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Low Floor Bus - 20 years on...

posted 12 Jul 2013, 13:39 by Roy McDonald   [ updated 13 Jul 2013, 08:06 ]
July 12, 2013
 
I have just read in a tweet that it was 20 years ago, today, that Merseytravel introduced the first Low-floor bus onto the UK's roads. If I recall correctly, we just pipped London to that accolade?!
 
Apart from making me feel incredibly old, I am proud to say that I was part of the project team for this ground-breaking innovation - indeed, responsibility for the route and timetable of service 224 between the Liverpool City Centre and Brunswick Business Park rests solely at my door!
 
I used the phrase "ground breaking" advisedly, as I well remember the nervousness with which everyone approached the operation of low floor buses, carefully checking ground clearances and kerb heights throughout the line of route and designating specific out of service routes which must be followed. The biggest problem, as I recall was the road camber at the entrance to Green Lane depot!
 
For the enthusiasts, the vehicles put into service were Neoplan N4014s.
 
With low floor buses now taken for granted on our roads, it demonstrates how far we have come in a relatively short space of time, and how the stepless entry and wheelchair/buggy spaces have altered the demographic of bus travel.
 
Pictured below is a line up of low floor buses on William Brown Street, Liverpool as part of a promotion demonstrating the project to the public, councillors, operators etc. - probably early 1992?