The 498 gets an Upgrade.

This weekend, it was the turn of the 498 and the 499 routes to leave Blue Triangle, and Arriva Thameside respectively, to join Stagecoach London's ever growing empire. With the Enviro 400 MMCs (the first diesel batch for London) being commissioned for the 498 as we speak, some 55 reg tridents have covered for them.

Stagecoach London 18476 on the 498 in Romford at Queens Hospital (© Josh)

18476 seen on Brentwood High Street (© Josh)
At current, the MMCs are not expected to enter service for at least a week, to allow the fleet to be commissioned, and for drivers to familiarise themselves with the layout and be type trained on these new vehicles.
Since the Stagecoach takeover, the 498 has run much better. The layover time has increased, allowing for any A12 delays to occur. The running time has also increased to also allow for traffic and stopping along the A12.

Stagecoach London 18470 on Route 498, Romford Station
18470 at a fairly rainy Romford Station (© Aubrey)

The controlling of the route has also greatly improved, and the PVR has been increased from 5 buses, to 6.

Stagecoach East London 18480, LX55ESO in Romford on route 498
18480 is the third bus on the second day of the 498 at Stagecoach (© Jacek)

The Sunday service still runs every 30 minutes, and with a PVR of 3.

The 498 began on Boxing Day in 2005. It was initially run by Arriva Southend with Dennis Pointer Darts for the first few months,then when DLAs became avaliable, they were used on the route. All this whilst the Wright Cadets ordered for the route were being built and delivered. It ran half hourly on Monday-Saturday daytime journeys, and hourly in evenings and on Sundays. It was introduced to replace the 351, and the 551, and the average scheduled journey time from Romford to Brentwood was around 25 mins, nearly half of what it is today.

Blue Triangle PVN8 on Route 498, Romford Station
Blue Triangle PVN8 on Route 498, Romford Station (© Aubrey)
It passed to First London in June 2008, with initially new Enviro 200s (see Picture Archive Post). Soon, it was converted to double deck with Enviro 400s. 

On the 22nd June 2013, Go-Ahead London (Blue Triangle) bought out DM and 498 moved to BE. With it, the term "allocation" flew away. Any double decker at BE could be found on the 498, except possibly the East London Transit buses. Indeed, the first day brought ex-First London Volvo B7TLs from NP to the 498.

But the assortment of buses is now gone, and Tridents have taken their place albeit temporarily until the Enviro 400MMCs arrive.

However, the 499 is another story. Which shall be continued in another post.

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