Bus operator Go-Ahead group hosted a group of Councillors at the Orpington Bus Garage in March to show them the new fully electric bus which is set to operate on the 358 route from later this year.
The delegation to see the new bus and hear about some of Go-Aheads work towards zero emissions were Councillor Nicholas Bennett, Executive Member for Transport, Road Safety and Highways, Councillor Will Rowlands, Environment Committee Chairman, Councillor Thomas Turrell, Executive Assistant for Environment and Beckenham Councillor Michael Tickner.
The so-called ‘Trambus’, named because of its resemblance to a tram, is being rolled out on the 358 route between Orpington and Crystal Palace via Shortlands, Eden Park, Elmers End, Beckenham and Penge. The new model will be fully electric and will charge at either end of the route on newly installed inverted pantographs in addition to an overnight charge at the bus garage
An exact date for the rollout has not yet been agreed as Transport for London have not signed the lease with the owner of the land in Orpington which will house the pantograph. The pantograph in Crystal Palace is only weeks away from being completed.
The new bus model features a wood-like design on the floor, more comfortable seating, USD charge points and mood lights. It also features larger windows to ensure the bus benefits from more natural lighting and relies on cameras rather than wing-mirrors to reduce blind spots. During the visit the Councillors were treated to a test ride on the new bus from Orpington to Bromley and back.
Throughout the process Bromley Council has engaged with TfL and Go-Ahead Group to ensure that the borough secured this new bus for a local route.
Councillor Nicholas Bennett said:
“It is really exciting to see one of these transformative new buses coming to Bromley. The new bus will be much more pleasant to ride, with USB charging facilities and more comfortable seating, and will be a much cleaner vehicle operating on our roads. The bus fleet is one of London’s biggest polluters so converting the fleet to these cleaner vehicles, as we have seen on the 119 and 353 buses”.