28 April 2007

Not the Norm!

I stood waiting for the new X1 service from home into Grimsby bus station this afternoon. It was due to have left Cleethorpes town centre at 1.10pm and my stop is only a couple of minutes after that. It was 1.30pm when it arrived - 20 mins late. The reason? Well there were three actually:

The vehicle was 25809 - a 1983 Leyland Tiger in RoadCar livery! Not the relatively newer Plaxton Paladin-bodied Volvo B10M bus that is now the norm on this route! The driver couldn't work the RoadCar red Almex ticket machine when a passenger asked for a seemingly normal Fiveways to Keelby single fare and there were 5 steps from the pavement onto the main aisle.

The interior was very comfortable but at the expense of leg room. Because the new X1 service is run using RoadCar ticket machines (there aren't enough Stagecoach standard ERG ones knocking about), should one of the normal vehicles be off-the-road only RoadCar vehicles with RoadCar ticket machines can be used as a spare. There are much better examples within the former RoadCar fleet in Grimsby that could have been used - Optare Deltas on a DAF chassis have only 3 steps into the saloon though travel a lot slower on the A15 dual carriageway to Hull.

The photo above is of sister vehicle 25811 (although a year younger), taken in Grantham bus station a few years ago.