04/12/2016

SOE, a return.

Note: a statement regarding changes to the members of the blog team is below. (UPDATED 21/12/16)
The 152 goes back to London General since it was lost in 2001 to Mitcham Belle.

London General SE147 on Route 152*, New Malden Fountain
London General SE147 on Route 152*, New Malden Fountain (© Aubrey)

This bus was the first London General bus to leave from New Malden (at 0540) on Route 152 since the route was lost on 1st December 2001. Twenty minutes earlier (0520), the first London General bus on Route 152 since it was lost in 2001 left Pollards Hill.

Between 2001 and 2016, the route has had 3 operators with 4 owners. The first was Mitcham Belle, with the order of new Caetano Nimbus bodied Dennis Darts. Unfortunately, the company suffered various issues, meaning that the bus operations were bought out by Centra Parking Services in August 2004. This brought about even more issues as the inherited fleet was not to the standard Centra had. This meant varied loaned and leased buses were used for Centra routes. Eventually, the 152 was lost by tender to Travel London in December 2006. However, Centra was not handling operations well, so Travel London brought in loaned Darts from Stagecoach, as well as Darts from the U7 to run the 152 from April 2006. From December 2006, new Enviro 200s and existing Darts from the loss of the 203 to London United were the allocation on the 152 as Travel London gained the proper contract of the 152. Through NS (Abellio) buying out Travel London, it ended with Abellio London running the 152.

Abellio London 8506 on Route 152, Pollards Hill
Abellio London 8506 on Route 152, Pollards Hill (CC Aubrey)

All of those events have made the transfer of the 152 from Abellio London to London General look very smooth. However, the route is plagued by traffic issues at certain points of the route.

The route is operated with, and allocated Enviro 200s of two bodies.

London General SE147 on Route 152*, Wimbledon Chase*
London General SE147 on Route 152*, Wimbledon Chase* (© Aubrey)

The first is the body supplied by ADL (Enviro 200). Displaced from the double-decker conversion of Route D8, this batch of 61reg Enviro 200s were ordered for the D8.

Docklands Buses SE142 on Route D8, Stratford International
Docklands Buses SE142 on Route D8, Stratford International (CC Aubrey)

Once they became homeless, some were transferred from Docklands Buses to London General, initially for temporary Route 563. SE147 still had the cards from its spell on the 563! Once the W19 was lost, that paved the way for most of them to move onto the 152. Currently, buses are route-bound to Route 152 due to the new blinds.

London General SOE30 on Route 152*, Wimbledon Chase Station*
London General SOE30 on Route 152*, Wimbledon Chase Station* (© Aubrey)

The 152 is also run with these SOE (Optare Esteem bodied Enviro 200s) buses that are off routes such as the 163, 164 and 80. Not all buses on the 152 were blinded for the 152, as at least one un-blinded SOE made it onto the route.

London General SE145 on Route 152*, Wimbledon Chase*
London General SE145 on Route 152*, Wimbledon Chase* (© Aubrey)

Now, the route is run from Merton Garage, having been away from there since December 2001. Hopefully the 152 continues to run as a normal route.

Due to circumstances regarding violation of the ethos of the blog, his position was untenable and Anthony has been dropped from the WLTM Transport Blog team. We thank him for his services to the blog over the past few months. It will take a few days for pages within the blog to change. This post ironically is of one of his local routes.
A replacement member/s has/have already been found, and will be confirmed as of the 13/02/17.

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