31 December 2006

Plymouth Citybus 2007

Just a quick post to say Happy New year to all regular visitors to this blog. I never expected many people to pop in so often so it has been a pleasure to see just how many visitors have passed through.

Well, what can we expect in 2007?

The first big happening is the arrival of the next batch of Mercedes Citaro buses. There are 7 due and the first of these is already in Plymouth. Expect these to hit the road very soon.
These new Mercedes joining the fleet are actually seeing out the older Mercedes 'bread vans'. There are just 18 left now, and thats before the new Citaros enter service. The three Volvo B6's 51-53 must be living on borrowed time, but with plenty of older high floor buses still to be replaced they could well see out the next year.

It is clear that Citybus are intent on removing the Mercedes Minis from service as soon as they can - but there are still a few routes which need smaller buses - it was thought that more MPD Darts were on order at one stage, this does not seem to be the case now. There are still a large number of high floor single deckers on city services which at the present rate of new buses entering service will be the case for quite a few years yet. Big questions remain about the double deck fleet too. Sadly I dont see any new low floor deckers joining the fleet, although as a passenger I would certainly welcome them.
With the massive improvement we have seen in the fleet that First use in the city with most routes now fully low floor apart from the odd double decker, and a good fleet of low floor double deckers in service (not forgetting the new high profile launch of new buses on Park and Ride very shortly) Citybus suddenly look the poor relation. Of course First have achieved this through major cutbacks in services in Cornwall, North Devon and even in Plymouth itself with Citybus picking up the pieces in a few cases.
Are we going to see a similar 'hard look' at the Citybus network during 2007 with a better service - on fewer routes?
The other question that is bound to pop up again in 2007 is the big one on ownership of Citybus. I am not going to comment on this aspect tonight - other than to say that if anyone else does come in and take over then they will certainly be taking that 'hard look' at all the services. The local press will love it!

All the best to everyone in 2007. Thanks for all the support in 2006 and I look forward to continuing this and the sister photo blog for another interesting year. If anyone has anything of interest they want to send in - then I am always happy to receive it!

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