Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Jelly Beans and Jolly Buses (2)

New Buses Are Big News
At a conference in Wales back in May ...

Buses with Euro 6 diesel engines offer the best bang for the buck for authorities requiring rapid improvements in air quality, according to John Dowie of First.
Dowie was speaking to Passenger Transport at the Welsh Bus Summit in Swansea, where a range of alternative fuel vehicles were on display, and trade stands highlighted the benefits of biogas.

Hydrogen is still eye-wateringly expensive at the moment,” said Dowie, who was a high ranking Department for Transport civil servant before becoming director of local strategies at First Bus in 2016. Electric buses look like the future, with a “phenomenal” amount of international research devoted to improving the technology, which had not yet matured.

Really the best way of tackling air quality emissions now in the cities is Euro 6. Whether that’s new or retrofitting doesn’t matter.

We are providing support for operators, including First Glasgow, to push beyond normal diesel to greener technologies through the Green Bus Fund and Bus Services Operators Grant, ensuring that buses continue to keep Scotland moving while addressing air quality issues and climate change.

And from the politicians and the SNP ...
Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf said:

We can be proud of the progress we’ve made in tackling air pollution, but our biggest cities, like Glasgow, are determined to create the best possible environment for communities to flourish by improving air quality. I’m delighted that Glasgow is working to have their LEZ in place by the end of 2018.

So the 75 new buses announced a week ago, with the packaged service 75 1 to 1 "scale model", is the first stage in a partnership scheme to improve public transport in Glasgow. First does the "new buses with Euro 6 engines" bit and the city improved the infrastructure.

We shall see. Let's hope the project is better thought out (and better value for money!) that Glasgow's Fast Link or Bristol's Metrobus.

But a shiny yellow Euro 6 double decker was duly displayed.

But we don't want to give you that - there's more.

Look closely at the bus-in-a-box and what don't you see?
You don't see any wing mirrors. Because there aren't any!

Wing mirrors are, of course, an essential safety feature on all vehicles; especially on long buses; the driver needs to be able see clearly along and behind his bus.
The new Glasgow bus is the VERY FIRST bus in the UK to be certified (Government tested and approved) to use video cameras instead of mirrors.

The little black blob above the smiling glitterati is the pod for the camera. The driver has the "picture" on screens in the cab, and, according to fbb's correspondent who has plonked himself in the driver's seat, the view is extremely clear - far better than in any mirror.

First Glasgow staff have already been trained on the new system and it seems likely that it will become standard for future deliveries.

Which leads us on nicely to the promo leaflet. 
On the reverse we are told about the wonders of these new motors ...
... and invited to enter a competition.
There is also a call to buy "day" tickets on the App to get the cheapest price.
But back to the front. blog readers will have noted some Glasgow landmarks, but the most notable is the statue of "man on horse".
He is George IV nobly positioned in George Square and, during times of Civic celebration, he often dons a piece of little know Victorian headgear ...
It is in this ceremonial adornment that he is pictured on First's new-bus flyer.
The second bus in the parade is showing a red slice and route number 18 ...
... and we may presume that this will be the next route to acquire new buses.
But what next in the line? Will these be for the new single deck intake? And has fbb correctly read the numbers.
242 - Motherwell local ...
... Monday to Saturday only. Then service 65 (possibly) ...
... and, at the rear, 34 from Govan to ...
... our old friend Castlemilk!
But beware! It is not the same Castlemilk terminus as the new-bus 75 or the same as the service 5.

Also in fbb's goody bag was a Glasgow bus map ...
... in a very different style from anything produced by First in the past.

 Next Glasgow map blog : Wednesday 17th October 


  1. Interesting choice of the 34 as it does not enter the Glasgow LEZ. It does go to the QEH so that may be the reason .

  2. Neither does the 262??? If the graphic or fbb's interpretation of it is right.

  3. Andrew Kleissner16 October 2018 at 07:41

    I don't quite get all this. These buses look like E400MMCs. They are new but First Glasgow has actually had some in service for about three years. They won't have the fancy video system and may not have the USB charging points or plush seats - but I'm pretty sure they will have got the Euro VI engines as these have been a legal requirement for all new buses since January 2014. Personally I'm not too keen on these buses, we have them on my local route and they squeak and rattle terribly. When I was in Glasgow last year I was much happier riding on the older Geminis, I believe some of these will be retrofitted with the new engines.

  4. The presumption that the new buses will be used on the 18 is correct, the first example has already been seen leaving the factory

  5. FBB's observation is likely correct - the barcode on the back of the 'box' had 75 18 65 242 34 written on it https://www.flickr.com/photos/bboldblong/44285973465/

  6. And Northcord, makers of the forthcoming 1:76 model Glasgow Enviro, have changed their product to represent the "bus in a box" including the CCTV non-mirrors.

  7. The map appeared around the time of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships, several of the venues used are included on the network side including a list of which bus goes where along with some significant tourist attractions.
    There are a couple of errors, for example the 77 doesn't go through Clydebank and for some reason the 1E is included on the diagram in preference to the 1B (it is listed on the key though). There are no doubt a couple of others for areas of the network I am less familiar with.