Transdev Yorkshire Coastliner continues to operate to the East coast via York, Malton and Leeds, with a youthful fleet of double deck Volvo/Wrights and a selection of Volvo saloons. From October 22nd 2015 Yorkshire Coastliner began trials with the first of two test buses..............................
The first vehicle in question is the much travelled Wrights integral Streetdeck SL15ZGP, which was first seen in May 2015 at the ALBUM conference in Wales. The bus then had trials with EYMS, Tryers Coaches, Arriva Merseyside, Reading and Blackpool Transport, before making a return to Transdev's Harrogate depot. By October 19th 2015 the bus was driven across to Malton, where the vehicle was prepped for service. After a few days of preparation the Streetdeck was officially given its first duty on the 11:24 from Malton to Leeds, then a visit to Whitby via Goathland on the 840. Your author was out during the afternoon to capture the first day in service, getting several photographs of the bus in various locations. Following the bus while its was on the Whitby service, the bus gave a swift and impressive turn of speed, especially on the faster roads. Your author was impressed with the bus, as it climbed out of Goathland on a pretty steep hill!
Across the weekend of October 24th & 25th the bus was used to visit Scarborough on the 843, for several turns. SL15ZGP was getting the interest across the internet, with various forms show peoples interest in Test Bus A. Pictures were springing up on facebook, flickr & twitter and bus enthusiasts were relishing the newish bus as it was used in service.
On Monday October 26th 2015, the 29th year of the 1985 Transport Act know as Deregulation, your author was planning a journey on the Wrights Streetdeck, as the Yorkshire Coastliner twitter announced that the bus would be on the 10:12 service from Thornton-le-dale to Leeds service 840. However due to the amount of traffic heading out of Harrogate and the bottle neck at York on the single carriage-way on the A64. Your author had to catch the Streetdeck at Stockton on the Forest, with the fare paid, the top deck front seats were free, as was the whole top deck. As the bus made its way through Stockton and Heworth before joining York's busy streets. It was becoming clear that due to the traffic on the A64 and in York, the 840 was running late, as a result the bus picked up plenty of passengers in York. Then with a good swift turn of speed the driver took the bus through Copmanthorpe and into Tadcaster bus station. After a slight delay with the bus, it was back onto the A64 and again the top speed allowed some time to be caught up, but it was still late. Your Author alighted at Seacroft Hospital, and took a quick lunch break as the vehicle ventured towards Leeds.
Above the clean and tidy interior of the demonstrator Streetdeck, with its interesting roof mounted windows and the glazed staircase. Your author then caught the Streetdeck this time the bus was heading for Bridlington on the 845, again on the faster sections the bus performed well. While in the estates the bus coped well with tight turns, parked cars and picking up passengers, no-one really questioned the lateness of the service. As the Streetdeck entered York, stopping times were reduced in order to assist with the service timings. It worked as the bus arrived in Malton for a driver change a few minutes late, this was thanks to the engine and gearbox working in harmony along the A64, running smoothly. The forward journey saw the bus venturing through Norton in Derwent, Filey, Reighton before arriving into Bridlington, for a few minutes break. But it was round 18 minutes late, this allowed the bus to set off on time for the 16:40 trip back to Malton. The late afternoon autumn sunshine made the trip towards Bridlington very pleasant, it also allowed your author to see plenty of areas for photography. The return trip was a much quieter affair then the family pack trip to Brid.
Overall impressions of the Streetdeck for my opinion was a pleasant trip on the 845, with an impressive turn of speed on the A64, and the interurban sections of each route. The vehicle must have had its engine tweaked before entering service, it seams much faster compared when with EYMS earlier in the year. Your author would like to thank the Yorkshire Coastliner twitter for giving details of the Streetdeck service times, the Coastliner drivers, without whom the buses would not run. The seats were comfortable and similar to the seating in the Coastliner double deckers, which your author sampled Volvo B9TL 420 for the trip back to pick up the car.