If you cast your mind back 3 months you will remember Borderbus had on loan one of the two Optare Metrodeckers being evaluated prior to going into full production. If you didn't read my review please click here,
and you will see pics of the orange Metrodecker, and also get the impression I rather liked it, with only one or two minor details I thought needed sorting.
On Monday of this week out of the blue, literally, came the other Metrodecker demonstrator. This one has been on long term loan to First Yorkshire, and I was interested to see if it matched the standards set by the original. How long Borderbus have got it for no one knows so not taking any chances I jumped on it today for a ride between Pakefield and Norwich. Not long after I had boarded I spied a certain Mr Grahame Bessey of East Norfolk Bus Blog taking a pic as we passed him and I'm pleased Grahame has sent it to me and allowed me to publish it.
|Optare Metrodecker YJ16 DFG in Pakefield. pic (c) Grahame Bessey|
One thing struck me immediately about this particular bus - it pulled away faster than the orange one. Not savagely, but certainly quicker, which seems to have sorted one of my concerns with the orange one. The driver confirmed when we got to Norwich that the gearbox had a different ratio and that has made all the difference. Top speed was perfectly adequate but there is just no getting away from the ride of the Metrodecker. It is astonishingly good. I wondered if it would live up to the orange one which had me waxing lyrical but this one bettered it. Having re-read my review of the orange one I compared it favourably to the Olympian coaches, and on reflection that is a little unfair as the Olympian coaches were built to coach spec. The Metrodecker is far better than any Olympian bus (yes I did just say that) so I need to compare the ride with another bus, not a coach. The nearest I can come up with is the Metropolitan Scania from the 1970's. That gave a ride head and shoulders above anything else in its day and the Metrodecker does that too. There are simply no rattles, which considering where it's been is quite something, it's as quiet at top speed as it is low speed, it feels solid despite being lighter than anything else and both I and a couple of other wise old enthusiasts, Richard and Dave, thought it outstanding. It also looks good from every angle inside and out.
I don't often go out riding just for fun these days, but normally because I'm on a mission. I will be going out just to ride this bus again if it stays longer than this week. I understand Optare are currently working on addressing the suggestions raised to them by all areas of the industry, including I'm proud to say yours truly, and it is hoped Borderbus will be asked to evaluate the modified demonstrator later in the year. I can't wait.
I said in my previous review that once all the little issues were corrected the Metrocity would be the best double decker on the market. I've got to be honest - I think it already is.
|The Optare Metrodecker at Norwich|
See I told you lol there's that Hitchcock moment again 😂😂ReplyDelete
I just wish I knew how to put the music on the pic!!Delete
If you are running windows 7 you can do it in movie maker then it should play if picture is openedDelete
What happened to the First management post you put up Steve ?. Its linked from Graham's page but cant find it on here ?.ReplyDelete
Turns out I was a bit premature with the announcement so was asked to take it down. As soon as I'm given clearance to put the post back up I will.Delete
I feel that Optare have lost the edge with styling - they used to be so innovative, but like the MetroCity this looks bland.ReplyDelete
I've not travelled yet on one of these, but in terms of recent double decker sthe Scania Enviro 400 offers the best ride quality.
The Scania E400MMC is right up there, Bill, but for sheer lack of any body noise the Metrodecker takes it. Never judge a book by its cover - it may look bland to you but once you're on it and enjoying the ride you can't see the outside anyway. I'm going for another ride on it tomorrow!Delete