Kentish invests in new routes
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• Kentish Bus & Coach has put 13 new double-deckers on its number 51 route at a cost of about £1 million — and it has placed a £4m order for a further 43 buses for a tender won from London Regional Transport for three routes to start in February.
The vehicles are Leyland Olympians with Cummins engines and Northern Counties bodywork, fitted with LRTspecified of two-way radio, driver safety screens and a lower level access step. The Route 51 buses, which will run between Woolwich and Orpington, are single-door models; the second batch, which will run on routes 22A, 22B and 55 from Hackney, will be twodoor vehicles.
Although this will mean a completely new fleet for the three Hackney routes, LRT tendered bus unit manager Nick Newton says this was not a requirement laid down by LRT. It was the result of a Kentish Bus policy decision to upgrade its fleet.
According to Newton, LRT only specifies that buses on a contract route are "less than seven years old". Kentish Bus won the three-year contract over "several" other bids, says Newton.
The 13 route 51 buses join five one-year-old Scanias already covering the route.