Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Solos looming

This is an extract from the Evening Herald showing N284 PDV next to what will ultimately see her dispatch - VU52 UEE the first of the Optare Solos to be painted up. 

As has been mentioned in comments on the bus, Go Ahead have not yet experimented with a new livery for the company and the Solos remain in the standard livery at the moment. As you you may be able to see there are some comments from the new MD - Andrew Wickham on the improvements made to the Solos. He mentions new destination displays though the front blinds are the same as they've ever been - unless some have been added to the side or back? He also says £70'000 will have been spent refurbishing the Solos before they are put into service, though comments that I've heard are that some are already rusting on the underside of the Solos and weren't in great nick when they arrived, but who knows, PCB may have attended to these issues! 

It will be a shame to see the 709 finally disappear though. As I think I may have mentioned before Citybus were very reluctant to get rid of them under council control because the buses just made so much sense. With low running costs and simple mechanics they are and were the perfect vehicle for the job.  

Also thanks to Plymothian Transit - N289 PDV has already found a new life with Riverlink of Totnes. I'm guessing this is because they've been having problems with the Varios they currently operate. Indeed A-Line Travel manager Jim Goodard often curses the Varios. Over complicated mechanics and un-reliablity have always been a problem with the Vario and thats why many companies have actually reverted back to 709 operation after experimenting with Varios. So at least one has made it into a further life and will likely have many years to live yet. 

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