Saturday, 14 June 2014

Too Embarrassed To Confess

        Sounds like Tellings Golden Miller, who failed to provide a decent service on route E10 on Saturday 31st May 2014 and blamed another operator for it. On that day, route E10's contract was awarded to Tellings Golden Miller, also known as TGM, a company which haven't run any London bus services for over 20 years, apart from the commercial Kingston University shuttles, which don't use red London vehicles. The company confirmed they would order 9 8.9m Enviro 200s, to match a peak vehicle requirement of 7. The new buses are Euro 6, and have a special ZF gearbox, although they are extremely noisy and Euro 2 Dart Pointers seem quieter than these vehicles. The route would be run from their Heathrow (HE) garage, situated near the Cargo Terminal in Heathrow Airport.
        The route was meant to be extended to Chiswick Business Park on this day, but the extension was abandoned due to concerns about the traffic levels on Gunnersbury Avenue, a road which the extended part of the E10 would use. Transport For London are thinking of extending route 70 from Acton Market Place to the Business Park, but the reason why route E10 was originally chosen to be extended was to give links to Ealing Broadway from Chiswick, which the 70 doesn't provide. Anyway, this is what happened on the day of the changeover....
      ....Lots of bunching and curtailments, as it turned out. There were 40 minute gaps in the service, and there were three buses coming within 10 minutes at one point, despite the normal frequency of the route being every 15 minutes. There were many curtailments (partly because TGM didn't know how to work the blinds), and partly because of the bunching. As Tellings Golden Miller are a subsidiary of Arriva, one would think they would've had some knowledge of working blind sets, as Arriva have operated TFL bus services for nearly 25 years now! Despite the bunching, I was excited about riding a Tellings Golden Miller bus, as I've never travelled with them before.

A well-loaded 3429 waits at the traffic lights in Greenford Broadway.
       Two minutes after 3429, another E10 going westbound appeared. I don't know if you agree with me, but I call that bunching!
3427 is approaching Greenford Broadway.
        There was a 17 minute wait for an E10 at Ealing Broadway, and the bus was so full that I couldn't get a picture of the iBus screen or interior on that journey. When the vehicle pulled up, I was disappointed to find there were no TGM logos or even a TGM seat moquette; instead the buses had Arriva logos and an Arriva interior. For non-bus enthusiasts, it looked like the poor service on the E10 was run by Arriva, and I won't be surprised if I find there are complaints about the inadequate E10 service going to Arriva London, who have never even run this route before. When I alighted the crowded bus at Greenford, I hoped I would get another chance to ride these buses and get pictures of the interior.
3432 gets ready to depart at Clifton Road.
     I was originally going to board an E3 to get home, but an E10 going back to Ealing Broadway pulled up at the stop first, so I boarded that instead. This meant I got home late, but who cares about that?
3429 arrives at Greenford Broadway.
     I got on, and it was pretty empty. It was so empty, that I actually managed to get a picture of the iBus and interior. However, it didn't take me long to figure out that there was an E10 two minutes in front of us, which then got curtailed to West Ealing, Scotch Common.
iBus screen on 3429.

Interior of 3429 facing forwards.

Finally, the interior of the whole bus.
    On the whole, I wasn't impressed with the service that Tellings Golden Miller provided on 31st May. To be honest, the service hasn't improved much since the day TGM took over, and I'm disappointed about the fact there aren't any new TGM seat moquettes or logos. Also, the roundels on the buses say Houndslow instead of Hounslow, which shows that TGM clearly haven't bothered to look up the spelling of Hounslow. I hope the service on the E10 starts improving, but I shall say no more on the matter. Thanks for reading!