Thursday, 31 May 2012
Low floor lolloping
A-Line's ill-fated Volvo B6 R178 NPN has stepped in for use on the 80s over the past few days due to ongoing problem with R651 YCR's gearbox. With the X reg Vario being used full time on the Liskeard services the B6 has been laid up down at the depot as the spare bus, so this has been its first run out for a few weeks. It certainly looks very smart and is indeed a pleasure to ride on, but size is again the issue with this bus. Although this extra capacity is very much welcome, with the Vario reaching capacity on the popular trips, the length and weight of the bus have meant the drivers have struggled to keep it on time on what is already quite a difficult schedule to keep to. Although loading times are reduced thanks to the low floor, its noticeably slower on hills than the Varios, and corners such as the one you can see it negotiating below all build up the lengths of time for the journey, causing a knock on effect during the day, as was experienced on the Liskeard trips. It was a lovely send of though as I boarded R178 for what was my final day as a pupil of Devonport High School for Boys on Wednesday, before going onto study leave, with more exams up and coming over the next month. Then again, it would have been apt to finish my final day on a Vario, one of the few constants in my period at DHSB over the past 7 years, albeit the ones I traveled on in 2005 being newer, and owned by First!