Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 CBG

See also: Alexander Dennis Enviro 400, Enviro 400H & Enviro 400 MMC

Five Enviro 400 CBGs were ordered on 30 April 2016, becoming 701-705. The vehicles were the world’s first Euro 6 gas powered double deckers, and followed on from Scania & Alexander Dennis' development of the gas powered Enviro300 which had proven both economically sound and reliable. Gas tanks are installed under the staircase and rear seats instead of the roof pod used on the single-decker. Gas produces almost no particulates or hydrocarbons, almost zero carbon and 99% less nitrogen oxide than a diesel vehicle. The Natural Gas comes from a certified carbon neutral bio-methane source, mainly cow poo.

The interior features high back seating with black flat-cloth, at-seat USB charging sockets for mobile phones and tablets, a table area upstairs with a wireless ‘aircharge’ mobile and tablet charging pad, free superfast 4G Wi-Fi, wood effect flooring and next stop audio and visual customer information systems. The buses also feature two wheelchair bays as part of a trial for future specifications, allowing two wheelchair users to travel together.

701 was exhibited at the Coach and Bus Live show at the NEC in Birmingham from 1st to 3rd November 2016, and 703 was displayed in Broad Street as part of the official launch of the vehicles on 14 January 2017. All five were delivered to the Scania dealership in Thatcham in December where they were stored pending registration and taxation, apart from 704 which was brought to Reading for staff familiarisation, albeit still un-registered.

701 is seen below in Friar Street on 31st March 2017:

701 on 31 March 2017

Pending delivery of 701-5, three diesel Scania N250 / ADL Enviro 400 MMCs were loaned from Scania in October 2016 pending delayed delivery of 701-5. The first arrived on 18th October, followed by the other two by 23rd and were allocated fleet numbers 775-77 following on from the Enviro 400 chassied Enviro 400 MMCs.

All three entered service on 24th October 2016 with Royal Blue logos on dealer white livery. This branding was removed in January following 701-5 entering service, with the vehicles acting as additional generic fleet vehicles until returning off loan. 776 was with Ipswich Buses by 21st February 2017, 775 remained in service until 19th March and 777 until 17th March, returning to Scania around 22nd March and passing directly to Borders Buses where they were joined by 776 from Ipswich.

Scania demonstrator DD16 GAS, the first production gas powered double decker, was used on demonstration between 22nd December 2017 and 22nd January 2018 to assist with releasing vehicles for the Green Line 702 implementation.

It arrived again on 22nd August 2018 to cover warranty work on the Purple 17 vehicles, and was subsequently acquired on 17 January 2019 upon completion of that work. It was renumbered 700 on 18th May 2019 ahead of a future repaint into Royal Blue 33 livery to replace the single remaining diesel vehicle 756 on that route, but currently remains in Scania livery. It went away for that repaint on 21 February 2020, returning to service on 16 March. It is seen below on 21 February 2020 preparing to depart:

700 on 21 February 2020

Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 CBG City

A further 17 vehicles were ordered for route 17 in 2017, this time with the "City" version of the Enviro 400 body which feature glazed staircase as standard, and were specified with centre doors for the first time since the Leyland Olympians of 1988.

708/10 had been delivered by 13th December 2017 and 707/9/11 by 21st. 712 was used for route surveying on 15th December in unbranded condition, and received its branding on 18th.

709 was the first to enter service on 22nd December, with 707, 708 and 710 following by 24th. 706 entered service on 8th January, and the rest entered service following an official launch on Broad Street on Saturday 13 January 2018 featuring vehicle 708. 715 and a few others entered service on 8th on rail replacement duties between Virginia Water and Weybridge prior to going onto ordinary services after 13th. 710 is seen below on 24th December 2017:

710 on 24 December 2017

711 is seen below on 2 June 2018:

711 on 2 June 2018

719, 721 and 722 arrived on 17th January. 722 is seen below on 21 April 2018:

722 on 12 April 2018

It later became clear that only 13 vehicles were required to operate route 17, and that a proposed frequency increase had been shelved prior to the vehicles arriving, leaving four of the vehicles effectively surplus to requirements, or three if you include a branded spare. It was therefore decided to seek advertising wraps for the vehicles to cover the livery on up, but this did not transpire. A fourteenth peak vehicle working was added in January 2019 to cater for growing passenger numbers and over-crowding, in part due to the vehicles reduced 68 seat capacity compared to the 78 seat vehicles they replaced.

706 gained a ColourBus livery for Hits Radio in September 2018, and a silver front in January 2019. The livery was removed in February and replaced by one for Heart FM in March, the vehicle running in purple 17 livery with a silver front for a few weeks. It is considered a generic vehicle whilst the advertising livery is in place.

707 was repainted into generic silver in August 2019 following an agreement to introduce a double decker on a specific busy Greenwave working from 26 September 2019. Commemorative adverts for the centenary of the first motorbus route were added in December 2019. It is seen below on 22 June 2020 with those adverts still in place:

707 on 22 June 2020

Last updated: 17-08-20

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