Tuesday 29 December 2015

BB11 Hits The Road

Well very nearly. By time most of you read this it will be. Having been ordered home for a couple of days to take a break from hospital vigils the timing turned out to be impeccible as Borderbus tweeted this morning that their latest E200, BB11 BUS, fleet number 108, was going to enter service tomorrow. So I took the opportunity to pop over to Beccles for a quick shufty at the newbie.

Now those of you who didn't hit the booze too hard over the last few days will recall that I made a teaser post about BB11 a couple of weeks ago. Originally YX11 CSV (thanks Zak) the vehicle was acquired from Whitelaws of Lanakshire. When I first saw her the interior looked rather spartan as the seats had been sent off to be recovered and to have extra padding put in. In fact it looked like this.

Mmmmmmm Comfy!
However today it looked rather different. Trouble is I only had my phone on me so sorry about the quality of the pics. Only 9 months to go and I can change the phone!

The new e-leather seating.
The re-covered seating on BB11 BUS
I mentioned the extra seat padding. I'm happy to report that those seats are deceptively very comfortable, and I think I know why. Andrew Pursey told me that a firm in Southend was used to refurbish the seats, but not a company that usually does bus seats. This company normally does theatre and cinema seats, and my word it shows that they are used to catering for backsides which have to sit still in one place for a couple of hours at a time. I'm not a huge fan of anything non fabric but if an old cynic like me can sit in one and be pleasantly surprised the passengers should love them.

There are still a few details that need to be attended to so she won't be out everyday just yet but how many companies have you seen painting the bottom interior of the doors black prior to entering service? Dave Marshall told me they are already working on eliminating the rattles and know what needs to be done. If only all operators took such a pride in the presentation and ride quality of their vehicles.

The readiness of 108 means that the loanee little E200 MX12 DYO is returning to it's owners as soon as possible. It hasn't proved the most reliable of buses, and when I travelled on it last week it reminded me why I dislike the huge majority of E200's so much! The vinyls have already been removed.

All ready to go back home

So finally I guess we need to see BB11 in all her shiny glory, and for that I'm unashamedly going to use the pic BorderBus tweeted this morning, as it's far better quality than my one! If you get a chance grab a ride on 108 and I'm sure you'll agree with me about those seats!

BorderBus 108 BB11 BUS ready to enter service
I'll be back down Kent for the forseeable future so local posts may be few and far between. However I'm hoping to catch up on the ex Norfolk Green Agoralines and the 2015 STEVE Awards will be revealed over the coming days. Many thanks to everyone who have given me their good wishes - they have been a source of real strength to me. Happy New Year all.


  1. My New Year suggestion: the legislators and Regulators need to find a way to break up the conglomerates with their their monopolistic "national" operations and where they have an iron-fist grip on localised area services, to save the industry from its terminal decline. They will never compete on customer service, if they even have a clue what it is. We've replaced NBC, which was bad enough, with something worse. Perhaps a combination of limits on number of route licences held by a single operator in a town/locality, and vehicles registered at a single OC or under control of a single TM? And perhaps even the power to limit maximum frequencies to force competition. With an exception where service quality is effectively regulated by a Transport Authority (London-model contracted services). Thoughts? We all know who the culprits are but it's catching them that's the difficult bit.

  2. The concession scheme is the biggest culprit .Like it all not every year we go for meetings with local authorities .Its not good for small operators.Big groups can sustain from other areas.Go to places like Reading, Cardiff and Newport where there are municipal bus companies they have cut back on tendered services because the money for concession passes is not even enough to pay drivers wages.Thats why you find there is appettite for partnerships as opposed franchises.

  3. London has been told to be self financing by 2019.The £2.6 billion subsidy is being ditched in 2018.