The first day into service December 12th 2016
3632 BT66MVP is seen about to turn into Garnet Lane, Woodlands just outside of Tadcaster, during the first full trip into Scarborough. The bus had set off from Malton at 06:14, arriving into Leeds for 08:25 and was ready to begin the 08:45 journey as the 843.
Transdev Coastliner had successfully showcased both 3631 and 3632 during Thursday December 8th 2016, with plenty of positive feedback from current and potential passengers. After the event the vehicles were taken back to York Fulford Road (3631) or Malton (3632) depots. Friday saw both vehicles undergo the final checks before been placed into service.
On Saturday December 10th, 3632 was used to undergo clearance tests at Kirkby Misperton and a roundabout at Goathland, to ensure the new vehicles could be used on the 840 service to Whitby. The evaluation trial went well with as the vehicle was returned to Malton, for the team to discuss the usage of the new buses on this section of the route.
During Sunday December 11th, the Yorkbus twitter feed announced that the first public journey would take place on Monday, with a trip to Leeds, Scarborough, Leeds and then Thornton-Le-Dale, starting at 06:14.
Monday morning saw early preparations for 3632 to be ready for the maiden voyage at 06:14, at which time it was dark and in some places very dense fog patches. Your author caught up with 3632 at Seacroft, having narrowly missed a chance to photograph it in Tadcaster going to Leeds. The early fog had encapsulated Tadcaster and the surrounding area, making it quite atmospheric for some photographs.
Woodlands Avenue on the outskirts of Tadcaster town, sees 3632 picking up a passenger in some foggy conditions, the bus was keeping to time and look very magnificent during her first morning.
During the devastating floods of December 2015, Tadcaster was cut in half after the Bridge collapsed in dramatic style. Footage of the actual moment being caught on a mobile camera, it was followed by an investigation and result in a £2 million pound plus rebuilding project. With this event Yorkshire Coastliner were unable to serve the towns bus station, instead a shuttle service was introduced. This connected the main Coastliner routes, later the idea was curtailed in favour of buses doing a circuit around the High Street and Chapel Street. Transdev also introduced the new 'Tadfaster' service using a selection of York based single deck buses. This hourly direct service connects Tadcaster with York from 06:55 until 18:09. After the small Tadcaster circuit, 3632 was then taken onto the A162 and returned to the A64 then forward to Copmanthorpe a small village just off the A64. Here at least the weather improved as sunny conditions had broken through the heavy cloud.
Copmanthorpe village offers more photographic opportunities as 3632 turns into main road within the village.
3632 continued into York city centre and the major interchange sections at the Railway Station and at Stonebow, before heading towards a rather misty well foggy Stockton on the Forest. Your author managed to negotiate the cities wonderful traffic light system to venture towards Stockton, were the car was parked, then joined 3632 for its journey to Scarborough. From Stockton on the Forest the 843 takes just around 84 minutes to travel to Scarborough. The bus arrived some seven minutes late into Malton bus station, here a driver change and a few photographs were taken.
Your author had travelled in the lower saloon on the journey to Malton, taking a seat in the last low floor section of Civic V3 seats. Here amble leg room allows for a more comfortable journey, the wood effect floor allowing a warm touch to the interior décor. 3632 was driven well be the female driver, who guided the bus very well upon the hilly sections of the undulating A64. The kick-down was noticeable on a couple of the steeper hills, but the new Volvo D5K engine and ZF six speed gearbox are a great union of power. The ambient temperature within the lower saloon was just right on a cool crisp day, with the passengers speaking highly of the new vehicles.
Scarborough Peasholm Park
From Malton bus station the bus ventured around Norton village before re-joining the A64, as the bus passed through Scagglethorpe, Rillington, West Heslerton, Sherburn, Canton and Saxton. Before heading into Seamer and then taking a winding road into Scarborough town centre. At a packed Railway station stop, in company with East Yorkshire Volvo/Plaxton deckers and ADL E200 saloons, 3632 paused for a short while before continuing towards Peasholm Park.
For this section of the route, your author had travelled on the nearside upper deck table area. The high-backed VGA cloth moquette/e-leather seating providing more comfortable travelling. On the social table, there are two mains plugs with USB charging ports and a Wireless charging port, something your author had not seen. This charges Samsung and market leading I-phones without, yes you have guessed correctly no wires, oh the wonders of the mobile generation. I was joined by three fellow bus enthusiasts Jake, Jordan and Lewis, who had embarked on the bus journey at various points. The journey to Scarborough was seemingly very quick, as everyone had tales and stories to tell. Again, the passengers were in favour of this new styled bus, with its Wi-Fi and at seat charging points.
3632 uses the roundabout at Peasholm Park to begin its journey back to York and Leeds, the mid December sun assisting with some brightness.
At the terminus in Peasholm Park the bus pauses for a driver break, before heading back to Malton, York and Leeds. The bus returned to Malton along the route, setting off at 12:00, with a few minutes stop at the railway station. Having travelled along the route the bus had made it back to Malton, here a refreshment break was taken along with a couple of shots. However, due to an issue, the bus was taken of service which was the right action to ensure passenger safety. Volvo B9TL/Wrightbus Gemini2 425 returned your author to his car, as the clouds formed and the rain began to fall.
3632 pauses at Malton before being taken off service due to a technical issue, in dry condition the vehicle looks impressive and the new livery suits the bodywork shape.
3632 had performed very well in her maiden voyage, the clean smart interior with its tables on both decks, comfortable dual-purpose seating, free 4G Wi-Fi at seat and table USB power with additional mains and wireless charging. These amazingly impressive vehicles deliver on passenger comfort, with scrolling next stop screens, audio next stop announcements for certain stops along the route. Both drivers expertly gave the bus a good drive along straight, hilly and winding sections of the service, with enough power to climb the hills at a steady pace. More of the class are now being prepared at Burnley Queensgate depot and no doubt before the New Year they will be in service, rubbing shoulders with 421-429.
Five more vehicles will be purchased for delivery during 2017, thus allowing Coastliner to become the youngest bus company in the UK.
Here are my personal views on bus activity in my area and beyond