding.
• Capacity for at least 87 passengers.
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: “Londoners have waited with stoic patience as work has continued behind the scenes to select the manufacturer to make the 21st century Routemaster a reality.
Well, no sooner had I posted last night about the issues relating to bad weather than overnight there was trouble in Southampton. The rain washed away the grit and then it froze, leading to significant black ice especially on residential roads. After four collisions this morning (including one with a gritting lorry undertaking a rescue!) we had to take the whole network off until things improved.
The main road in was passable so Greyhound got going although we had to combine a couple of trips early on. No matter, we sent text messages to all the passengers and they knew what we were doing. During the morning various other transport modes shut down so we were really busy and we have had some brilliant commendations from members of the public.
So as I said last night – no heroics and get control of the information!
Attention to detail is also important so for a while our MD’s welcome message on the website no longer said “travelling around Hampshire has never been easier”!! (It does again now, though!)
The photo, by the way, is NOT the new Wrightbus Routemaster of the future but one of a number of concepts by Silvertip Designs which you can see at http://www.silvertipdesign.com