Saturday. Armed with my thermometer, I set off from Victoria towards Hampstead on LT39 at just after 12:24pm. This time, I went all the way to the Hampstead terminus on seven different buses on route 24, arriving at approximately 2:15pm.

Much cooler in London today, a high of 23°C. The temperatures I recorded at the rear of the upper deck of each bus were as follows:

LT39 (lights on) 28°C
LT27 (lights off) 27.9°C
LT24 (lights off) 27.8°C
LT30 (lights off) 28.5°C
LT16 (lights off) 26.9°C
LT10 (lights off) 26.9°C
LT32 (lights off) 27.6°C

Was the air cooling “working” on each of these buses? It was blowing out cool air through the vents on the upper deck, but still very weakly. I travelled on a 237 (Wright Eclipse Gemini-bodied Volvo) on Thursday this week and the air cooling on the upper deck was very strong – I could feel the cool air flow at least 3′ away from the vents. On the New Bus For London the air flow from the vents ceases to be noticeable from 3″ away.

As I climbed the stairs on LT16 I asked the “conductor” if the air conditioning was working upstairs; his response:

Yeah, they fixed it. If you were on one of the early ones you would’ve been sweating.

Colour me sceptical, but when the weather hots up again in a few days I think the air cooling will be struggling again.

Talking of strugggling, LT25 gave up the ghost today and passed me on the back of a tow truck as I was waiting at Warren Street:
20130720_133701

It was also spotted a few minutes earlier by a Twitter user:

In the space of three days, then, I’ve been on one New Bus For London which has broken down (and is still not back in service) and I’ve seen another dead one being dragged off on a tow truck. I also spotted a panel coming away on the ceiling of the lower deck of LT39: 20130720_125101 To go with a similar panel fail spotted two days ago:

 

I also spotted a screw missing on the upper deck of LT10:
20130720_135730

Today, I finally experienced the smell which I had seen complained about on Twitter:

 

 

As I boarded LT27, there was a revolting stench of urine coming from the rear platform, so bad it almost took my breath away. LT10 also had the unpleasant aroma of urine.

Nasty.

At around 2:45pm I caught LT19 at the Hampstead terminus and decided to get it all the way back to Victoria, sitting downstairs by the rear door.

In complete contrast to last Saturday, when it was very hot and sunny in London, the 24s had been mostly deserted all afternoon – the “conductor” confirmed that it had been like that all day. Standing passengers had been crammed onto the buses, spilling onto the  platforms and stairs last week – this week they were virtually empty.

Another passenger had the following conversation with the “conductor”:

 

“Do you get many kids trying to jump on and off?”

“Not really, it’s mostly adults”

“We used to have these buses when I was a kid – we never used to pay, never. If the conductor came you just jumped off and got on the next one”

Of course, on the New Bus For London, the “conductor” doesn’t actually sell or check tickets so fare evasion by entry through the middle door (avoiding the driver at the front and the “conductor” at the rear) is perfectly possible.

Only one report on the New Bus For London on route 38 today:

 
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