|CT Plus 1279 stands at Homerton Hospital, in between duties on route 394.|
|CT Plus 1272 at Homerton, displaying the new-style Islington Angel blind, which looks rather ugly.|
|Tower Transit WV46212 works route 236 to Hackney Wick.|
London gained its first new Streetlite vehicles of the year with the contract renewal of route 236, running between Hackney Wick and Finsbury Park Station, via Homerton, Haggerston, Dalston and Newington Green. It's not particularly direct, but does offer some crucial links for local residents and runs at a high frequency of every 8 minutes to cater for the popularity of this service. Many enthusiasts were hoping for a double deck conversion of the 236 upon contract renewal, but new Streetlite vehicles were ordered instead by Tower Transit, who are running the route from their Lea Interchange garage. The 236 used to be one of a small number of single deck routes that ran 24/7, although this is no longer the case and it now starts early (0355) and finishes late (0141), leaving a mere two hour gap without service. The contract renewal date was Saturday 29th April, although the new Streetlite vehicles only started to enter service at the end of May and yesterday was the first time a full allocation was achieved, which was perfect for snapping the route's brand new buses. The fairly new E200s that used to work the 236 have now returned off-lease and the 17-reg vehicles are occasionally supplemented by one of the older examples at LI, which are allocated to the 444. I've never been a huge fan of Streetlite vehicles, finding them pretty boring, very hot in summer and not ideal for viewing external surroundings with the narrow windows at the rear of the vehicle. However, I enjoyed my brief experience of WV46212 yesterday, especially with my fast driver behind the wheel, who took advantage of this nippy vehicle, eventually overtaking the busy 236 in front. The colour scheme was effective in providing a comfortable, bright atmosphere and I'm now looking forward to riding this route end to end. These are the first Streetlite buses to contain "stop-start technology", but for some reason it's not as noticeable as on ADL Enviro 200 MMCs and doesn't occur as frequently. Even though the service has always been a bit unreliable, hopefully Tower Transit can up their game for the next five years, especially with these wonderful new vehicles.
|Arriva London VLW153 on route 254 to Holloway, Nags Head.|
|Arriva London LT467 works the 254 at Hackney.|
|London United DLE30047 on route 110 to Hounslow Bus Station|
|London United "lowheight" SP40014 on route 120 to Hounslow Bus Station.|
|Metroline VWH2266 at Southall Station on route 120 to Northolt. Unfortunately, this bus has been involved in an accident since I took this photograph.|
|Metroline VWH2272 departs Ealing Broadway on route 297.|
I hope you enjoyed this post summarising some of the more recent contract changes- next week we'll be evaluating the success of the controversial Orpington route changes that took place in April. Thanks for reading and stay safe!