The London Bus Page In Exile

Sunday 29 July 2007

Double-Deckers for Epsom Buses

Filed under: Companies, Routes, Service Changes, Vehicles — londonbuspageinexile @ 5:42 pm

Epsom Buses Enviro400 DD 04 (SK07 DZD) at Kingston, Saturday 30th June 2007 Epsom Buses Enviro400 DD 10 (SK07 DZL) at Kingston, Saturday 30th June 2007
Two contract awards on 30th June placed the 406 and 418 with Epsom Buses, who trade as Quality Line. This brought them their first double-deckers, in the shape of ten Enviro400s (four each and one spare). Here at Kingston on the traffic-plagued first day are DD 04 (SK07 DZD, left), and DD 10 (SK07 DZL). Just visible behind the second bus is an example of the other contract change to take place on that day, the transfer of the 465 from Travel London (West) back to Arriva Guildford & West Surrey with six new Enviro200Darts.



  1. I’m not too sure about this new slight re-routing via Surbiton Hill Road instead of Surbiton Station, what was the reason or the point behind it?

    Funnily enough, I waited ages for a shot of one of these on Surbiton Hill Road today – but my camera failed on me!

    Comment by — Sunday 29 July 2007 @ 10:41 pm

  2. Two reasons for using the 1991 406 route are to save time and appease residents of Surbiton Crescent who complain of too many buses. Route 418 was diverted via it’s former route along Hook Road West Ewell last week due to much needed resurfacing in Chessington Road. A 293 route branded Mercedes appeared on the 418 on 15 July when double deckers were used for rail replacement services just displaying the route number in the front nearside windscreen.
    The final 465 terminating journey in Kingston runs back light to Warnham Station a distance of 25 miles. Is this a record for light running in the former LT area?

    Comment by Graham Burnell — Monday 30 July 2007 @ 7:02 am

  3. Seems so, even the 225 when operted by Barking (DX) was only 10.5 miles from Lewisham and the 286 is the same from Cutty Sark to Dartford, the 268 is 15 miles Finchley Rd to Garston and the 205 is the same from Mile End to Perivale. I cant think of any others, 25 miles is a lot arent there any closer garages to that?

    Comment by Martin — Tuesday 31 July 2007 @ 12:04 am

  4. I’d completely forgotten about the diversion away from Surbiton Station – the blinds, of course, are of no help whatsoever, and TfL think it beneath them to even inform people by way of bus stop publicity, which is plain deceitful. I can bet that the first anybody will have heard of the changes was when their bus kept going rather than took the right towards Surbiton; as with most of these changes, the driver will have borne the brunt of any complaints (and therefore, possible aggro), which is not fair to them either.
    Still, in this sector the 406 and 418 are fairly secondary routes which I’m not sure really merit double-deck operation (at least not both of them); the 71 (I almost said 65 – showing my age!) and whichever of the K-routes gets to Surbiton from the backstreets can shoulder the burden.

    Comment by londonbuspageinexile — Tuesday 31 July 2007 @ 6:10 pm

  5. Running dead for 25 miles is rediculous. It’s high time TfL were made to account for the huge amount of money wasted on dead running in London. At my present employment at HT, there are 31 buses on the 134 and 30 on the 43, most of which run dead to North Finchley/Friern Barnet am, and dead back pm, plus spreadover buses. That’s 122 dead runs every weekday! How much does this cost in fuel, drivers wages and wear & tear? At T I operated a 55 duty which ran dead from T to Oxford Circus, worked a rounder, then dead back from Oxford Circus to T! But then the idea of TfL being held to account for anything seems laughable.

    Comment by Owen — Wednesday 1 August 2007 @ 9:56 am

  6. The only reason I think is that the 418 does get busy with people going to Tolworth, and also the diversion means it passes a school and it needs dds to cope. How far is it from Croydon to Crawley for route 405 or Heathrow to Croydon (X26) or route 420 from Sutton to Crwaley (I know that isn’t really a TFL route). How can Arriva operate the 465 cheaply enough to win the contract with that dead mileage anyway?

    Comment by Chris — Wednesday 1 August 2007 @ 9:07 pm

  7. I’ve been on several 418s with standing loads.

    Comment by Chris — Wednesday 1 August 2007 @ 9:08 pm

  8. Complete off topic – the 493 has been diverted between Wimbledon and Tooting (missing the main stop at Wimbledon stn.) and the 131 has been extended. The 493 really needs to be shortened, unrealiability and a not-so-high frequency meant that one bus was completely full up bewtween Wimbledon tennis courts and nr. the station.

    Comment by Chris — Wednesday 1 August 2007 @ 9:13 pm

  9. I think that Chris is on the right track as Expresslink 726 ran positioning journeys from Kent to Heathrow and Kingston. As a rough guide Google Map shows Dartford via M25 to Heathrow as 59.9 miles and Dartford via M25/A243 44.7 miles. I remember seeing the early A.M. vehicle running n/b through Chessington to start at Kingston. It appears that the X26 light running is now only between Croydon and the shed.
    Following the Citaro on the 418 SD53 was used on 31 July with number and destination in windscreen.
    I too used the 493 (yesterday) from Wimbledon foolishly thinking Garratt Lane was served prior to St. Georges Hospital. At least I could check in the hospital that the old spider map is still being issued despite changes to 57, 131 & 493.

    Comment by Graham Burnell — Thursday 2 August 2007 @ 8:51 am

  10. I thought that it would be like that. How about the 169? (can’t remember the route no.) between Silvertown and Debden?

    Comment by Chris — Thursday 2 August 2007 @ 1:34 pm

  11. In response to one of the flickr pics – have some of the DLO/DLPs returned to TGM (former owners of Capital Logistics – that disaster) with Wiltax?

    Comment by Chris — Thursday 2 August 2007 @ 1:37 pm

  12. #11, no, the Spectra is currently on extended hire with Wiltax – but indeed it is in service with TGM

    Comment by Arriva436 — Thursday 2 August 2007 @ 2:14 pm

  13. #10, sorry, I meant the 167!

    Comment by Chris — Thursday 2 August 2007 @ 7:17 pm

  14. #5, it may well be that in the contract spec, TFL have specified a timetable with these journeys starting/finishing as you describe. However, whichever company has been awarded the contract will have made it’s own decision when tendering, of where they will operate from and how much their dead mileage/costs will be. So whilst I am no fan of TFL, your employers are probably more responsible for this waste of the planet’s resources than TFL.

    Comment by Doug Ely — Friday 3 August 2007 @ 12:50 pm

  15. #14 (and others)

    TfL is not responsible for dead mileage, they just specify the timetable and bidders bid for it, probably factoring in dead runs into the cost. IIRC TfL do not automatically award routes to the lower bidder, but will go for higher bids if they believe it will offer better quality etc etc.

    I have, however, wondered how long it will be before TfL decide to put some element of CO2 emissions measuring into their specs and ask bidders declare how much CO2 their operation would produce, taking into account route mileage and dead mileage as well as CO2 emissions from things like garages and workshops. Will we soon see the emergence of a so called “carbon neutral” route where operators offset the carbon produced?

    Comment by ANDREW WEBB — Friday 3 August 2007 @ 7:15 pm

  16. #15. If that happened we’d be overrun by trees! No wonder Stagecoach got out

    Comment by Arriva436 — Saturday 4 August 2007 @ 2:48 pm

  17. #15, your second paragraph makes a lot of sense and is of course a very valid point.
    However, your first paragraph infers that I am blaming TFL for the dead mileage incurred on contracts, which if you read the post I am clearly not.
    Of course TFL look for “best value”, not neccesarily lowest price, as do most government and local authority tenders for all manner of things.

    Comment by Doug Ely — Saturday 4 August 2007 @ 8:19 pm

  18. London Buses (through East Thames Buses) has been responsible for considerable dead mileage by basing buses in Belvedere for routes like the 108 and 185.

    In the same area the 453 generates lots of expensive empty miles between Plumstead and Deptford.

    Comment by chris — Monday 6 August 2007 @ 9:43 pm

  19. Aren’t these modern vehicles ugly!
    These look like they’ve got Male Pattern Baldness!

    Comment by Andy — Wednesday 8 August 2007 @ 5:23 pm

  20. On a completley different subject, anyone know why the 148 has got MORE new Scania’s, albeit to a different (and much better) design….??

    Comment by ejc — Monday 20 August 2007 @ 1:35 am

  21. #20, because of the extension of the 131 to Tooting!

    Comment by ctrh136 — Saturday 1 September 2007 @ 2:12 pm

  22. Thankyou #21, as soon as i’d asked the question i worked that out! I was having a bit of a blond day!

    Has anyone travelled on them yet? They’re a real step up in quality- proper leather seats, with cushions! Fantastically comfortable, although the ride is typical Scania- on the crashing side. The build quality seems a little better than previous East Lancs offerings, but still not up to the standard of WrightBus.

    They suit the TLU livery very well too- very smart looking. I for one am glad they’re not going for the all-over red that their SP’s carry…

    Comment by ejc — Thursday 6 September 2007 @ 11:33 am

  23. I went on one of First’s 3 year old VNWs and I thought that it was not in good condition at all and it seemed worn out. #22, the SOs are better with the leather seats but there should be more at the top deck back, also what sort of buses will Transdev get from the 382 to Heathrow (as leather would get damaged)

    Comment by ctrh136 — Saturday 8 September 2007 @ 1:11 pm

  24. # 23 – That’s a long extension on the 382 – Southgate to Heathrow, what would the PVR be, think you meant 482 Southall to Heathrow

    Comment by Alan — Wednesday 3 October 2007 @ 12:38 pm

  25. #24 I wonder whether routes 482 & 350 will participate in the Heathrow Freeflow scheme. Currently routes 435 & X26 do not.

    Comment by GB — Monday 22 October 2007 @ 6:04 am

  26. […] taken from a blog about london buses […]

    Pingback by Two^Sixteen » Blog Archive » Review Friday: The 406 — Saturday 15 December 2007 @ 12:06 am

  27. i think between about 3 and 7 the 163 between morden and wimbledon should be double decker and i agree with Andy, 19, the enviros are the ugliest buses i have ever seen, well at least the 400’s are

    Comment by morten — Wednesday 2 January 2008 @ 12:08 pm

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