Scania Demonstrator with Reading
Reading Buses currently have Scania / Alexander Dennis Enviro300SG YT13 YUK on loan to cover for warranty work on their fleet of similar vehicles. The vehicle has been given temporary fleet number 400 and is generally restricted to peak workings on Greenwave services.
400 on 16 January. Thanks to Bob Morley for this photo.
Thames Travel Exit Bracknell
Today saw a number of changes to operators running tendered services in the Bracknell area following Thames Travel loosing all of their contracts in the area after nearly four years. Temporary contracts have been awarded to First and Courtney Buses pending the award of full contracts in 13 weeks time. During this period operation of the 53/153 reverts to First who also gain the 108 and Saturday evening 154. Courtney take on the 152, 154/156 and 162.
The replacement operators haven't just been busy taking on the new routes. Today also saw Courtney launch it's new new Alexander Dennis Enviro400Hs on the Milton Park shuttle from Didcot Station.
SN63 VTY at Didcot Station today. Thanks to Graham Low for this photo.
Meanwhile, First introduced new route X94 between Bracknell and Camberley from 7 September to complement existing route 194, and have today launched two former Slough-Heathrow 7-Series Mercedes Citaros branded for the route pending repaint into Beeline livery later in the year. The Citaros have been displaced from Slough by five additional Volvo 9700 hybrids which started to enter service last week.
64021 showing the newly applied branding. Thanks to Mat Wooll for this photo.
Thames Travel had been operating temporary reduced timetables on the 53/153 and 108 since 24th December due to staff shortages in the run up to the changes, with First having already taken over route 151 from 25th November 2013 using Solo 53065. The remaining contracts are being operated using vehicles transferred in from First Hampshire, whilst Courtney have temporarily leased three brand new Optare Solos.
It is believed that Thames Travel's released Solos and E200s will mainly be used to improve the reliability of their recently altered South Oxfordshire network between Oxford, Didcot, Harwell and Wantage.