LT33, which broke down on route 24 whilst I was on it on Wednesday, is still not back in service.

LT36 broke down yesterday, also in Victoria Street, opposite Transport for London’s HQ. Ooops:


Despite repeated claims from, variously, Boris Johnson, Leon Daniels and Sir Peter Hendy that the ineffectual air cooling on the New Bus For London was fixed, Grayson Thermal Solutions have made the following announcement on their website:

Grayson Thermal Systems is proud to have been commissioned by Wrightbus to fix the problems that Transport for London (TfL) is having with the air conditioning systems on some of its new Routemaster buses.

Grayson service director Ian Hateley said: “Grayson did not supply the air conditioning systems that were installed on the “Boris Buses”, but nonetheless we are able to offer a full diagnostic and repair service. We have a large number of service vans and trained technicians based in the London area, and we are geared up to offer a fast and responsive emergency service.

“It’s a real shame that the current hot weather has led to problems with these great new buses, but we are confident that Grayson will be able to take the heat out of the situation quickly and efficiently.”

Are there any UK bus manufacturers who aren’t pointing and laughing at WrightBus?

Whichever manufacturer did supply the air conditioning systems for the New Bus For London should have been aware that their equipment did not work from the first time the very first prototype took to the road.

Neither they, WrightBus nor Transport for London did anything to remedy the problem in the 16 months that the prototypes were operating on route 38 and Boris Johnson went ahead and ordered 600 buses with air cooling equipment which is totally inadequate, especially on a bus with no opening windows.

Who is getting the bill for this almighty cock-up? WrightBus? The air cooling manufacturers? Transport for London?

Meanwhile, another roundup of Roastmaster conditions:






8 Responses to New Bus For London – Still Breaking Down And Still Without Adequate Air Cooling

  1. FreeBBC says:

    The production of the NBFL’s have been built in a rush. TFL wants things done in a deadline. The 2nd route to be converted to NBFL’s is going to be route 11 by September the 21st. But none of the NBFL’s have been delivered to Go Ahead Group yet.

    But Wrightbus and TFL needs to roll out the buses in quality instead of quantity. So it’s TFL’s fault for its demands to have them delivered before the deadline. They should roll the buses out one by one instead of causing problems by converting the whole route all in one go.

    And regarding about LT33 and LT36. The LT33 is not in service today and the LT36 haven’t been in service since they come back from its N24 service.
    If you put in List LT on the London VF You will see the list of NBFL’s on route 38 and 24.

  2. JIm says:

    When a company provides new equipment ie air cooling system are they not responsible for it.
    How is another company given the job to make it work right.
    Time for BorisWatch to find out who built the cooling system

  3. Andrew W1 says:

    I have just checked “List LT” and there are 32 buses alloacted to Route 24 rather than the 27 that were intended. This probably explains why they are currently managing to run what appears to be a normal service.
    Looking at the regular failures reported here, they may have to keep the fleet at this level for some time.

  4. Alex says:

    Have we found out what this “air cooling” consists of yet? Is it actually an evap cooler?

  5. Andre Burbidge says:

    I believe TfL have specified air cooling since about 2006 following complaints of hot buses in summer – usually a unit above the stairs, often with the top of the roof painted white. The new double decks for the past 10 years have had large windows and no vents at the front.But in every other design except the LT this is additional to opening windows.

    Apparently Wrightbus made provision for opening windows on the LT if needed, so it’ll be interesting to see whether TfL continues to insist the systen can be made to work or quietly sends existing LT buses off for modifiation and changes the spec.

  6. tim says:

    On a recent visit to london I had the misfortune to take one of these new BFL buses on a hot sunny day and it was a nightmare -outside temp 26 inside 35 and smelled bad of sweaty bodies. I soon gave up and took another bus which although 28 inside at least had lots of windows to give fresh air . I was told the new buses cost £350,000! What a load of rubbish and a waste of space and money. Since Johnson has been so involved with these new buses I think it only right that he should issue a public apology and send them back to the makers for major alterations including putting in windows ,especially at the front

  7. JOHN says:

    Me as a dutch tourist reading the comments on the new buses in this case, I was using the ARRIVA LT 6, and I must say, that I experienced nice ventilation on the lower deck as comfortable,looks like if AC is in lower deck too, so it looks like that this bus has been improved compared with my last trip in July, when I visited London for the second time. Hopefully the other buses will be fine too. I gave my positive opinion to the driver who asked me what my findings are during the trip.

  8. Steve Purver says:

    I travel on buses regularly, and I nearly always use the top deck. A lot of buses have aircon on the top deck but I never feel the full benefit as people open most of the windows, letting the hot air in. So I can see the point of having a bus without opening windows, but it is essential that there is a decent air cooling system (ideally 2 separate systems in case one breaks down) in place.

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