The London Bus Page In Exile

Monday 8 October 2007

Will the 316 gain double-deck buses?

Filed under: Companies, Routes, Service Changes — londonbuspageinexile @ 9:23 pm


From time to time I look at my search statistics and see if anyone’s asked questions that brought them here, and whether I might be able to answer them. One I just saw is ‘Will the 316 gain double-deck buses’?

No, and yes; from 13 October it’s being split in two and the northern section handed over to new double-deck route 332, which will provide a further link towards town as far as Marylebone. The 316 was already part of a split route, the old 16, which was curtailed at Cricklewood garage this time ten years ago. Once the White City complex is in place, the 316 will be projected southwards towards it. The 316 started under Thorpe’s late in 2002, but the subsequent movement of that company under Metroline brought in its existing Darts like DLD 110 (T39 KLD), seen swinging into Ladbroke Grove Sainsbury’s on 3rd March 2007.



  1. I like the “bolder” typeface.. much easier to read. 🙂

    Comment by IsarSteve — Monday 8 October 2007 @ 10:06 pm

  2. I agree with IsarSteve, much better to read in my old age of 16!

    Comment by Gene Hunt — Tuesday 9 October 2007 @ 7:24 pm

  3. Surely double-deck routes are far more cost effective than single deck routes? Whenever a route is converted the ridership almost always increases, and the buses qucikly fill up justifying the cost involved in increasing the amount of seats.
    IMHO all routes should be double decked if physically possible as they mostly generate their own traffic.
    (and you get a much better view!)

    Comment by ejc — Wednesday 10 October 2007 @ 12:00 am

  4. #3 That was always the LTB/LTE’s credo – one driver carrying as many passengers as possible.

    Once LT abandoned this idea in the late 1960s, things started to go wrong.

    Comment by IsarSteve — Wednesday 10 October 2007 @ 10:22 am

  5. I’m not surprised Steve, single decks obviously carry less people per fuel amount and road space.

    Comment by Gene Hunt — Wednesday 10 October 2007 @ 6:39 pm

  6. I’d be interested to know whether drivers who drive larger vehicles get paid more. I know bendy drivers earn huge amounts, is this the same on single versus double decks?
    If they do, then surely it must make doubles much, much more cost effective….

    Comment by ejc — Wednesday 10 October 2007 @ 10:35 pm

  7. In the past, double deck services attracted a premium payment to drivers. As far as I’m aware though, this has now been rationalised across all London operators and all drivers receive a flat wage, regardless of vehicle type. Correct me if I’m wrong!

    Comment by Ed — Thursday 11 October 2007 @ 2:48 pm

  8. Outside London more pay for larger vehicles is normal, as with the bendies.

    Comment by Gene Hunt — Thursday 11 October 2007 @ 5:33 pm

  9. So there are plenty of routes that could be costing almost the same to run, but with larger vehicles, and therefore more passengers equalling more money for TfL (such as the 42, 78, 214, 391, to name but a few, all of which desperately need bigger buses). They’re really missing a trick with that, you’d have thought that they’d have been straight onto that one…. But then again they do seem to have a propensity for wasting money; bendies, annoying on board automated announcements, pointless advertising etc. But at least they’re saving money by getting cheap diesel from a third world country, isn’t that great?

    Oh well, I guess we should be grateful that they provide a proper service, unlike the unregulated crap out in the provinces, even if we do have to put up with their idiosyncracies….

    Comment by ejc — Thursday 11 October 2007 @ 11:53 pm

  10. The real waste of money is TfL’s involvement in the development of Hydrogen buses, when they should be investing big time in Hybrid buses at the moment.
    Once development on Hydrogen vehicles has advanced and it becomes cheaper, that is the time to invest.

    Comment by pvc — Friday 12 October 2007 @ 7:48 am

  11. #10 Investing in the development of Hydrogen buses has I think more to do with Public Relations, than real innovation. Basically, it looks good!
    By the way here in Berlin, we have around 10 Hydrogen fuelled vehicles (normal & articulated) in daily service.. are the London examples still working?

    Comment by IsarSteve — Friday 12 October 2007 @ 9:30 am

  12. #11 – I don’t think the hydrogen buses have been around for a while now.
    However there are 4 or 5 hybrid single deckers currently running on the 360, and a bio-fuel double decker running on the 141.
    Also there is ethanol-fuelled bus on the 148 although it’s been quite elusive of late- i’m not sure whether it’s still operational. Having travelled on it a few times, I can tell you that it absolutely stinks inside of what I assume is ethanol. It actually became resonably overpowering at times- I hope they sort that out if we’re going to get more of them!

    Comment by ejc — Friday 12 October 2007 @ 10:52 am

  13. No, the decdker on the 141 isn’t bid-diesel, it’s a hybrid too.

    The Ethonal bus has gone to Reading, when it’s finished there it will tour the country

    And Travel London are due five Eleoctrocity hybrids like the ones on the 360 soon, they are ready at Wrightbus.

    Comment by Arriva436 — Friday 12 October 2007 @ 3:30 pm

  14. #10 and #11 – the 3 fuel cell buses running in London were part of an EU-wide funded trial in several cities across Europe. The cities were chosen because of their different climates, altitudes and traffic conditions in order to be able to fully assess the technology in varying conditions. One of the buses is off to the LT Museum, while the others have returned to Mercedes for evaluation, together with some from the other cities involved.

    #11 – are you sure that you’re not confusing this with Natural Gas – Fuel Cell technology is still in its very early stages.

    The bus on the 148 was due to move to Reading Buses shortly, I believe. Can’t see this technology being adopted on a wide scale.

    Comment by Steve23589 — Friday 12 October 2007 @ 8:01 pm

  15. #14 Quite sure.. all Hydrogen buses work from the BVG depot in Spandau ALONGSIDE Natural Gas powered vehicles on routes X34, X49, M49, 136, 236, 139 & 309. There are also articulated hydrogen fuelled buses operated by private operators on the M32 & M37 (also in Spandau)

    Comment by IsarSteve — Friday 12 October 2007 @ 11:35 pm

  16. In New Zealand there were small hybrid single deckers made by a company called Designline. Stagecoach had one tour the country and then some appeared in Gateshead doing a Quaylink service.
    They use a diesel powered gas turbine engine and the only noise you hear is a shrill whine. It’s hard to hear that though as they all have built in CD players and radios with speakers on the ceiling!

    Comment by Gene Hunt — Saturday 13 October 2007 @ 12:39 pm

  17. The 332 goes to Paddington, not Marylebone.

    Also, IIRC, the 316 was first operated by Metroline. In fact, I remember the Darts being shared with the 189. It was then awarded to Thorpe who was bought by Metroline.

    There are in fact good reasons for using single deckers. While the theory of induced demand is valid, there are times of the day when the lowest demand will never get up, e.g. midday and late evenings.

    Double deckers do cost more to run than the average midi single deckers found in London. So there is the cost/benefit analysis to be done.

    Comment by NCT — Saturday 13 October 2007 @ 9:25 pm

  18. Oh by the way, I don’t think TfL paid for the fuel-cell buses that ran on RV1. Those buses IIRC were assets of Mercedes-Benz – 30 odd of them are/were on trial worldwide.

    Comment by NCT — Saturday 13 October 2007 @ 9:27 pm

  19. One of the Fuel Cell Mercedes has ended up with the Science Museum, currently in their Wroughton annex. I think this is in addition to the one that has gone to LT Museum

    Comment by ANDREW WEBB — Sunday 14 October 2007 @ 7:40 pm

  20. #19 Excuse me, but why are on earth are these vehicles (less than two years old) already in Museums?

    Surely this only goes proves my point that TfL only saw their use as pure PR.

    They should be out on the road, earning their keep!

    Comment by IsarSteve — Sunday 14 October 2007 @ 8:36 pm

  21. # 17, it may have been planned to go to Marylebone, a report on one of the e-groups over the weekend that one bus think it was the TA the side blind was “via Paddington 332” with blank destination

    Comment by Alan — Monday 15 October 2007 @ 3:16 pm

  22. #19 The fuel cell Mercedes are 53 period reg’s so are nearer to 4 years old.

    Comment by Alan — Monday 15 October 2007 @ 3:22 pm

  23. #20, Well, you can’t have a trial that goes on till the end of the buses’s lifespan. 4 years is more than enough. Then they can look at how they can improve on what’s been done.

    Comment by Arriva436 — Monday 15 October 2007 @ 6:31 pm

  24. #22 & #23 Of course the trial needn’t have continued.. but to withdraw the buses from service smacks of the “throw away society” in which you live. It’s not very environmentally friendly and does nothing to improve the statistics on how much the UK re-cycles in relation to its other West European neighbours.
    Money and resources all wasted, … just spin.. typical UK.

    By the way, what are 4 years in comparison with the 35+ clocked up by the RMs?

    Comment by IsarSteve — Tuesday 16 October 2007 @ 7:28 am

  25. #17, the real problem here is TfL’s inflexibility. They run buses over the entire length of the route all day every day whether there is demand or not. Added to this, many routes have daytime timetables that are far too generous.
    By tightening up timetables on certain routes during the day they could save an awful lot of money.

    Added to this they have ended the practice of running peak hour only sections in the name of simplifying bus stop timetables (obviously because they think we’re all stupid!) This is especially prevalent in the city, where during the day and at weekends there is virtually no demand.
    IMHO, what they could do is run just half the allocated buses over the full route, leaving the outer sections still well served by the full allocation, but a less frequent timetable on the less patronised sections. eg the 17: during the daytimes and weekends have the full allocation running an Archway-King’s Cross service, with only half the buses being extended to London Bridge Station, but in peak times running the full allocation the full length of the route. The timetables could carry a necessarily vague disclamer of ‘buses may not always run the full length of the route, please check the front of the bus for the destination’.
    But I doubt this would ever happen- it sounds a bit too much like common sense for TfL!

    Comment by ejc — Tuesday 16 October 2007 @ 12:47 pm

  26. #24. Yes, but there were protoype RM’s. They didn’t just bang up a bus and run it for the next 35+ years

    Comment by Arriva436 — Tuesday 16 October 2007 @ 3:16 pm

  27. #26. The production RM’s entered service in 1959, and many of the early ones were still running in regular service up to 2005. I make that 46 years.
    I remember seeing the first, RM 5, still operating peak hour journeys on the 73 right up until that route was converted to bendy. The 73 also being the busiest route in London. RM 6 was still running very regularly on the 137, and 159 until December 2005. If that’s not hard work and longevity I don’t know what is…

    Comment by ejc — Wednesday 17 October 2007 @ 9:10 am

  28. #27. RM1? RM2???

    Comment by Arriva436 — Wednesday 17 October 2007 @ 4:02 pm

  29. #26 & #28 I take your point about prototypes not having such a long life as the production vehicles. Even so, RMs 1, 2 & 3 were still in use as trainers at least into 1962..(all at WH). At that time they were roughly 8, 7 & 6 years old.. (our examples are only 3-4 years old and already in Museums)..
    I’m not sure exactly when they were retired but LT certainly endeavoured to get its money’s worth out of them and didn’t casually discard them, as I feel the Hydrogen buses have been.
    The difference is: LT was committed to the RM..right from the beginning. TfL is not committed to using Hydrogen powered vehicles, but only used them as way of showing how “green” it is, which is isn’t.

    Comment by IsarSteve — Wednesday 17 October 2007 @ 4:26 pm

  30. Couple of differences between the prototype RMs and the Hydrogen buses.

    Firstly, the Hydrogen buses were, IIRC, owned by Mercedes as part of a trial of vehicles across Europe. I believe it was they who finished the trial so they could get the Fuel Cells back to examine in detail to inform the next stage of development of these items. Perhaps a shame that conventional engines could not have been then retro fitted so that the vehicles could be used elsewhere.

    Secondly the Fuel Cells are a pretty non standard item of equipment needing specialist kit and maintainence, all of which cost alot. Whilst the early RMs may have been “non standard” they at least ran on diesel and could be maintained in a similar way to the exisiting vehicles (e.g RTs) at the time

    Comment by ANDREW WEBB — Wednesday 17 October 2007 @ 8:51 pm

  31. #25

    Expecting the average passenger in Central London in particular, to actually LOOK at the destination on the front of the bus is surely too ridiculous.

    If it is red and a double decker/bendy then it is definately the bus that they want.



    Comment by Dave. (Admits to being a Bus Driver in London) — Thursday 18 October 2007 @ 7:19 pm

  32. It would appear that my use of in html tags has been ignored above.

    I am sure you can figure it out 🙂


    Comment by Dave. (Admits to being a Bus Driver in London) — Thursday 18 October 2007 @ 7:20 pm



    Comment by Dave. (Admits to being a Bus Driver in London) — Thursday 18 October 2007 @ 7:21 pm

  34. #31 I know. It was just a nice thought…. in an ideal world everyone would be able to connect their brain and eyes…. oh well…. never mind eh?

    Comment by ejc — Thursday 18 October 2007 @ 11:41 pm

  35. …. treat people like morons and they will become morons….

    Comment by ejc — Thursday 18 October 2007 @ 11:42 pm

  36. #20, I think you were getting mixed up with the electrocities on the 360 – the fuel cells were originally introduced on short workings on the 25 before being transferred to the RV1 when First lost the route when the 25 was converted to artics

    Comment by ctrh136 — Thursday 25 October 2007 @ 4:12 pm

  37. I think that there are a few routes that need double deckers/ freq, increase/ longer buses: 407, 167, 498, 391, s1, 493 (around the tennis museum at Wimbbledon – needs another route there really), x26, 285, 90, h37, etc. Also, why was the 412 converted to DDs a few years ago, that route always seems empty.

    Comment by ctrh136 — Thursday 25 October 2007 @ 4:24 pm

  38. Surely the daftest move to standardise routes and schedules has been extending the Red Arrow routes to run right through the evening – as far as I can see the 507 and 521 are just carting fresh air around after the rush hour has ended.

    Comment by TD — Monday 29 October 2007 @ 8:23 pm

  39. # 38, I totally agree. Why they need these services after 7pm is beyond me. If they do need them why not use spare LDP’s off the 239/315/322, as the MAL’s capacity is completey wasted. Surely this would save money??

    Comment by ejc — Thursday 1 November 2007 @ 6:06 pm

  40. #39, wouldn’t it be a waste of time / money transferring buses from SW to those routes?

    Comment by ctrh136 — Saturday 3 November 2007 @ 12:03 pm

  41. #40, the 239 already runs to Victoria, and buses are run dead to and from SW, so they could just run onto the 507.
    But generally I’m sure it would be cheaper in the long run, as bendy drivers get paid more, and the buses are thirstier than the smaller Darts. SW is only about a 10 minute dead run from Victoria too…

    Comment by ejc — Monday 5 November 2007 @ 11:09 am

  42. But the point (i forgot!) to make is that that would only be necessary if the service is actually needed which I (and you, and probably many others) doubt! The links these routes create are already served by numerous routes- apart from the 507’s solo effort from Lambeth Bridge to Victoria Street.

    Comment by ejc — Monday 5 November 2007 @ 11:12 am

  43. The 316 will surely need double-decking once the huge shopping centre at Shepherd’s Bush opens!

    Regarding the bio-ethanol Scania, it is currently in service in Reading on the “Main Line” route 17. Reading Buses has, or is about to, order 14 bio-ethanol buses for the 17 next year.

    Comment by wirewiper — Thursday 8 November 2007 @ 1:50 pm

  44. “Also, why was the 412 converted to DDs a few years ago, that route always seems empty.”

    You obviously haven’t been on it at school chucking out time!

    Comment by JN — Sunday 4 May 2008 @ 2:27 am

  45. They are going to use double decker’s soon. They will be using Enviro 400’s or as Metroline call them TE. This is from a source at Cricklewood Garage.

    Comment by Daniel — Wednesday 13 August 2008 @ 11:24 am

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