The London Bus Page In Exile

Thursday 25 January 2007

Comforting Metroline

Filed under: Companies — londonbuspageinexile @ 10:00 pm

Metroline Alexander Dennis Enviro400 TE 676 (LK55 KKF) at Warren Street, 12th March 2006 Poor old Metroline seem to be taking a bit of a hiding in the comments you’ve offered, so I might as well stand up for them – I don’t think they’re any better or worse than any other London bus operator. Their territory is varied enough for versatility of operations, they’ve been successful both in tendering (especially recently) and in the acquisitions game (MTL London in 1998 being their biggest coup, and they were bad – remember them?), and they have big group backing (though ComfortDelgro appear a lot more hands-off than might have seemed the case when the Singapore-based transport group (owners of the terrific SBS Transit) took them on. Their livery is unique enough to be attractive, with the otherwise clashing colours of red and blue separated elegantly by the all-important white band, and its subsequent dumbing down to just a skirt was no fault of theirs (I won’t mention the abortive change of shade to the light blue, which was awful, and is best forgotten!).

I don’t seem to get to Metroline’s turf as often as I used to since I moved out of town, and accordingly haven’t managed to catch up with their latest vehicle intake, so I’ll go back a bit to when I photographed their first batch of Enviro400s. This bus doesn’t do a lot for me at all, to match my indifference to the equally dull Enviro200 single-decker, but I’ll worry about criticising the design in another post and for now just present you with a sample picture. Here is Holloway’s TE 676 (LK55 KKH), based on its regular 24 and captured on 12th March 2006 heading north past Warren Street station. This plum central route always gets the new buses, while the 4, which was ahead of it in the pecking order for new vehicles after watching its ex-London Suburban Buses Volvo Olympians deteriorate into decrepitude, had to make do with the 24’s cast-off TPs and VPs.



  1. Is it me, or does the Enviro 400 resemble the old Bristol VRs?

    Comment by MT — Friday 26 January 2007 @ 12:13 am

  2. #1……It’s you – they don’t!

    Comment by I'm The Daddy Now.... — Friday 26 January 2007 @ 12:15 pm

  3. Metroline had to change thier skirt colour to bright blue, as after TfL banned Stagcaoch’s rear swoops, S/coach were left with red buses with dark blue skirts, like metroline, so Metoline changed it. After S/coachs subiquent sale to Macqaurry, Mq have changed their livery to boring crap old ALL OVER RED (Like Travel London, and First, and NCP, and…), so Metroline changed it back!

    Comment by Arriva436 — Friday 26 January 2007 @ 10:30 pm

  4. I wouldn’t bother speaking up for any of the privateer operators myself Matt, metroline or otherwise!!

    Mind you, at least Stagecoach used to look after their RML’s quite well on the 15’s and 8’s. But now they’ve made a few bucks and left London.
    I truly hate this privatisation/deregulation crap!!

    As for the Enviro400, I really like this bus externally, but the amount of blue plastic used for the interior is horrendous. I do like the curves around the front upper-deck windows and rear also [dare I say it, something here even reminds me of the FRM!!]
    A really great upper-deck windscreen for a panoramic view.

    Comment by bill — Saturday 27 January 2007 @ 2:16 am

  5. #3/#4……London Buses used to be all-over RED, did they not – & no one complained!?!? I don’t agree with deregulation either, but it’s naive to think that if we had LT still they would do things any differently. TfL cop all the flak sure, but this is 2007 NOT the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s etc, etc.

    Comment by I'm The Daddy Now.... — Saturday 27 January 2007 @ 7:57 am

  6. No London Buses did NOT used to be all over red. Have we forgotten cream bands and, long ago, window surrounds; not to mention flake grey variations and DMSs with white bits on!

    Comment by Doug Ely — Saturday 27 January 2007 @ 9:24 am

  7. #6, yes, and LT buses were a darker shade of red, which went qutie nicly with the cream bands. All over bright red is (as I said) crap.

    Comment by Arriva436 — Saturday 27 January 2007 @ 10:57 am

  8. Referring back to post no. 5. It would indeed be interesting to know what would have happened if LT was still around. Would RM’s have stayed longer for example..? Maybe not.

    I don’t think it’s naive to think that at least transport in London might have been better integrated.
    Then of course there is the small matter of the staff and their pay and conditions [and let’s not mention driver training].
    You are right of course, this is not the 50’s or 60’s.

    The commercial pressures of privatisation drove standards down in every way.
    Politicians and the media see this as progress!!!

    As for liveries on the various private companies, well I suppose Stagecoach in London were ok. Never was keen on the metroline blue skirt, especially on RML’s, though it does seem to suit the Enviro’s.
    But just take a look at the heritage RM’s in all their glory and those all important gold letters along the side!!
    Call me old fashioned….!

    Comment by bill — Saturday 27 January 2007 @ 11:59 am

  9. Am I the only one that likes the overall red?? I dissagree with most things TfL have done, but I think having all vehicles the same colour shows a unified fleet, looks smarter & more professional. I think its a lot better than the situation 10 years ago for examle.

    Standing back and preparing for a backlash!

    Comment by GJ — Saturday 27 January 2007 @ 4:11 pm


    Comment by Richard — Saturday 27 January 2007 @ 7:08 pm

  11. I think I’m the only one who’s never had any problems with travelling on Metroline operated buses. Despite the over-the-top blue on the interior, their buses are neatly designed and well maintained on the inside, and all the seats are properly cushioned (except downstairs on the new 24 buses, where the some of the seats are partially cushioned). I haven’t had any problems with their level of service.

    Comment by Adam — Saturday 27 January 2007 @ 8:28 pm

  12. Personally I hate the Enviro400 second only to the PVL/VPL/TP/TPL/VP/TN/TNL era (apologies for not knowing their proper name) used to be my most hated – due to the absolute minimal of seating capacity sitting downstairs, no cushions on seats left your backside numb when you stood up, and the ridiculously small amount of ventilation available downstairs in the heat. Unfortunately, my 3 local routes – the 44, 77 and 270 all run on them, so I have no choice but to grin and bear them!

    With regard to the enviro, there’s nothing to them. Flimsy seats with no cushioning, most of the seats downstairs are just bits of cloth glued to cheap plastic. The seat behind the driver being the most awkward and awfully designed part of the lower saloon IMO. Ok, they’re quite smooth and nippy, and thankfully haven’t ridden one in the summer heat yet. But I just dislike travelling on the enviro.

    As for metroline as an operating company. Well, they are one of the worst, if not the worst. I notice they have an awful lot of reckless drivers – speeding, heavy braking, taking corners too quickly etc.. They do have some reliable routes like the 6 and 98, but I don’t hold metroline in any high regard at all. The only thing I like, is really their livery.

    Comment by Russell — Saturday 27 January 2007 @ 9:32 pm

  13. Sorry, just to mention also, that the other reason I’m not a metroline fan is sort of carrying on from what I was saying – its just the reliability of a lot of their routes – the 46, 82, 274 and 493 to mention a few that are near me. (and the 95 before they lost it!)

    Comment by Russell — Saturday 27 January 2007 @ 9:37 pm

  14. #9….No backlash here – I agree with you entirely about “all over red”! HOWEVER, I AGREE with everything(nearly) that TfL have done…..& no, I don’t work for them! I’m a Socialist Bus Driver……& proud of it.

    Comment by I'm The Daddy Now.... — Saturday 27 January 2007 @ 9:42 pm

  15. Glad to see a decent debate about this has started! Compare Metroline to other operators- London Central/General, East London Group etc for example, and Metroline’s standards DO seem low. There doesn’t appear to be any joined up thinking, each garage doing its own thing, and the result is a mish-mash of different class codes on identical buses, some have running numbers in the windscreen, some on the exterior, filthy destination blinds, battered trim, and poorly patched up liveries. Also of note is that the 04 reg VP’s intended for the 6/98 are starting to sound like 20 year old Metrobuses! (you don’t get that on the lovely smooth, sweet-sounding V reg AVL’s out of Peckham garage!)

    Comment by ejc — Sunday 28 January 2007 @ 12:21 am

  16. smooth for you drivers! rock hard seats to sit on for us passengers!

    Out of all the new buses on the road, i’d say the Wright Eclipse Gemini is pretty much the best. They look nice, have comfortable seats, smooth ride, have larger opening windows (some even have air con at London General, albeit rather noisy) and a general all round good bus. I wonder why metroline never ordered/wanted any?

    Comment by Russell — Sunday 28 January 2007 @ 12:38 am

  17. The wrights are ok, but I’m not keen on rubber mounted windows, preferring the bonded windows on say the new scanias on the 148. These are nice buses.
    As I mentioned before I like the exterior look of the Enviro400 very much but not the interior.

    As for post no. 10, I was the opposite. I hated seeing those grey-green, len wright, armchair and other wierd liveries in London.
    And I had to monitor those tendered services in the late 80’s early 90’s as an Inspector!
    Harrow was a nightmare with 3rd hand heaps brought down from the midlands.
    London’s buses should be red! end of…

    Comment by bill — Sunday 28 January 2007 @ 2:36 am

  18. #17…Red buses – end of – agreed, in our opinion(S) of course! Putting aside the appearance of new buses for a moment….by far & away the worst NEW bus i’ve ever driven is the current Scania Omnidekka. Some operators in London(& elsewhere) that use to buy a variety of different new buses, are now buying these solely. A poor drive, & very cheap build quality(IMO). London’s worst new bus…..unless you know different?!?

    Comment by I'm The Daddy Now.... — Sunday 28 January 2007 @ 8:08 am

  19. Do you mean the 148’s ‘Daddy’…?
    That surprises me. As a passenger I thought they were finished to a high standard. Polish built me thinks[?].
    I drove the single deck Scania omnicity type for a while. A real joy to drive, like the preverbial Rolls Royce!!

    Comment by bill — Sunday 28 January 2007 @ 11:26 am

  20. Forgot the Transdev all over red.
    With ramdomly yellow advert frames!

    Comment by Arriva436 — Sunday 28 January 2007 @ 11:34 am

  21. #10. I totally disagree that is was great seeing different liveries around London. The Grey Green 24’s, Armchair 65’s and the Harris Bus livery were amongst my most hated. They make the vehicles look dirty, older and not as well looked after IMO.

    Kentish Buses RML’S on the 19 looked smart enough, but didnt tell you that you were in London. London buses should be red!!!

    As regard to metroline, I dont think that they are quite as bad as some of you have made out, although I have noticed a deterioration in the services of the previously excellent Armchair. The 117 for example is supposed to run every 15-20 mins but it is not unusual to see pairs now (albeit the now gridlocked Feltham doesnt help).

    As for buses, my favourite modern bus is the Alexander ALX400-bodied Dennis Trident. Looks nice, and a good build quality. My most hated atm is the Scania Omnideckers on the 13/27/267. (The doors seem to take for ever to open and close!!) I dont like the enviro400 either, and havent had a chance to sample the 148’s scania’s, but I dont like the exterior look of them.

    Comment by GJ — Sunday 28 January 2007 @ 1:40 pm

  22. #19…Yes Bill, Polish built(built like an FSO car used to be!). I drove them for Metrobus on the 466. I’d have to agree the OmniCity is excellent…as you say, like a Rolls Royce – however, I did only one drive for one-rounder on the 405….but in that short time I could tell that they were the b*****ks, so to speak! #21…Yes GJ, I also rate the ALX400 Trident as one of the best buses to drive. I must confess my all-time favourite bus is the Leyland Lynx…..there, I said it, i’ve lost all my creditibility now!!!

    Comment by I'm The Daddy Now.... — Sunday 28 January 2007 @ 3:19 pm

  23. Thankfully, I moved out of London 17 years ago, so do not have to observe the rag bag of impostors that are providing bus services in the metropolis nowadays.
    Like you Matt, I am not keen on the Enviro 400. Without doubt it is the ugliest looking contraption to emerge from Alexander’s coachworks since the P-type in the 1980s. Customers may now purchase a double decker complete with scaffold poles around the upper deck. Bring back the Royale and R-type for a touch of elegance.

    Comment by John Lincoln — Monday 29 January 2007 @ 12:44 am

  24. couldn’t agree more with no 16, the Wright Eclipse Gemini IS the best! Superb quality, good looking, great ride, they really feel like they’re built to last, unlike the Enviro 400, which feel like they’re only going to last 5 years before being inflicted on the provinces!

    I am getting to like the Scania’s on the 148, despite the shocking, bone- crunching ride quality, the slightly dubious build quality (gaps in the interior trim that you could get a fist into), and the looks that i am slowly getting used to, despite my best intentions!

    Comment by ejc — Monday 29 January 2007 @ 1:17 am

  25. (p.s- no 12- the PVL/VP/VPL are Volvo B7TL’s with Plaxton President bodywork. The TN/TNL/TP/TPL are Dennis Tridents with the same bodywork……….)

    Comment by ejc — Monday 29 January 2007 @ 1:21 am

  26. A bit off point here (I hope you lot and Matt don’t mind.)

    During the Metroline strikes of a couple of months ago, could anyone tell me if compensation was paid to TfL? I imagine it would have to be due to the loss of revenue for TfL, and the money on fuel etc. that Metroline would have saved. If so, how on earth would this have been calculated? Would it be the cost per mile for each of Metrolines routes?

    Thanks in advance for any answers

    Comment by GJ — Monday 29 January 2007 @ 1:32 am

  27. A good question GJ, but one I don’t know the answer to.
    It does highlight though the absolute insanity of privatisation on public transport, be it bus or rail.
    They are paying more in subsidies now than they were when these companies were public owned!!
    Complete and utter madness, but no doubt someone has done well out of it.
    Just a shame it wasn’t the staff and public! [that’s me off-topic rant done!!]

    Comment by bill — Monday 29 January 2007 @ 1:43 am

  28. Couldn’t agree with you more Bill.
    The simple fact is that each of the private companies wants to make a profit, so therefore it is obvious that the subsidies are going to be more.
    What is it now? £555 million according to the last report I believe. Ridiculous!! I believe that the current London network shouldn’t need a subsidy – TfL arn’t running GS routes out in the sticks that have 3 passengers a week anymore. Granted they have loss makeing services, but surely the costs of them should be outweighed by the profit on trunk routes?
    It was a simple idea in 1933 that the profit making services would subsidise the loss making ones.
    Some people have indeed done well out of it. Its the bosses and the M.D’s of the private companies (One person in particular sticks out!)

    Still I guess we have to count ourselves lucky. London buses are still regulated, and London has by far the best bus system in the UK. Look at other areas with no regulation (apart from the council) and you will find that if there was a loss making route, it was most likely axed.

    I dont like the situation, but we’re stuck with it and its a lot better than it could have been had full de-regulation taken place (which was threatened!) Thank goodness for TfL!!!!

    Comment by GJ — Tuesday 30 January 2007 @ 11:44 am

  29. No problem with a ‘corporate’ red London Bus livery but it certainly shouldn’t be drab all over red.

    London Buses were only all over red for a short & inglorious period – there’s almost always been some kind of relief be it white window relief on the DMSs & MDs, ‘tapegrey’, or a white/cream/grey band on the RMs. A spot of relief makes the fleet look cared for.

    Red with a blue skirt could easily have become a default ‘TfL’ livery, given its use by Metroline, Stagecoach, Metrobus and a couple of others.

    Comment by Norbert — Tuesday 30 January 2007 @ 8:27 pm

  30. #12 and #16 both by Russell.

    It seems that the buses used on routes out of Merton Garage (AL) don’t meet with your approval. Let me say that as a driver on 2 of the 3 routes you mentioned I find myself in agreement.

    The original intake of the Volvo President PVL class was fine, from a drivers perspective, however subsequent “improvements” have made them worse and worse with each batch.

    I don’t know if anyone else who has driven these buses has noticed, but the drivers cab has reduced in size with each intake. The newest batch, (brought in for the reintroduction of double deckers on route 155), fleet numbers PVL 3XX/4XX are unbearable. I try to have the bus subbed if I am allocated one of these.

    Strangely, the wright bodied (WVL) and East Lancs (EVL) both have spacious cabs, and much better passenger accomodation in my opinion. The only other buses that seem to have this problem are the PDL class (Dennis Trident Presidents) based at Stockwell, so perhaps it is a Plaxton issue.

    Answering the issues of favourite buses, it would have to be the Leyland National, with it’s original semi-automatic “pause” gearbox.

    The worst, was the 10.7m Dennis Darts, as mentioned in the 219 route post. They seemed to think that they didn’t need to upgrade the brakes despite the extra weight/capacity etc. Truly awful from a drivers perspective.

    I will shut up now.

    Comment by Dave. (Admits to being a Bus Driver in London) — Wednesday 31 January 2007 @ 7:02 am

  31. OK no I won’t shut up.

    I haven’t had the opportunity to drive the Enviros yet although I understand that they are reasonably popular with the drivers, the only complaint being that the exit doors are very slow to close, which seems to be a problem with most new buses.

    Comment by Dave. (Admits to being a Bus Driver in London) — Wednesday 31 January 2007 @ 7:06 am

  32. Back to GJ and post 27. Re the fat cats who have done very nicely from privatisation [thank you!].
    Yes I think we know who you mean GJ, and that one person in particular. Apparently you have to be careful, as this person employs his underlings to trawl the web-sites to seek out critics [of his enlightened transport policies!!], and have them sacked!
    As for your last remark, “Thank goodness for TFL”, I think not!
    OK it’s good that they kept some regulation in London [though this was no benefit to staff pay/conditions]. Trouble is, TFL is too big and unwealdly now. Streets and even taxis etc etc. And they think they are an operator like LT! Then there is the misnomer of London buses. Funny that, I thought it had been privatised. But then I suppose it fools Joe Public into thinking there is some sort of integrated transport system, as opposed to merely an admin department!

    Favourite bus –
    1.Routemaster, no contest. Especially RM580
    2. RA leyland [CIE]
    3.. Scania omni-city

    Comment by bill — Wednesday 31 January 2007 @ 11:19 am

  33. #post 29. Dave. The best bus a Leyland National!!! You’ve gotta be having a cream bath! Maybe they were for you as a driver, but for me as a passenger, I loathed those things with a passion!!

    Anyway, thats enough from me on the subject, but if anyone has any answers regarding post 25 (the metroline strike) I would be very greatful.

    Comment by GJ — Wednesday 31 January 2007 @ 11:36 pm

  34. Fair comment GJ.

    I was talking about a drivers perspective, although I didn’t find them too bad as a passenger, although that was outside of London.

    The main problem tended to be drivers force shifting the gears, which resulted in a huge lurch as it dropped into the selected gear. Driven well they gave a pretty smooth ride, quite a lot better than some of the Autos about today.

    That’s my last word. Honest.

    Comment by Dave. (Admits to being a Bus Driver in London) — Thursday 1 February 2007 @ 1:27 pm

  35. Dave (admitting etc etc).
    Interesting to c ur point re door operating speeds.
    Here in Dublin our ALX`s are now on their N`th variation.
    The latest “Safety” related mod is to enable some form of silly counterproductive “Door Brake” interlock.
    The essence of this is to place yet another layer of electronics between the Drivers finger and the door operating mechanism all of which leads to delay and indecision…..The 2 greatest enemies of the Bus Driver !!

    Comment by Alek Smart — Thursday 1 February 2007 @ 5:04 pm

  36. Going back to #27 & #31 on TfL wasting money. Maybe someone could enlighten me as to why TfL persists in awarding new contracts to companies with garages miles off the routes they have won. Recently they have awarded the 272, 440 and E11 to NCP, who’s depot is in Twickenham, some distance from any of the routes. Surely it would have saved money to leave the routes with their existing operators, as the 272 and 440 both passed Transdev’s Stamford Brook garage, and the E11 ran pretty damn close to First’s Greenford garage. Also the 7 has recently gone from First Westbourne Park (practically on the line of the route) to Metroline who have no garages anywhere near to the route.
    Now i know TfL like to avoid individual companies having area monopolies, and tend to favour smaller companies, but surely this is at the expense of a decent and reliable service if the buses and drivers are constantly having to shuttled through heavy traffic from their garages to their routes.
    Madness surely??!!!

    Comment by ejc — Friday 2 February 2007 @ 12:02 am

  37. Going back to ejc (entry 35) I do agree what you say about dead mileage, TfL own company shot themself with route 393, when they moved out of Asg Grove {AG}, they took a north london route to there new garage at Mandela Way {MA}, now they and put this route out to tender and Arriva had won the route and this is going to be run out of it’s old home – Ash Grove but with new garage code of {AE}, Also East Thames Buses were going to take over route 78 from Arriva because it passes Mandela Way, This was going to happen at the same time when they took over route 1 back in NOvenber 2005, but at Mandela Way Garage, Go-Ahead owns some of that site where they store there training buses and new buses awaiting going into service. East Thames are making mistakes and they are ment to be the flagship company of london buses.

    Comment by Richard — Friday 2 February 2007 @ 7:30 pm


    Comment by Richard — Friday 2 February 2007 @ 7:38 pm

  39. According to, NCP challenger have a garage at Park Royal. Could this mean that all of the routes won could operate there?

    Comment by Russell — Friday 2 February 2007 @ 8:37 pm

  40. sorry, just to be more specific. The garage is Park Royal (garage code PK) which is on Atlas Road in Harlesden.

    Comment by Russell — Friday 2 February 2007 @ 8:41 pm

  41. Thanks #39, i didn’t know that. Still not as convenient as Stamford Brook or Greenford for those routes though!

    #38- East Thames Buses the flagship company of London Buses. Don’t make me laugh! I thought Metroline was bad, but these guys really take the biscuit. They took over the 201 from Centra last May, and the DWL’s allocated STILL do ot have full blinds for that route, 8 months later! Their buses are ALWAYS grubby and in a generally poor state. I used to use the 185 frequently, and it was chronically unreliable (maybe because the garage was about 5 miles off route- see a theme here!?), and the VP’s used unaccountably always smelt of vomit! Flagship my a**e, flagshi* more like…..

    Comment by ejc — Saturday 3 February 2007 @ 12:50 am

  42. What makes me laugh is the use of the term ‘London buses’ by TfL, as if this was some kind of unified single company/operator. As for the term flagship, well I hardly think the word appropriate for any of the privateers!!
    Transdev, metroline, arriva et al are all meaningless to me. Call me old fashioned and I know we are stuck with this mess until some fat politician comes along with the idea of a ‘real’ unified operator for London [as in 1933!!].

    Richard in post 36 above mentions that Ash Grove is using the new garage code of Alpha Echo. Absolute sacrilidge! [even worse than using the name of London buses in vein!]. AE was the code for the former Hendon garage. A great and friendly little garage that was.

    Comment by bill — Monday 5 February 2007 @ 8:52 am

  43. I travel on many buses and the worst for me is (Transdev) London Soverign. The drivers are AWFUL. One of them hit many kerbs at roundabouts, shut the rear doors to early (giving people a limited time to get out) and was far too fast. This was on a 114 VLE a couple of years ago. (Luckily an SLE behind had a better driver).

    Comment by Chris — Saturday 17 February 2007 @ 2:07 pm

  44. In response to #26 I can’t see why there would be any compensation paid. Sure there is a small loss to TfL of on bus cash revenue but TfL will simply not pay Metroline the contract fees for all of the services that did not run. Money on Oyster cards for PAYG and Travelcards would be used for other services or would be unused but TfL do not refund passengers where one bus operator does not operate. Therefore on balance it will be Metroline who are out of pocket.

    in response to #32 – if the person we are talking about does what you suggest then I am surprised I have not been sacked several times over. I think he has actually got rather more important things to do than have websites put under surveillance. On the wider issue of the cost of TfL’s bus services then I think people are missing the point about the actual service being delivered. Overall the service levels are good, many are being improved and the actual reliability and performance of the network is better than it has been for many years. Yes it may cost a lot of money but give me the TfL bus network any day of the week compared to what exists elsewhere.

    for #38 – TfL do not hold stocks of spare buses for operators. The Darts for the W19 were hired by Docklands Buses from a dealer until their new buses arrived. The responsibility for having vehicles ready for service on new or existing contracts rests with the operator and not TfL.

    The Thing

    Comment by The Thing — Saturday 17 February 2007 @ 2:18 pm

  45. #44 (The Thing)

    Thank you for letting me know about the loan buses which Docklands Buses had for the start of the W19, just to say the reason why I asked was that when East Thames Buses {London Buses Ltd.}, when they were based at Ash Grove Garage, where the garage is very large, they did keep a small fleet of spare buses, these where from the 108 {Exels} and 42 Former Limebourne / Easylink {Pointer Darts}, these were loaned to Blue Triangle when they won route 66 until there buses arrived. this is on the old london bus page.

    Also the two main bus dealers which bus companies use are EnsignBus & Dawsons Bus rentels.

    Comment by Richard — Saturday 17 February 2007 @ 9:55 pm

  46. In response to #12, the seats are ‘cosmic’ ones and are not very good. The newer ones on the 155 are even worse as they had no cushon, just like some cotton on hard wood. Also, there is a step right at the sides upstair which means that your feet aren’t at one level. Also, the seats on the new Scania omnicities for Transdev are really bad.

    Comment by Chris — Thursday 1 March 2007 @ 8:56 pm

  47. Also, in response to #13, the 493 was only taken oven temporarily and it’s lucky that a service could be provided!

    Comment by Chris — Thursday 1 March 2007 @ 8:58 pm

  48. someone told me this bus is gonna have tv displays on board that advertises about tv shows and thing like the same as the buses they use for the bus that came out in 2004 that had the same thing. but i’m not sure if thats gonna be installed.

    Comment by Dean Manley — Friday 20 April 2007 @ 12:03 pm

  49. Right now i don’t give a toss. a bus is a bus its on 4 wheels and takes people places who cares if its got panoramic view i can see better views from my backside

    Comment by Dean Manley — Monday 30 April 2007 @ 11:27 am

  50. well, I suppose metroline aren’t as bad as MTL (BTW I live in archway) but they do have some nasty drivers.

    in response to #41, a few years back, one of 271’s NC Palatines was showing via points for the 91(!) whilst in service.

    as for vehicle types, i think the enviros are *ok*, Presidents are moderate, but my least favourite type are the 159’s new VLAs (urban90 seats??! Arriva come on)

    but, one of my favourite all-time vehicles were the Alexander RH olympians (which were on the 4 in ’05) – sounded great, and was an enjoyable ride

    Comment by T.R. — Thursday 24 May 2007 @ 8:27 pm

  51. my school buses in the isle of man are olimpians or titans they are fast but get pushed far to hard downhill and uphill they sometimes (the drivers)f##ck up the driveshaft there reving the f##ck out of it then puts it in drive this is the funny part,and actully expects it to take that kind of abuse. they have cummins engines i thing. and theres a peep noise coming from the cab,because they corner at high speed does anyone know wat that noise is e.g stall,air pressure or something bad. the other day my morning bus the driver. (marshal dennis dart longest version)heavily braking caused the bus to skid about 1 metre about forward they make a bad noise when there in top gear like the crank or drive shft is about to give or summin its very alrming i thing some of them think there driving a nissan 350z or summin. i like buses im not wierd i like cars, bikes and boats also areoplanes. is there anyone who likes optare spectras i thing there propa good.

    Comment by edd age 13 — Friday 12 October 2007 @ 9:59 pm

  52. we have 3 or 4 optare spectras in the isle of man im going to be a bus driver and i know and my mum knows people in the bus driving i pratise on games like the getaway wich is based in london not black monday the first getaway about 4 quid in game or faze it helps me to negoiciate turns and phisics of buses,i have made my own routes it pretty intresting.the single deckers wich are transbus optare deltas therye the best looking and modern the routmasters are crap on the game,but good in real life probally .theres a new game for windows called bus driving simulater just type in on google.leyland olimpians handle really well you go into the corner at about 3omph and give it full throttle out of the corner if your upstairs youl be quite alarmed but downstairs it feels good theres never any seats so standing at the front is the only option,one day the olimpian after school was badly over-revving in first gear i was jerking into park(hand brake) when at lights.i thing the tranny had,had it.i know black smokes ok but blue smoke is bad the roads over here in the isle of man arnt excactly smooth but the amount of rattles coming from the dafs and dennis”es is unaceptable.espeically the dennis tridents. we had atlanteans they were quite powerfull not much in the way of modern though.the enviros are sh#t and should be sold to afganistan and used as camell feeders!

    Comment by edd age 13 — Friday 12 October 2007 @ 10:26 pm

  53. OK. Having voiciferously slagged Metroline off several times on these very pages, I have come to a slightly reformed opinion, and would like to repent (a bit).

    Having recently been using the 390 quite a lot, I have discovered that generally speaking the interiors of these buses are quite immaculate. They have actually been cleaned properly: the ‘wipe-clean’ surfaces that abound in all modern buses, but are never wiped clean, in these have been! The floors have been swept AND mopped! The windows have been cleaned of grease! I find this quite amazing since the standards of cleanliness in most London buses are appalling.

    Compare this with Transdev’s buses on the 94 and 148 which are filthy. They have very light-coloured wipe-clean (again)surfaces that are NEVER wiped clean, it is quite disgusting to think of what lies beneath the stains. Also the floors of these buses often look like someone has had a ‘bowel movement’ on them. Come on Shepherd’s Bush- sort it out, and get some cleaners!

    Although I still wish Metroline would sort their fleet numbering out. Oh well, in terms of Londons buses you can’t have everything it seems…

    Comment by ejc — Tuesday 16 October 2007 @ 1:19 pm

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