|3428 pulls into Greenford Broadway en route to Ealing, sporting the old Arriva logo.|
|London United SDE20286 is seen at Ealing Broadway.|
London United were the chosen operator, with the new base for the E10 being Hounslow Heath (HH) garage. The existing Arriva E200s and their drivers transferred over swiftly, with the presentation on the first day being perfect with new logos and drivers wearing the correct uniform - the interior being the only give away that this bus wasn't originally handled by RATP. Fleet numbers have been changed to fit in with the SDE class given by London United for this bus type, rather than the "ENN" system which Arriva provided. The route is now controlled from its base and spare buses usually come in the form of an older E200 from the E11 allocation, although this has only happened once and since then the vehicle has returned to its home garage in Park Royal. Operation has been decent so far, with the E10 not being particularly demanding, mostly using back roads between Ealing and Northolt. In addition to the improved management and operation, conditions should hopefully become better for the passengers using the service, subject to the TFL Crossrail consultation, which is now closed. The E10 will receive a frequency increase to every 12 minutes and an allocation of longer buses, which should hopefully relieve the overcrowding on this service and prepare it for the introduction of the Crossrail service at Ealing Broadway, which is likely to increase passenger numbers on the route. Therefore, the E10 is now in a much better place with London United than Arriva and hopefully further improvement is due soon in regards to passenger experience.
|London United SLE40660 is seen at Brentford Market Place.|
|London United LT149 is seen at Twickenham Station, with no flag tiles on the bus stop.|
|London United LT991 is seen at Hammersmith.|
In conclusion, this second change has been disappointing, decreasing the likeability one of my local routes and making travelling on it a chore, which is a real shame. The OmniDekkas gave the route character and the views are quite interesting throughout, especially between Brentford and Hammersmith. With the new LTs, the small windows obstruct your ability to admire the surroundings, conditions are almost always uncomfortable and they are simply very boring compared to the older vehicles. They all sound the same, have the same interior and have the ability to make a bus journey pretty depressing, for me. If you haven't sampled the 267 yet, my recommendation would be to nip down to West London quickly and enjoy the OmniDekkas, although if you're a fan of the New Routemaster then perhaps wait to try and catch one of the new vehicles, as they are slightly more bearable than LT149/LT150.
Thanks for reading and stay safe!