Volvo deckers arrive in London
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.
LONDON TRANSPORT has taken delivery of its first ever British Volvo double-deck buses which are also its first-ever vehicles with bodies built by Walter Alexander ICoachbuilders) Ltd of Falkirk.
Three AiIse B55 vehicles are oon to join three Leyland Olym ians and three Mark 2 MCW etrobuses on route 170 from , tockwell in South London. Also joining the group will be three Dennis Dominators with Northern Counties bodywork. All will be considered in a 1 2-bus evaluation exercise designed to help LT decide what bus will replace its ageing 2,000 strong AEC Routemaster fleet.
The three Ailsa buses are based on the proven B55 Mark III model with its front-mounted Volvo TD7OH engine coupled to Voith 0851 fully automatic gearboxes. The buses have full rolling bellow-type air suspension. Two of the buses are basically standard Alexander R type-bodied vehicles fitted with 76 seats and a front entrance and centre exit door layout.
The third vehicle is unique. It has 65 seats and a front entrance and rear exit. Two staircases are fitted and the vehicle will be used to assess the best possible passenger flow arrangements during both crew and one person operation.
London Transport is also looking at Volvo's underfloor engined Citybus and Volvo is keen to offer a special lightweight 8.6-metre version which it feels could be an ideal replacement for LT's 64-seat Rotec Routemasters.
Volvo Bus (Great Britain) is also currently increasing its market share of the British heavyduty coach market and sales of its B1OM chassis now account for around 80 per cent of imported coach registrations. The First semi-double deck three-axle B1OM chassis coaches are soon to be delivered. One of the first is expected to be a 66-seat vehicle fitted with a Berkof 4-metre high body. The vehicle is to join the fleet of Kings Ferry of Gillingham and will be used on London commuter services.
Kings Ferry is currently replacing its 30-strong coach fleet with new Volvo B1OM coaches with Berkhof Esprite coachwork and has taken delivery of 11 new vehicles this year.
Tayside Regional Council has also added a new type of Volvo coach to its fleet. The first-ever Volvo Citybus double deck coach is to be used on both Dundee bus services and excursions to destinations such as Blackpool. It has an East Lancs body featuring direct glazed windows and 74 forward facing high-backed coach seats. The bus has a Voith D854 overdrive gearbox that allows cruising at around 60 mph. The transmission can be locked into city mode to revert to three-speed only operation for conventional stage use.