Ministry tells Leicester to go for front entrances
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.
AN order for 20 Leyland PD3A.12 frontengined, rear-entrance double-deck buses placed by Leicester City Transport has been changed to one for 20 Atlantean rearengined, front-entrance double-deckers, at the suggestion of the Ministry of Transport.
This is positive evidence of the Ministry's determination to modernize the p.s.v. industry, and to encourage undertakings to break away from traditional operating methods, writes Derek Moses.
Mr. L. H. Smith, general manager of Leicester City Transport, told COMMERCIAL MOTOR on Monday that when it applied for loan sanction for the purchase of the original buses the council was asked to reconsider its decision and buy frontentrance double-deckers which could be adapted for one-man operation.
After talks with the Ministry, Mr. Smith recommended the council to purchase Leyland Atlantean PDR1A.1 double-deckers in place of the PD3s. Ten of these buses will have Park Royal bodies and the remainder Eastern Coach Works bodies; they are due for delivery in December.
Mr. Smith, whose fleet includes three experimental front-entrance Atlanteans bought some years ago, has always favoured rear-entrance buses because of the better passenger circulation. He said that some very high passenger loadings were experienced on Leicester buses and the bottleneck at the front of the Atlanteans was a disadvantage. He admitted, however, that there was a case for front-entrance double-deckers, though not necessarily for o-m-o. At least the new buses would qualify for Mrs. Castle's 25 per cent discount, he said.
To try and improve passenger circulation, some modifications have been made to the front end design of the Atlanteans, to improve the flow at the "busy end".
One wonders what would have happened if Leicester had persisted with the order for the PD3s. Would loan sanction have been refused? Certainly it would appear that they would not have qualified for the 25 per cent discount.
One of what will now be the last rearentrance double-deckers to be introduced by Leicester was illustrated in COMMERCIAL MOTOR_ last week.