17 November 2007


It was this November two years ago that Citybus placed their new Mercedes Citaros on the road. They have become a part of the Plymouth transport scene and still seem popular with passengers and drivers (well the couple I have spoken too like them anyway).
The second batch were placed into service in January 2007 so the question is - will it be the same again this year?
I would be surprised if they don't stick with more Mercedes although I guess they could go for the Enviros again. From a purely personal observation it seems the Mercedes have been more reliable. I have seen Enviros broken down or being towed a few times, something I have never seen is a broken Citaro. This could of course be just pure random luck. As a passenger I find the Enviros disappointing - very noisy, but I am not a real fan of the Mercedes either.

With the forthcoming withdrawal from some of the minor tendered routes there is less need for smaller buses in the fleet so we will almost certainly see some of the Mercedes bread vans leave the fleet. They probably wont be missed by passengers although I am sure the accountants will be sad to see them go. Even with them gone, it still leaves Citybus with quite a large non-low floor fleet If you ignore the double deckers (which themselves will need replaceing before too long) there are a large batch of step entrance Darts still doing a great job on busy routes but the need to switch to easy access low floor stock is an important one. A few years ago passengers felt quite lucky to get low floor buses. These days they expect to get low floor buses.
The other problem is the number of buses purchased in a small period of time. For registration years K, L M and N Citybus were buying a lot more buses each year than they are now. Even leaving the minibuses out of the figures they were still buying more big buses each year during this period than they are now.
It will be interesting to see where Citybus goes over the next few years with fleet replacement.


  1. They're bringing in more Enviros this year, I had a chat with a driver last week with regards to this. What he said to me was that while the Citaros did not have any problems with regards to breakdowns, there have been one or two problems with pulling away from stops.

    The Citaros apparently have sensors underneath the passenger door, which prevent the doors from closing if the sensors pick up anything e.g. if the bus is too close to the curb. This isn't a problem on the 21/51, but on the 43 this has apparently caused some problems on Wolseley Road and places where the pavement is raised up. This in turn causes a safety hazard if the driver is forced to pull away with doors open.

    Citybus will be getting in some Enviro 300s, but the batch has been delayed until the new year (normally new buses arrive around September time). Since these 300s are longer than the 200s used on route 34, I wouldn't be surprised if these are instantly placed onto the gold routes such as 29 and 43A/B.

  2. Thanks Doddy

    I must admit i find the Enviros better looking than the Citaros so I shall look forward to seeing these when they arrive!


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