Bangkok likes deckers
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INITIAL public reaction to the first double-decker bus ever to enter service in Bangkok, Thailand seems to be favourable, to judge by reports in the local press, writes Noel Millier.
The bus, an Alexanderbodied Ailsa, has entered service in an attempt to prove and sell the principle of the double-decker to the passengers using Bangkok Mass Transit. Many of Bangkok's newspapers and motoring journals have given the Ailsa headline billing and if the initial reaction is maintained, an order for 120 vehicles is likely to follow.
Recently a Leyland Atlan tean from Sydney, Australia has visited Japan, where it was used in a sales promotion campaign in Tokyo. Here, too, public reaction was said to be favourable. Traffic conditions place a premium on road space in Tokyo so the decker could be a winner. Unfortunately a legal height_ limit requirement has to be changed before operation could be permitted.
In Sydney the problem of one-person operation is likely to reduce demand for doubledeckers and the transport authority is already planning to reduce its decker fleet.
British expertise is second to none in the field of doubledecker technology, although competition from Germany in particular is strong. The battle for home orders has generated many worthy designs suitable for most types of operation so a world wide expert market is of increasing importance.
The Bangkok Ailsa is expected to remain in service until the end of February, when it will be shipped to Singapore for demonstrations and then on to Hong Kong where it is to be sold to an operator.