Information posted on July 23rd 2018 at 14:40
✤Stagecoach Merseyside & South Lancashire
A further coach here is Volvo B7R 53297 (909RWX) transferred from the Rennies fleet at Stagecoach East Scotland. Further ADL Enviro 300s to leave here for Stagecoach West Scotland have been 27716-18/21/70-73.
Optare Solos 47341 and 47713 have transferred from Gilmoss to Birkenhead whilst Reserve Fleet 47713 is now for disposal here. The company is showing former Chester Dart SLFs 34814/20 as being at Gilmoss with 47035 now being allocated to Chester as are ADL Enviro 300s 27779, 27902 and 27925 with 27778 now being at Gilmoss. Also at Gilmoss and transferred from Preston is MAN/Enviro 300 24172 whilst Trident 18385 from Gilmoss is now in the Reserve Fleet.
Staff at Rotala and Stagecoach West were told on July 19th that Stagecoach would be taking over Rotala’s North Bristol operation.
In a message to staff, Rupert Cox, Managing Director at Stagecoach West said:
“I am pleased to report that we have concluded a deal with Rotala plc to take on most of the bus routes operated by their Wessex subsidiary in and around Bristol. Around 50 drivers and engineers will transfer across to Stagecoach West along with services 3 (3A, 38, 3C & 3X), 11/11A, 508, 513/514, 515, 625 and the TSB Staff Shuttle.
“We are still finalising some aspects but we expect to start operating these services on Sunday 2 September 2018 and operate from our existing base in Patchway.
“This is an exciting time for our growing business in Bristol and I'll share with you more details of what will be happening during the coming days and weeks”.
Rotala’s operations in Bath will be closed down.
Nine vehicles are due to transfer to Stagecoach, one Optare Solo and eight ADL Enviro 200s.
✤Stagecoach Group/Stagecoach UK Bus
Transport operator Stagecoach confirmed today (23rd July 2018) that it has partnered with bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) and technology company Fusion Processing to produce a single deck autonomous bus.
Once complete, the 12m ADL Enviro200 vehicle will be completely autonomous and able to operate without a driver in an off-road environment. The technology also delivers road safety benefits when driven in manual mode.
Work on the vehicle is being carried out at ADL’s site in Guildford and the bus is expected to be ready for use by the end of this year.
In the short term, the bus will be used in autonomous mode only within the depot environment, to carry out movements such as parking and moving into the fuelling station and bus wash. Using self-driving vehicles within depots more widely could help improve safety, efficiency and space utilisation within the depot.
Legal restrictions mean the vehicle will not be used in autonomous mode in passenger service for some time. However the system can be used straight away to help improve the safety of road users. For example, when the bus is driven in manual mode, the sensor system on the bus, whilst not engaged to drive the vehicle, can still be used to provide assistance to the driver by warning of cyclists or pedestrians that may be in the blind spot or arrive unexpectedly close to the vehicle.
Over time, autonomous bus technology is expected to be used more widely, including on services carrying passengers, dependent on legal developments.
Stagecoach UK Bus Engineering Director Sam Greer said: “Stagecoach has long been at the heart of innovation within the bus industry and this is an exciting trial that will deliver the UK’s first fully autonomous single deck bus.”
“We look forward to working with our partners on this project which we believe could, in time, help improve safety and efficiency within our depots, and over the longer term, help transform bus travel in the future.”
The Stagecoach bus will be fitted with the CAVstar® system provided by Fusion Processing Ltd.
CAVstar® was utilised successfully in the UK’s largest public trial of autonomous vehicles to date, in Greenwich earlier this year, and a number of other projects.
The system uses multiple sensor types, including radar, laser, camera and ultrasound, along with satellite navigation to detect and avoid objects, in all weathers, day and night, and plan an optimum path for the vehicle.
Jim Hutchinson, CEO of Fusion Processing Ltd said: “We’re delighted Stagecoach and Alexander Dennis have selected our CAVstar® product, the sensor and control system that enables autonomous vehicles. CAVstar® will offer increased safety and efficiency, and will be demonstrated in the Stagecoach trials later this year. “
Ken Scott, Group Engineering Director at ADL, commented, “ADL is renowned for harnessing the latest technology solutions to enhance our products and services to benefit our customers, their passengers and the wider environment. We’re excited to be working with Stagecoach and Fusion Processing on this innovative project. In the first instance it will deliver real and demonstrable improvement to efficiency and safety in depots, while taking another significant step on our journey to bringing fully autonomous vehicles to market.”
✤Stagecoach South West
Scania/Enviro 400s 15662/64/65 have been taken out of service at Exeter in preparation for transfer to Stagecoach Yorkshire at Ecclesfield. To provide temporary cover at Exeter, Tridents 18393/95/97 have been transferred from Plymouth. They will be used pending the remaining former Stagecoach South Scania/Enviro 400s entering service here. Once 15601-05 are all in service we understand that 15667/68 will also be displaced and are likely to be transferred to Stagecoach Midlands.
✤East Yorkshire Motor Services
Volvo B9TL 790 returned here on July 16th following a short period on loan to Go North East, where it was given temporary fleet number 9093. We also understand that Volvo B12B/Plaxton Panther 71 is currently on loan to Go North East whilst the Volvo B7TLs that were transferred to Go North East for work during the Tall Ships event - 586, 594/95, 650/52/54/67 - are unlikely to return to the main EYMS fleet.
✤Stagecoach South Wales
Four of the Mercedes Sprinter minibuses transferred here from Stagecoach South East are now in service with 44001/05/06 at Porth and 44004 at Blackwood. 44004 is in the Reserve Fleet at Blackwood whilst 44002 is being used as a staff shuttle vehicle at Blackwood allowing Optare Solo 47202 to return to the Reserve Fleet. Now for disposal here are Optare Solo 47293 and Dart SLF 34755. The plan to convert Dart SLF 34677 to a training vehicle has either been cancelled or temporarily put on hold as it has returned to the operational fleet at Porth.
Optare Solo 47206 is transferred from Porth to the Reserve Fleet at Aberdare with 47201 moving from Aberdare to Blackwood. At Blackwood Dart SLFs 34522 and 34676 are now in the Reserve Fleet and Dart SLF 34555 is in the operational Reserve Fleet at Merthyr. Reserve Fleet Optare Solo 47757 is now allocated to Cwmbran with 47642 moving over into the Reserve Fleet. Also in Reserve at Cwmbran is Scania/Enviro 300 28722, with 28725 returning to the operational fleet there.
✤Stagecoach South East
Reserve Fleet Trident 17590 has been allocated to Eastbourne whilst Volvo B10M training coach 52498 has been sold.