S. Yorks bus delays no fault of Leyland
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DELAYS in placing South Yorkshire PTE's fleet of five Leyland-DAB articulated buses in service are an inevitable result of a development programme, and are not a bad reflection on the buses.
The PTE assured CM that national press reports about problems with the prototype were not strictly accurate, and that it hopes to place it in passenger service next month.
Controller of engineering and building services, Bill Kirkland, said SYPTE was well aware that the first vehicle was still under development when it was delivered. "It came to us with warts and blisters. We put it through its paces, and agreed with Leyland Vehicles that we would send it back for any modifications required."
He described Leyland's progress with the vehicle as "nothing short of excellent" to date, and said he was confident that the other four vehicles would be close to the operator's requirements.
South Yorkshire's artic bus trials were an experiment to test the concept, and were not intended to compare the different types of bus. But he accepted, by default, that some vehicle comparison had crept in now that Leylands and German MANs were in the trial.
But it was wrong to place too much importance on the comparison, as the MAN was a proven production vehicle while the Leyland-DAB with Leyland National body was still under development. All five MANs have now arrived, and a 50 per cent artic service is due to be launched next month on Sheffield's City Clipper service. It had been planned to start this on December 3, but driver training has fallen behind.
Three of the Leylands — including the prototype — are due to be delivered by the end of next month, and the other two are expected by the end of March.
Ultimately, SYPTE wants to run them on other services in its area, and sees particular scope for their use in smaller centres like Doncaster where passengers travel for short distances and do not like double-deckers.