London bus contract changes announced

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Routes exchanged between Metroline, London Sovereign, Arriva and Tower Transit, with Abellis and Metrobus losing out

London Bus Services Ltd has announced the results of the latest bus tenders in the capital.

Arriva London South has secured the contracts to operate routes 202, 319, 405 and 466. Route 202, which is currently operated by Metrobus, will transfer to Arriva on 19 September 2020, from which point the company will begin operating 15 new hybrid double-deckers on the service.

The 319 service is already operated by Arriva London South; 19 new electric double-deckers will be used on the service when the contract renews 12 September. The 405 will transfer from Metrobus operation on 29 August, with Arriva planning to operate nine new hybrid ‘deckers on it.

Finally, the contract for route 466 – already operated by Arriva London South – will also renew on 29 August. 19 existing double-decker diesels will be used.

Tower Transit has won the contract for routes 23 and C3. The 23, which it already operates, will renew on 25 July; 24 new electric double-deckers will be used. Meanwhile, the C3 has been won from Abellio London. Tower Transit intends to use nine new electric double-deckers on the service when it takes it over on 3 October.

Route 139 will transfer from London Sovereign to Metroline on 29 August, with the company planning to use a combination of 23 new and existing hybrid double-deckers on the service.

Meanwhile, Metroline has renewed its contract for the N20 service, which will continue to feature existing hybrid double-deckers when the contract is renewed on 25 July. It’s the same story with route 324, which the operator will continue operating when the contract is renewed on 24 October. Seven existing diesel ‘deckers will be used.

London Sovereign has extended its operation of the 326 service, and has won the N5 from Metroline. Both will renew on 25 July – with existing single-decker diesels being used on the former, with existing double-decker hybrids being operating on the latter.

All vehicles being used on the above routes will meet or exceed Euro VI emissions standards, although the electric vehicles mentioned may not enter service until after the routes change hands in some cases, due to ‘infrastructure delivery timescales.’