any chance the route 370 Lakeside to Romford Market is going to update from the DW types to electric bus or Enviro400/Hybird type? because the DW is becoming knacked and old being over used for years.
Hi @CheckMate and welcome!
Bus operators compete for contracts to provide specified services for up to
According to this https://tfl.gov.uk/forms/13796.aspx?btID=1498
The last award was in 2017, so it’s going to be 2025 before the route is re-tendered.
Routes can get new vehicles between contract dates for a variety of reasons. Sometimes buses are ordered notionally for one route but end up on another and nobody seems to mind.
Is there any way of determining what the “variety of reasons” are?
Not in an “open data” way, I suspect, My most local route runs with hybrids that were apparently bought for a quite different route but I don;t know if the operator knows why, let alone the rest of the world. The operators are of course outside the scope of FOI.
One of the most obvious would be that newer (or larger, or at any rate different) vehicles becoming available through the loss of another route. Another would be juggling buses around in order to meet the demands of low emissions zones. I am not sure whether contracts ever specify that buses will be replaced X years into the contract but that would be another possibility. Reallocation of routes between garages may have the same effect as moving the buses may be a waste of money.
More generally, my impression is that TfL is more worried about the overall age profile of the fleet than precisely which buses operate on which route, as long as they meet the contract requirements, such as double deckers carrying 87 (a condition apparently waived for the “New Routemaster”) and that the balance between contracts requiring new or existing vehicles is designed to maintain the age profile.
On a day to day basis it is pretty obvious that a fair few routes see a mixture of vehicle types. Even my local route has a few newer buses thrown in, needed because the route gained a substantial extension.When I was a lad I don’t think the unions would accept any ad hoc variation in vehicle type at all.