Old green and yellow buses could be phased out

GUERNSEY’S last green and yellow buses could be phased out soon, if the States backs the idea next year.

CT Plus is still using some of the green and yellow Dart Nimbus buses.	 (Picture by Peter Frankland, 28982544)
CT Plus is still using some of the green and yellow Dart Nimbus buses. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 28982544)

The vast majority of the fleet has been replaced over the last few years, with the first 12 Streetvibe buses arriving in June 2017 and a further 22 ordered in 2018, over concerns that the old buses were expensive and difficult to maintain.

A States of Guernsey spokesperson confirmed there were still eight of old buses in service, which were built in 2004 or 2005 and have been operating in Guernsey for about 12 years.

‘As with all buses of a certain age, they need more frequent ad-hoc repairs and will at times require more significant maintenance or replacements parts such as engines and gearboxes,’ the spokesperson said.

‘All maintenance of vehicles has cost implications and there comes a time when replacement makes more practical sense both from a reliability and a financial perspective.’

The spokesperson said the plan was for the old buses to be replaced.

‘But a final decision will not be made until the States confirms its priorities for recovery in February next year,’ they said.

So far, 32 of the old buses have been phased out.

Some have been sold locally, but most have been sold to the UK. The new buses have been settling in well.

‘The new StreetVibe buses have proved to be reliable and have adapted well to driving conditions in Guernsey,’ the said.

There were some initial teething problems, but these have now been resolved.

‘The majority of the first batch of 12 vehicles that were purchased have already covered approximately 130,000 miles,’ the spokesperson said.

The States paid £1.65m. in the summer of 2017 for 12 new Euro VI Diesel StreetVibe buses and then nearly £3m. for 22 more after a vote in February 2018.

The vehicles are classified as ultra-low emission and each one can carry up to 43 people.

The eight remaining green and yellow buses are Dart Nimbus vehicles, which were slightly newer than the rest of the old Dart Myllennium buses, which have been replaced.

When the issue was discussed in 2018 it was suggested it was possible that the final phase of the bus replacements could see electric or alternative fuel buses brought in.

n Traffic & Highway Services will be trialling a new late-night bus service in response to requests for such a route to serve the St Andrew’s area, following the success of other such services.

As with the other late-night services, the route is intended to be largely self-funding and so the fare will be £3.

This can be paid by using a PAYG Puffinpass, contactless debit or credit card or in cash to the driver. Student and Concession cards cannot be used.

It begins on the evening of Friday 11 December and will be operated each Friday and Saturday evening until Saturday 30 January 2021, after which a decision will be made on whether to make the route permanent.

More information can be found on the CT Plus website at buses.gg.

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