The London Bus Page In Exile

Friday 21 September 2007

Showbus 2007, part 3

Filed under: Companies, Special Events, Vehicles — londonbuspageinexile @ 6:52 pm

Three Stagecoach Cambus Enviro400s at Showbus, 16 September 2007)

I’m a fan neither of route branding (tacky, patronising, impractical) nor of the Enviro400 (dull, dull, dull), but this Stagecoach Cambus trio manage to make both look really good. The last set of schemes for the Cambridge Park & Ride was pretty decent as well, and Ray Stenning’s taken care to adapt the new version to the lines of the bus.
From left to right are 19298 (AE07 KYY), 19314 (AE07 KZR) and 19302 (AE07 KZC).



  1. Wahey! Yet more photos of those Enviros that I have been on several times (living just outside cambridge and all) But the routebranding is quite important on these vehicles as the front display scrolls through where it is going via at unreadable speeds. the only display showing the destination is the one on the side which is difficul to see as it approaches you. I preferred the ex london tridents that did those services before… they look much better, but not as modern, as the enviros.

    Comment by GeneralAdam — Saturday 22 September 2007 @ 11:10 pm

  2. Would you believe I missed this colourful enviro line-up at Showbus!
    I actually like the enviro, it’s the curves on the upper deck front and to a lesser extent rear windows and that splendid front windscreen too.

    Comment by bill — Tuesday 25 September 2007 @ 10:10 am

  3. I may be showing my age here, but to me, they look like trolleybuses that have had their traction poles bent forward over the front windows… šŸ™‚ I don’t like the look of them that much, they are too rounded for my tastes.

    I know.. don’t tell me

    I’m crazy..

    Comment by IsarSteve — Tuesday 25 September 2007 @ 12:05 pm

  4. I never said that Steve!!!
    Anyway, on the subject of curves and roundness especially the upper deck windows, am I the only one to that thinks enviros are sort of….routemaster-esque?
    Maybe I’m nuts too!!

    PS Steve where did you find the smiley??

    Comment by bill — Tuesday 25 September 2007 @ 10:57 pm

  5. I must admit I do like the look of the enviro although have never traveled in one as they look modern compared to a lot of the buises I see around London. The thought that occurred to me when I first saw the pic was that the Blue version looked like an advert for Oyster!

    Comment by Bob — Wednesday 26 September 2007 @ 8:08 am

  6. #5- you really don’t want to travel on one. The acceleration and braking is very jerky (with ALL drivers- believe me i travel on them a lot!), the ride is quite uncomfortable, and the interior is very cheap looking and feeling. Try one of Transdev’s new SO class of Scania N230/East Lancs Olympus- a much, much better vehicle- they even have leather seats! Even though the ride is also quite crashing, they feel more solid, and built to last, the Enviro400 feels very flimsy and cheap by comparison.

    Comment by ejc — Wednesday 26 September 2007 @ 9:15 am

  7. I think the livery makes them look more curved than they really are. At least the buses look happy.:-)

    Steve – are German buses (like older Volvos) designed with a ruler and set square then?

    Comment by pvc — Wednesday 26 September 2007 @ 10:24 am

  8. Alexander’s have constructed a thoroughly ugly beast in the Enviro 400. Two unsightly scaffold poles either side of the upper deck do nothing to improve it.
    It’s overseas companion, Enviro 500 is a far happier looking specimen. Alternatively, bring back the R-type in low-floor configuration.

    Comment by John of Harrogate — Wednesday 26 September 2007 @ 10:13 pm

  9. this is a test posting.. I’ve tried three times unsuccesfully with a link so thought I test a posting without a link..

    #4 : – ) but without spacing…..

    Comment by IsarSteve — Friday 28 September 2007 @ 9:39 am

  10. i agree that they are Routemaster-esque but I disagree with people about the ride and the rattles. They rattle a lot less than some buses I’ve been on. Also, the poles on the front are to protect them from tree branches which the coucil are supposed to cut back but never bother doing. The older Plaxton Tridents that do tha 13/13A/X13 routes to Haverhill all had damaged front ends due to low-lying branches.

    Comment by Gene Hunt (formerly GeneralAdam) — Friday 28 September 2007 @ 7:39 pm

  11. I think route branding is one of the better modern innovations and for me just highlights how dull and drab London buses are in all red livery.

    Comment by john — Saturday 29 September 2007 @ 9:36 am

  12. Well documented from Mr Hunt, regarding the overhanging branches around the country roads of Cambridgeshire. High time the local authority got their fingers out and started pruning. Otherwise, I’m sure there’s a Stagecoach open topper somewhere that could deputise as a tree lopper for the duration. Let us not have any nonsense from either party about financial constraints. Compensation to an injured passenger as a result of shattered glass caused by a tree branch would far exceed the cost of pruning. Get on with it!
    Full marks to the other John, too, for his comments on the dull London bus livery. Never has the fleet looked so dismal. Personally, I’m only too glad I moved out of London in 1990. By the time the Routemaster fleet met its’ demise in 2005, they looked an absolute disgrace – and no mistake.

    Comment by John of Harrogate — Sunday 30 September 2007 @ 4:57 pm

  13. Thanks! I suppose it would be possible to use a open topper instead, but not right now as they are all packed, and there is only 4 citysightseeing buses (ex stagecoach cambus volvo olympians) in Cambridge, these are the only opentops since the 10 MCW metrobuses left 2 years ago. Maybe they will cut them down this winter, but the council seem to thinks that their crappy guided bus from cambs city centre to st ives will solve all the worlds problems, and somehow reduce lorries on the A14, one of the Uk’s deadliest roads. Unless they are planning to use the guided busway as a lorry bypass as well it will not solve anything apart from yet again proving that our council is S**T.

    Comment by Gene Hunt — Sunday 30 September 2007 @ 8:31 pm

  14. Actually, a Trident has just crashed into a tree branch while doing route X46. If this was in Cambridge
    I doubt, I think it was in Bedford, but I hope no-one was hurt or will be hurt by accidents like that again. Apparently that is the THIRD time this year that bus has hit a tree branch.

    Comment by Gene Hunt — Monday 1 October 2007 @ 9:08 pm

  15. The Enviro 400 ia a definite improvement on the ALX 400 which was possibly the most boring looking bus ever designed!

    Comment by Steve23589 — Tuesday 2 October 2007 @ 8:22 pm

  16. I don’t think so Steve… Anyway, who is Ray Stenning? It sounds like he designs liveries for Stagecoach.

    Comment by Gene Hunt — Wednesday 3 October 2007 @ 8:01 am

  17. Thank you Gene, for an interesting insight into Cambridgeshire County Council’s philosophy on the guided busway twixt Cambridge and St Ives. Quite how this is expected to reduce haulage traffic is baffling. If there were fewer lorries on our roads, many shopping centres and supermarkets would have empty shelves….
    How else does the produce reach the stores? I know of no out of town shopping precinct with a railway siding adjacent. Besides, if we had to await the delivery of foodstuffs by rail, most of the perishable goods would be just that – perished! Happy days.

    Comment by John of Harrogate — Wednesday 3 October 2007 @ 7:21 pm

  18. Cheers!
    Blame Alan Beeching!

    Comment by Gene Hunt — Wednesday 3 October 2007 @ 8:42 pm

  19. Gene, Ray Stenning of Best Impressions has done designing for quite a few individual route leaflets in London.

    I myself prefer the Enviro 500, as it dont look so rounded but this livery made them look good.

    DING DING!! Joh got it right there, the 90% red is sooooo boring and is kinda putting me off travelling on the TfL bus network!

    Comment by Martin — Wednesday 3 October 2007 @ 11:40 pm

  20. Cambridgeshire is not the only council where Stagecoach has had problems with Enviro 400s and trees. Three were purchased recently for the Wiltshire County Council tendered 49 from Swindon to Trowbridge. Swiftly withdrawn awaiting tree lopping after several broken windows, I don’t yet know if they are back on the route, something about the council having to get permission from the landowner to lop the trees. Guess the bus designers don’t help either though by having glass virtually up to the roof, but hey ho, it looks “good”.

    Comment by ANDREW WEBB — Thursday 4 October 2007 @ 6:16 pm

  21. The designers don’t really live in the real world-thats why all of the Tridents and other post-2000 buses cannot get up a steep hill on my route, slowing from 40 to 20 mph. The olympians can power up there at 30-40 and then rocket down the other side at 60-80 mph!

    Comment by Gene Hunt — Friday 5 October 2007 @ 7:41 am

  22. Euro 3-engined Tridents seem pretty comptetent hill-climbers. It’s the Euro 2-engined ones which are awful. All that noise and revving, but no guts.

    Comment by Steve23589 — Friday 5 October 2007 @ 11:54 pm

  23. We have some 2000 registration Euro 2 engined tridents, have a good roar to them but cannot make it up the hills as you said, poor acceleration also, and the newer tridents must be the same registered 2004, sound completely different but sound like the enviros, high pitched whistle caused by the Cummins engine and Voith gearbox with four gears instead of the older ones which were three gears only. Doesn’t help them up hills; the enviros have 5-speed gearboxes but havent had a chance to do a route where they encounter a hill or even reach top speed! Just wait till they do my route, Ill be at sixthform in 5 mins when they are used!

    Comment by Gene Hunt — Saturday 6 October 2007 @ 9:58 am

  24. The ex-London Tridents, formerly on the Cambridge P&R, have made their way to East Devon. They made quite a splash when they appeared in their bright colours but are slowly being re-painted in the standard Stagecoach Devon livery. They are mainly allocated to the 57 Route from Exeter to Exmouth but have also made appearances on the peak season only 95 Route from Exmouth to Sandy Bay. I wonder if anyone asked for a Ā£2 ticket to Cambridge?

    Comment by Chris Fox — Tuesday 30 October 2007 @ 8:40 pm

  25. Oh look, surprise Suprise, Pictures of modern buses and someone (#4) has to bring routemasters into the debate.

    Get over the Routemaster will you, its all over.

    Metrobus Rules.

    Comment by Andy Moore — Sunday 4 November 2007 @ 9:33 pm

  26. How can you compare an Enviro to an RM? An Enviro hasnt got a draughty open end or moth eaten uncomfortable seats and it doesnt look like a prehistoric tin chicken house! šŸ™‚

    Comment by Edward Pearce — Monday 5 November 2007 @ 11:07 pm

  27. Am I the only one that thinks that having a strip of the main body colour above & below the destination display improves the look of these. TFL don’t seem to include the front in their 90% red rule. Why is so much black used, and the Enviro 400 isn’t the worst for this.

    Comment by Barrie Lee — Tuesday 27 November 2007 @ 6:13 pm

  28. I drive the Enviro 400. It gets referred to frequently by passengers as a spaceship. It is a very comfortable ride, nice and curvy, and good power while driving. What lets it down is the electrical faults that plague the Trident 1 & 2’s.

    Comment by Craig — Friday 14 March 2008 @ 12:06 am

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    Comment by Fiskar Pruner — Sunday 19 December 2010 @ 3:30 pm

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