Information posted on February 20th 2019 at 15:15
✤Stagecoach London/Transport for London
Operation of the Heritage service on route 15 using Routemasters, between Tower Gateway and Trafalgar Square, will end on weekdays after operation on Friday 1stMarch 2019. The tourist service will then only operate on weekends and Bank Holidays from the last Saturday in March until the last weekend in September each year. The change comes as Transport for London (TfL) seeks to reduce the costs of operation.
The service is currently operated by Stagecoach London, who have a fleet of ten Routemasters provided by Transport for London. Five buses have been required on weekdays with four at weekends. TfL says the changes will reduce operating costs from around £1.2m a year to £400,000 and are being made against falling ridership. Figures show that in early 2018 just 300 journeys were being made on weekdays increasing to 450 on weekends. These ridership figures are significantly down on those for 2015 when 850 journeys were made on weekdays increasing to 1,000 at weekends. TfL also says that the subsidy per passenger is £9 against 48p per passenger on the main 15 route and 23p per passenger across all TfL routes.
Stagecoach London operates the service from its West Ham depot. The heritage service requires 12 drivers and 12 customer/platform assistants. We understand that Stagecoach will look to find alternative work for the staff who are displaced. No decision has been made on the future of the vehicles, some of which have been refreshed in recent years at Hants & Dorset trim, as we understand that the number required at West Ham will be reduced.
Currently the Routemasters allocated to West Ham are:
✤Stagecoach UK Bus
Stagecoach has said that work is still ongoing on a project to refresh its corporate branding and image. The current Stagecoach UK Bus livery and branding is almost 20 years old, having replaced the original Stagecoach ‘stripes’ livery in 2000. It has remained largely unchanged since then except for some simplification which removed some of the upward swoops at the front of vehicles and the removal of the white separator between the red and orange swoops on the rear of vehicles. Several alternative colour schemes have been introduced for specific routes and networks over the last 19 years along with the Stagecoach Gold (originally Goldline) livery and branding.