Arriva NE order suggestions

34 Replies, 2734 Views

Here's my suggestion for an upgrade to the 3 northumbria depots (Fleet numbers are just suggestions:

Ashington:

15x Scania fencer F1s (4x for the 57/57A, 4x for the 35, 2x for the X14 & 4 spares) these will be numbered 4601-4614. All these will be new in the new arriva livery and 4601/02 will be branded for service X14 Newcastle-Morpeth-Rothbury-Thropton, 4603-4606 being branded for services 57/57A Cramlington-Seaton Deleval-Monkseaton-Whitley every 30 minutes & 4607-10 being branded for service 35 Morpeth-Ashington-Newbiggin-Woodhorn 4611-4614 will not have route branding as they will be spare, these will all feature USB charging, Leather Seats, NSAs & free WiFi.

20x Wright Streetdeck OM936s (4 for the X15, 4 for the X20, 6 for the X18 & 6 spare which means 2 spares for each route) these will be numbered 7701-7720, these will feature free WiFi, NSAs, USB charging, leather seats, tables & wireless charging with these all coming in sapphire livery with 7701-04 carrying branding for service X15 Newcastle-Morpeth-Alnwick-Berwick every hour to Alnwick & every 2 hours to Berwick, 7705-7708 will be branded for the X20 Newcastle-Ashington-Amble-Alnwick every 60 minutes, 7709-7714 will be branded for X18 explore the northumbria coast branding similar to the X93 with 7715-20 being spare and will have no route branding.

These changes will release all Ashington's medibus Fleet, 7510-17, 4653/55/64, 7445/46/84/86 up for withdrawal and 7529-33/53-56 up for cascade

Jesmond:

7529-33/53-56 to Jesmond for the 43/44/45 to release 7501-9 up for withdrawal

20x 10.8M damiler Streetlites for to replace the solos on the 46, 51, 51A, 55 & 553 all of these will carry the new livery with NSAs, Free Wi-Fi,  USBs & leather seats, these will not carry route branding. These will be numbered 1614-34

10x Wright Streetlite HEVs (8 for the 306 (I think thats the post 2021 PVR) & 2 spare)
These will carry the new arriva livery with 306 branding for the 306 Newcastle-Coast Road-Battle Hill-North Shields-Tynemouth every 15 minutes with the spares not being route branded, these will be numbered 1635-44 and will have the same features as tge 10.8M versions 

this will allow all jesmond's B7s, 57 & 58 reg E400s & solos to be withdrawn and will also allow the 306 branded pulsars to go on the 685 (with a little repaint) allowing 4660-62 to be withdrawn 

Blyth:

16x E200MMCs to replace the pulsars, darts and solos on expresses these will come in the new arriva livery  and will have the same features as all other single deckers mentioned. Unsure of Fleet numbers 

2x mellor stratas 1 for the 58 and one for a spare/switch over bus for the 58 these will be in the new livery and branded for the 58 East Hartford-Mannor Walks-High Pit-Hospital, these will feature Seat Belts, NSAs & Free WiFi. Unsure of Fleet numbers.

This leaves the darts and solos up for withdrawal & pulsars up for cascade
(10 Aug 2021, 4:43 pm)GNE6312 Wrote: Here's my suggestion for an upgrade to the 3 northumbria depots (Fleet numbers are just suggestions:

Ashington:

15x Scania fencer F1s (4x for the 57/57A, 4x for the 35, 2x for the X14 & 4 spares) these will be numbered 4601-4614. All these will be new in the new arriva livery and 4601/02 will be branded for service X14 Newcastle-Morpeth-Rothbury-Thropton, 4603-4606 being branded for services 57/57A Cramlington-Seaton Deleval-Monkseaton-Whitley every 30 minutes & 4607-10 being branded for service 35 Morpeth-Ashington-Newbiggin-Woodhorn 4611-4614 will not have route branding as they will be spare, these will all feature USB charging, Leather Seats, NSAs & free WiFi.

This wouldn't work. The 57/57A doesn't need anything more than a minibus, the 35 on a half hourly frequency needs deckers. 

(10 Aug 2021, 4:43 pm)GNE6312 Wrote: 20x Wright Streetdeck OM936s (4 for the X15, 4 for the X20, 6 for the X18 & 6 spare which means 2 spares for each route) these will be numbered 7701-7720, these will feature free WiFi, NSAs, USB charging, leather seats, tables & wireless charging with these all coming in sapphire livery with 7701-04 carrying branding for service X15 Newcastle-Morpeth-Alnwick-Berwick every hour to Alnwick & every 2 hours to Berwick, 7705-7708 will be branded for the X20 Newcastle-Ashington-Amble-Alnwick every 60 minutes, 7709-7714 will be branded for X18 explore the northumbria coast branding similar to the X93 with 7715-20 being spare and will have no route branding.

These changes will release all Ashington's medibus Fleet, 7510-17, 4653/55/64, 7445/46/84/86 up for withdrawal and 7529-33/53-56 up for cascade


This is bizarre, 20 buses for a PVR of 14 is a ridiculous amount of overkill, especially given you're also suggesting there being 15 F1s for 10 boards. That's 11 spare buses already, then you'd also still have 7524-8 and 7541-52 for the X21/22 which brings the depot spares to 13 buses in total. 

For Ashington, a more realistic suggestion in the current climate would be something like:

X21/22: Repaint and refurb 7524-8 to new spec, alongside 7541-52 (2 spare for PVR of 15). 
35: 7514-7.
X14: 1408/11 from Jesmond, plus one 64-plate E400. 
X15: 4x new E400 MMC
X18: 6x new E400MMC
X20: 7553-6
57/57A: 5x new (short) E200 MMCs. 

7529-33 retained as spares for X14/5/8/20. 

This gives 7 spares during the summer, and 8 during the winter with one acting as a paint/repair vehicle. 

Allows for the withdrawal of the 3 Scanias, the B7TLs, 7510-12, and the Solos.
It's pure fantasy to suggest that Arriva are going to fund 80+ buses for the North East, although it's probably required due to years of under-investment. 

It remains to be seen what they'll do with the Newcastle CAZ looming, and not to mention their latest set of accounts filed looking so bleak.
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Yeah and I want a unicorn that shits gold. Neither is going to happen.
Surely some new investments should be in the pipeline. The youngest bus 2017. And we have some buses from 2003-2005.
(10 Aug 2021, 6:52 pm)Ryland Wrote: Surely some new investments should be in the pipeline. The youngest bus 2017. And we have some buses from 2003-2005.
Well looking at the Blyth fleet I can't see anything new coming in the near future. All DD and Pulsars are between 9-11 years old, the Solos 13 years old. I imagine the Solos will go in 2-3 years time as minibuses are phased out entirely. However they'll be looking for at least 17/18 years out the current fleet of big buses. To be fair they're wearing better than the Scanias they replaced which were all pretty much finished at 12/13 years old.
(10 Aug 2021, 6:52 pm)Ryland Wrote: Surely some new investments should be in the pipeline. The youngest bus 2017. And we have some buses from 2003-2005.

Yeah, but as with everything in life, it costs money. There lies the problem.
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(10 Aug 2021, 7:13 pm)Adrian Wrote: Yeah, but as with everything in life, it costs money. There lies the problem.
Hypothetically, If Arriva go into liquidation what would happen.
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(10 Aug 2021, 7:13 pm)Adrian Wrote: Yeah, but as with everything in life, it costs money. There lies the problem.
And the Pandemic hasnt help one single bit
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Tez
(10 Aug 2021, 8:06 pm)ASX_Terranova Wrote: Hypothetically, If Arriva go into liquidation what would happen.
They won't.  They've been subsidised well by the government during the covid carry on.
(10 Aug 2021, 9:07 pm)Driver9*** Wrote: They won't.  They've been subsidised well by the government during the covid carry on.

CBSSG only covered the difference between revenue and costs = no profit made since April 2020 for any operator. CBSSG ends this month. That was an absolute minimum from the government given their choice to shut the country down and push 'anti-bus' propaganda.

The replacement fund from September, is more of a fixed pot arrangement, which operators will get a % £ of based on a mathematical % of miles operated & evidenced revenue foregone. It is HIGHLY likely operators will start to be loss making from this point onwards. There is no guarantee that what they get from the fund will cover the costs like CBSSG did. Service reductions incoming if that is the case = redundancies. GNE have already jumped the gun as they can see what is coming. ANE have held services down in some places, which now looks to be a shrewd move.

Beyond that is even scarier. Funding ends completely in April and 'should' see the start of Bus Service Improvement Plans (and the funding the government will allocate depending on how good the BSIP submitted by each authority actually is). Transport North East are leading on the Northumberland/Newcastle/Durham area, so yeah - good luck with that. Even the government isnt expecting 100% normalised passenger numbers from then - but they are going to pull the rug anyway. No profit = no investment. Small margins = service reductions as it is probably more lucrative to put the capital into a high interest savings account!

Inadequate funding from April I believe is very likely. As a result, we will see heroic service reductions (based on the principle that the vast majority of the billions of £ the government harp on about in the National Bus Strategy will ultimately be used as part of the ZEBRA fund and not revenue support. Most authorities will be lucky to get a few hundred grand at best - certainly not enough to sustain normal service or improve anything long term).

So whilst you are correct in that they certainly wont go into liquidation, the network, depot footprint, overhead staffing levels and investment will be the ones further hit to balance the books and send enough Euros to Germany.
They'll need to sort out their fleet before the Newcastle CAZ comes into force, meaning you could see reductions earlier. Not just Arriva, but I could see operators delibrately avoiding the city centre because they don't have the resources.
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idt arriva has bought more than 20 buses (except London) since 2018/9, so order predictions dont hold ur breath
The amount of investment in new buses is likely to be minimal in the next few years I reckon, maybe some cascades from London will be possible.

At least some of the Arriva fleet heading in/out of Newcastle have already had mods to Euro 6 such as Jesmond's StreetLite's and the X12 Pulsar's.

We now have another year to worry about CAZ in Newcastle and how that affects things which will obviously be sorted somehow, someway.

Also as ever with these suggestions, Arriva North East exist South of Newcastle and not just the X12! The next buses for the chopping block are likely to be the 05 plate OmniCity's and probs B7's as well.
(10 Aug 2021, 11:47 pm)Jimmi Wrote: The amount of investment in new buses is likely to be minimal in the next few years I reckon, maybe some cascades from London will be possible.

At least some of the Arriva fleet heading in/out of Newcastle have already had mods to Euro 6 such as Jesmond's StreetLite's and the X12 Pulsar's.

We now have another year to worry about CAZ in Newcastle and how that affects things which will obviously be sorted somehow, someway.

Also as ever with these suggestions, Arriva North East exist South of Newcastle and not just the X12! The next buses for the chopping block are likely to be the 05 plate OmniCity's and probs B7's as well.

Hasn't everything pretty much been done now for CAZ? I know Blyth Gemini's have definitely been done and so have some of the Solo's based at Jesmond. Looking at the fleet list on here (whether it's reliable) they were starting to do the Pulsars and Enviro 400's aswell before the site stopped being updated so that's Ashington's fleet done pretty much.

Apart from the B7TL's and Omnicity's there's not really that much of a problem and some of those can be thrown on the 35 at Ashington where no doubt they'll end up.

Personally I wouldn't be surprised to see some Gemini's or Enviro's coming up from London like you said to replace the B7TL's with Euro 6 Mods, maybe even some extra at Blyth and Jesmond to see out some Pulsars to replace the Omnicity's in Darlington. Doubt there will be much more bar maybe something for the X15/X18 at Ashington which is having problems lately.
For the X14/X15/X18/X20 at Ashington 6 cylinder streetdecks will be good as those E400s are unreliable
(10 Aug 2021, 10:29 pm)ASX_Terranova Wrote: They'll need to sort out their fleet before the Newcastle CAZ comes into force, meaning you could see reductions earlier. Not just Arriva, but I could see operators delibrately avoiding the city centre because they don't have the resources.
I reckon they will do as much of this as they can by pulling in compliant or modifiable vehicles in from arriva County Durham. I suspect that county Durham will completely abandon the newcastle- Durham stretch of the X12. They've all but given up on it already.
(11 Aug 2021, 11:13 am)GNE6312 Wrote: For the X14/X15/X18/X20 at Ashington 6 cylinder streetdecks will be good as those E400s are unreliable

They're only unreliable because they're 11+ years old. 7529-33 and 7553-6 aren't that bad, let down mainly by excessive use given it's unwise to let the 57/09-plates out until end of play. 

The 14-plates (7524-8) do express work day in day out without any real issues, and the MMCs perform well when put on Alnwick work.
(10 Aug 2021, 9:52 pm)RobinHood Wrote: CBSSG only covered the difference between revenue and costs = no profit made since April 2020 for any operator. CBSSG ends this month. That was an absolute minimum from the government given their choice to shut the country down and push 'anti-bus' propaganda.

The replacement fund from September, is more of a fixed pot arrangement, which operators will get a % £ of based on a mathematical % of miles operated & evidenced revenue foregone. It is HIGHLY likely operators will start to be loss making from this point onwards. There is no guarantee that what they get from the fund will cover the costs like CBSSG did. Service reductions incoming if that is the case = redundancies. GNE have already jumped the gun as they can see what is coming. ANE have held services down in some places, which now looks to be a shrewd move.

Beyond that is even scarier. Funding ends completely in April and 'should' see the start of Bus Service Improvement Plans (and the funding the government will allocate depending on how good the BSIP submitted by each authority actually is). Transport North East are leading on the Northumberland/Newcastle/Durham area, so yeah - good luck with that. Even the government isnt expecting 100% normalised passenger numbers from then - but they are going to pull the rug anyway. No profit = no investment. Small margins = service reductions as it is probably more lucrative to put the capital into a high interest savings account!

Inadequate funding from April I believe is very likely. As a result, we will see heroic service reductions (based on the principle that the vast majority of the billions of £ the government harp on about in the National Bus Strategy will ultimately be used as part of the ZEBRA fund and not revenue support. Most authorities will be lucky to get a few hundred grand at best - certainly not enough to sustain normal service or improve anything long term).

So whilst you are correct in that they certainly wont go into liquidation, the network, depot footprint, overhead staffing levels and investment will be the ones further hit to balance the books and send enough Euros to Germany.
Maybe in admin/supervisory roles but certainly not drivers. All of the big three opertors are begging for new recruits atm.
(11 Aug 2021, 1:54 pm)Driver9*** Wrote: Maybe in admin/supervisory roles but certainly not drivers. All of the big three opertors are begging for new recruits atm.

In order to cover 100% miles, yes.

20% reduction in drivers in some depots can be as much as 40 people. Considering the North depots are going back to close to normal end of this month suggests that drivers are close to normal levels - at least North of the Tyne. If I was a driver there, I would be worried.