19 January 2006

Volvo Wright

I had to make a quick trip into town tonight after work so ended up on a Tavistock - Plymouth 83 service provided by W605PAF Volvo B6BLE (Chassis number 010207) with Wright B36F (body number B610) bodywork which was new in May 2000 as First Western National 605. Now numbered 48265. Identical sister W602PAF is seen above a few months ago on the same route. These were quite a surprise when they arrived as it had been a case of Dart City as far as Plymouth was concerned until that point with Citybus and First both buying almost identical buses for their low floor fleet. FDC have since added a large batch of second hand Volvo Wright buses from South Yorkshire which are really awful buses.
These W reg buses are not as bad but they are not as comfortable as the earlier Darts. For all of First Group bragging about transforming travel with their well designed high standard interiors which was certainly the case with earlier low floor darts - these buses introduced the horrible hard seats which really spoil the travelling experience. If you travel any distance on one of these you certainly feel it. The Optare Solos which were added to the fleet at the same time also feature these horrible seats. First penny-pinching? I cant imagine that these seats were chosen by any passenger focus groups.
The only good thing is that standard First interior designed buses do have more leg room - certainly more than Citybus who cram in more seats in their buses. But I'd rather have a slightly cramped journey than end up with plenty of leg room but a sore bum. Maybe thats just me though?

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