East Yorkshire Motor services have been running bus services all over the Humberside and East Riding of Yorkshire for over 70 plus years. Once part of the BAT (British Automotive Traction ) group, then part of the National Bus Company until 1986, then part of the AJS Holdings group until around the early 1990's. Now with Chairman Peter Shipp at the helm, so to speak, EYMS has become one of the most interesting companies in the Yorkshire county. In 2014 Channel 5 filmed and broadcast the 'On Yorkshire's Buses' documentary programme, which saw boosted numbers at the 'Big Bus Show' in 2014.
During the last couple of years EYMS have had some interesting demonstrator buses on loan, mostly operating the X4 X46 services. The Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 was used on the X4 service based at the Elloughton depot, eventually this bus became EYMS 779 still in the ADL demo colours. The ADL E400MMC (YX64VOO) was around for the 'Big Bus Show' in August 2014, which later led the bus to be on Loan to EYMS noted on 57 and X46 routes in April 2015, this one was in a sliver overall livery. Then in May 2015 EYMS had purchased one of the first new MCV EvoSeti bodies placed upon a Euro6 Volvo B5TL chassis, which looks very smart in the EYMS livery. It is hoped that this bus will join the company soon, after some more proving at the Millbrook track and other operators having a look.
Then on the 8th of June 2015 the EYMS twitter announced the arrival of another demonstrator vehicle, this time a complete integral Wrights StreetDeck vehicle. Featuring the new grey, blue, red and white livery as seen in the above picture of the bus in York on the X46 service. Your author had a chance to venture into York to try and photograph this new vehicle, with timetable in hand and working out with a little serendipity EYMS 135 (SL15ZGP) turned up at the right time. After several more pictures taken of the bus, it ventured off towards Market Weighton and then Hull.
On June 24th 2015 again your author returned to York with the soul purpose to have a ride on this integral vehicle, sure enough EYMS 135 turned up to do the 10:15 York departure on the X46, costing £7.60 for a return trip to Market Weighton, which is pretty good value.
First impressions of the demonstrator were of a fresh, clean and well presented bus, with a bright blue/grey interior colour scheme the bus was very smart. The upper deck has 45 very comfortable seats with deep base squabs and high backs all in a blue base moquette pattern. In 135 the seats allowed good leg room for a six foot tall author to enjoy the journey from York to Market Weighton. There were 4 CCTV cameras in the upper saloon, with a large bus stopping sign above the front window. The upper saloon side windows were small and thinner thus allowing for the weight saving credentials to the StreetDeck vehicle. For your author, still the biggest problem is the size and length of the staircase, rear assending with nine steps, surely a neat and compact square staircase could be sufficient for passengers. This could also allow for more improved leg room in the upper saloon and more seats in the lower saloon too. The most unique feature of this demonstrator was the inclusion of two skylights for extra natural light into the upper saloon, as seen above.
This particular StreetDeck vehicle still has the Euro6 5.1litre OM934 Mercedes 4 cylinder engine rated at 231bhp with an output of 1400rpm. The Voith Diwa.6 4 speed gearbox was coupled to the engine in 135. Other gearbox options are a Daimler G90AMT unit or the more well known ZF Ecolife 6 speed unit, which could have been better fitted in this EYMS example. Within York's city streets the bus coped well with stopping/starting and the traffic, with not much noise from the engine. By the time 135 reached the interurban sections of the route, the vehicles acceleration was smooth and swift but it really need the extra push of two more gears. One would imagine that the Streetdeck would be limited to around 50mph, which is not to bad for a modern double decker. While in the upper saloon the ride was smooth and enjoyable, with the Yorkshire Wolds forming the scenic vistas as 135 headed towards Pocklington station for a brief few minutes stop.
After stopping at Pocklington and having a chat to the driver about the various elements to the StreetDeck and the new ADL E400MMC, the bus was moved on now its was heading for Market Weighton. For this part of the journey your author sat in the lower saloon, with an uncluttered feel to the enviros of the wheelchair and buggy zone, all mixing with the stair case, as can be see with the above photo. The remaining part of the lower deck saw two sets of seats on the low floor part of the bus, with the remaining seats on raised platforms or over the rear wheel arches. The rear area of the lower saloon included a window, which a lot of passengers have missed with companies using full rear end advertisements of products or company promotions. Again the engine noise was not intrusive and the ride pleasant enough. The lower deck had larger windows and of course the extra light from the glazed staircase, which is still an option on the StreetDeck model.
Overall the EYMS bus company have looked after 135, as if the bus was there own. There is little indication that this bus has been on loan for three weeks, which comes to an end on Friday June 26th 2015 at some stage, lets hope it gets a final run out on Friday before the bus is returned to Wrights. The seating arrangement for the lower saloon is 29 seats including 6 flip-up seats in the Wheel/Buggy zones, with the same deep based bottoms and high backs all finished with an E-leather head rest.
The ample leg room for passengers is very pleasing to see, as is the fact that EYMS have continued to used thicker seat based on all their buses in the fleet. I for one would be really interested in seeing a StreetDeck vehicle in full EYMS livery/interior and plush seats with WI-Fi and plug sockets. In all this journey on 135 was very pleasant, with a very friendly driver and a good clean interior. Having alighted 135 in Market Weighton and saw the bus leave, it was time for some more photography, which included 779 on the X4 and Fish & Chips!
On the subject of new vehicles, I'm sure that I'm not alone in awaiting the arrival of the new Volvo B5TL MCV EvoSeti bus, it looks smart from the pictures I have seen. I wonder if it too might end up on the X46 service, now that would be good.
I would like to thank the driver of 135 on the morning 10:15 York-Market Weighton section of the route X46 and the EYMS Twitter people, who were as ever very helpful in passing on information about 135 on the X46 service.