Arriva London assists with RTW event to maintain a moving history of London

  
  

RTW 467 going to Cannon Street
RTW 467 going to Cannon Street

This weekend saw a group of transport enthusiasts, assisted by Arriva London’s Brixton garage and tram shed, re-introduce the classic RTW buses onto London’s streets, to celebrate 50 years since these iconic vehicles had been taken out of service.

Initially introduced into London in 1949, the RTWs were the first eight-foot-wide buses, and at first were banned from the centre of the City, because of this extra width and concerns about passing the trams of the day.

The old and the new
The old and the new

The RTW superseded the smaller, six inch narrower, RT vehicles, and were recognisable from their predecessors by the wide red panel each side of the rear destination panel. Inside the difference was also apparent as each standard double seat was fitted with a one inch wall spacer, and the other four extra inches of width, given to the gangway.

This made the seats more comfortable and the gangway much easier to move around in, even with the five standing passengers (the wartime permission to stand in the aisle had continued post war).

Drivers Ruel and Ted
Drivers Ruel and Ted

This weekend’s service was run on former route 95 from Cannon Street to Tooting Broadway and back, passing Arriva’s Brixton garage, by five RTW’s including the very last ever RTW to run in commercial service, RTW 467.

The event not only cheered local passengers, who hadn’t expected such novel buses to be running on their journey, but also some current and retired Arriva London Brixton garage staff, in the form of drivers Ted and Ruel, who had trained on these vehicles early in their careers.

RTW 467 returning to Tooting Broadway
RTW 467 returning to Tooting Broadway

As they both commented, “With no power steering, these weren’t the easiest of buses to drive, and sometimes if you were on a really slow tight turn, you had to stand up out of the seat to pull them round, but this is where we learnt our driving skills and we’ve never forgotten”.

“Ruel, who’s now 81, was my conductor then”, said Ted with 40 years’ service, “until he got the chance to learn to drive. We were a great team and had a great relationship with our passengers”.

In the early afternoon, Arriva London opened up their tram shed so all of the buses could be displayed for the crowd of enthusiasts that had gathered to take photographs; before the 95 route resumed and continued until early evening.

Leon Daniels with the last ever run RTW
Leon Daniels with the last ever run RTW

As Leon Daniels, MD Surface Transport, Transport for London, who was present at the event said:-
“This is an auspicious occasion, a really important day for us, because out there today, ordinary members of the public can travel with us on these historic buses, and they have been experiencing what it was like back in the 1950s and 1960s, riding on a bus with a crew of two, a driver and conductor, on a bus that was made in Britain by Leyland Motors, and there’s lots of things we can learn from those days, great customer service, a good high frequency service that the public enjoyed and was proud of. Those are exactly the things we are looking for today, and if we, across the whole of TfL and all our family of contractors across London, can get our passengers to smile as they have done today, then we have really done our job”.

 

  
  

Tags:   News
Published : Wed 18th May. 2016
Related archived articles
Published : Wed 6th Jul. 2016 - Thu 28th Jul. 2016
 
Arriva London retains route 377 for a further five years and invests with five new buses
Two of the new Enviro 200 buses ready for service
Two of the new Enviro 200 buses ready for service

​Arriva London is delighted to announce the retention of route 377 from TfL, which runs from Oakwood Station to Ponders End at Enfield

Kids’ winning design wrapped around Arriva London bus as part of Transported by Design festival

It is not an easy task to design artwork for a bus over 11m long, over 4m high and 2.5m wide, but there were approximately 538 entries from several Primary schools!  The sheer number and standard of entries was overwhelming!

Arriva London staff scoop two awards at the London Bus Awards 2016

The London Bus Awards gives TfL and bus operators the opportunity to recognise the commitment demonstrated on a daily basis from drivers, support teams and frontline TfL staff. The London bus network would not be the same without people of such a high calibre as those nominated for the awards.

Arriva London helps Eldon Primary School celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday

Our open-top Heritage Fleet Routemaster, RMC 1464, held pride of place as part of Eldon Primary School’s celebration of the Queen’s 90th birthday.

Bus Driver of The Year 2016

Every year, as part of the plan to maintain the high standards of its bus drivers, Arriva London holds a Bus Driver of the Year competition.

Arriva London invite the bus minister to drive a bus for Catch the Bus Week

Catch the Bus Week is a nationwide campaign aimed at driving awareness of the benefits of taking the bus.

 

Please wait...

 

Delivered by CSN MCL / All content copyright © 2007 - 2017 original copyright holders, except where individually stated. All rights reserved. E&OE.