Friday 21 November 2014

A Totally Crap Service

There were some crap jokes floating around yesterday. Some of them were actually quite funny too. It was announced that the first bus to run on human waste was making its entrance in Bath, which is exactly what you need when there is too much crap about.

I'm not feeling too flushed by this as after all in this region we have been spoiled by the best gas buses in the country over the last couple of years, and the anaerobic digestion system is just another way of producing it. But it must be said there is an inexhaustible supply of raw materials for this method that doesn't involve disturbing the whales in the North Sea.

There are vinyls and there are vinyls.        pic by Sky news
The service, operated by Bath Bus Company, "runs" between Bath and Bristol Airport using a bog standard AD E300 with gas tanks on top. At least I thought it was before Kieran, bless him pointed out I had misread the number plate and in fact this bus is no stranger. Earlier in the year Anglian had a Scania gas bus with E300 body on trial for a few weeks. It didn't go down well - in fact most people thought it was, well, crap! So how appropriate that a polished turd is now running on turds, and the last three letters of the registration rather sum it up. Thanks Kieran for correcting my lousy eyes!

YT13 YUK when on loan to Anglian at Market Gates in February 2014

 Rumours are that the driver is called John, the seats convert into commodes, the tickets are sponsored by Andrex and of course the service is number 2. I won't go into what happens if the bus has to brake very sharply at speed!

AD E300 YT13 YUK in frfont od the anaerobic digester that privides the fuel.
There is a serious point in this though. An anaerobic digester is being constructed in Suffolk. Where in Suffolk I hear you ask. I'll tell you where - on the Ellough Industrial Estate in Beccles. Sounds familiar? Yup - that is indeed the home of none less than Anglian Bus, who already operate those outstanding MAN Ecocity gas buses. So you would have thought that Go-Ahead would be champing at the bit to strike a deal with the operators of the new digester to get a pipe running direct to the yard, negotiate deals for cheaper gas, and also with the EU (while we're still part of it) to get subsidies to expand the gas bus fleet to improve the air quality in the towns and City that they serve. Oh yes aren't the Green Party big in Norwich? Quiet aren't they. Surely there is a golden opportunity here for Anglian and Go-Ahead to really do something and be trailblazers in the quest for greener travel as opposed to the gimmicks that are hybrids.

Anglian told me categorically when I saw them last month that there were never going to be assitional gas buses there. With the new resources on their doorstep, and the Green Party I assume wanting favourable publicity in the advent of a general election that is apathetic at best, and bordering on the criminal at worst. In fact it stinks like the raw materials that could be providing their fuel.


  1. Not as "Bog Standard" as you make out now Steve!
    YT13YUK is the same vehicle which was on demo to Anglianbus earlier this year and just to point out its based on the Scania K270UB chassis! They haven't really made any mods to it at all I don't think; theyve literally just used a different method of obtaining the gas.

  2. Oh God so it is! Major edit coming up!