AEC STANDEE BUS FLEET FOR BIRMINGHAM
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A NEW FLEET of 18 AEC Swift singledeck buses—some of which have the highest passenger carrying capacity for their type in Britain—was handed over last week to Mr. D. G. Lewis, chairman of Birmingham City Transport committee. The handover, at Birmingham's Civic Centre, launched the city's first one-manoperated standee bus service.
Emphasis has been placed on the provision of a larger area for standing passengers to present a fast, high-capacity service. The Swifts carry up to 76 people—three more than the Red Arrow buses now operating in central London which are based on AEC chassis of similar design.
Birmingham City Transport is using the Swift buses mainly on its five-mile long industrial suburban route between Stechford and Sparkbrook. The central-exit doors are fitted with sensitive edges to draw the driver's attention in case passengers are "caught". Gears cannot be engaged until the centre doors are closed. Capacities for the 33ft 6in. buses: 37 seated and 30 standing; and 37 seated and 39 standing for the 36ft version.
Twelve of the smaller buses, powered by the AEC AH.505 127 bhp rear-mounted engine are in operation; the 36ft buses are powered by the A1-1.691 157 bhp engine.
Several minor alterations have been made to the standard chassis layout and equipment to meet Birmingham's needs. Lubrica
tion is automatic by an RP unit which works off the brakes' air-circuit. The buses have dual-line air brakes as standard.
The bodies, in the fleet livery of blue and cream, were built by Metropolitan-CammellWeymann Ltd., of Birmingham.