FUTURISTIC 'TRAM BUSES' SET TO LAUNCH IN LONDON LATER THIS SUMMER

Futuristic all-electric 'tram-buses' will be seen on London's streets for the first time within weeks, Sadiq Khan has confirmed.

The new vehicles called ieTrams have been built by Spanish company Irizar and will operate on route 358 between Orpington and Crystal Palace in South East London.

The 20 accessible tram buses, which are track free, are finally due to hit the roads later this summer having been delayed from an initial launch date of early 2023.

Their covered wheels are designed to make road conditions safer for pedestrians and cyclists to avoid them being caught and dragged underneath them.

The ieTrams will be powered by a pantograph at each end of the route which will allow them to recharge in less than ten minutes and have a smaller battery.

The seats on board have USB charging ports for passengers and the drivers will use 360-degree cameras instead of wing mirrors.

News of their long-awaited launch was revealed in a written question to the Mayor by Thomas Turrell, the Conservative assembly member for Bexley and Bromley.

In response, Mr Khan's office wrote last Friday: 'The all-electric Route 358 ieTram buses are expected to start operating in summer 2024.

'They will be Transport for London's (TfL) first end to end 'Opportunity Charging' trial, and it is important to get the hardware installed properly before the buses are introduced.

'The electric buses will use pantograph technology for a quick boost charge at either end of the route, allowing the buses to stay out for the full day.

'The new buses, which resemble a tram, will have enhanced customer features and the latest bus safety specifications.'

MailOnline understands that the 15-mile route 358 between Crystal Palace and Orpington is one of London's longest, and a standard garage charge alone would therefore not sustain a zero-emission bus for the entire day.

Due to the length of the route, a pantograph at each end of the route, rather than back at the garage, will mean buses receive a quick boost on the spot.

The idea is that with minimal turnaround time, fewer buses can provide the same level of service.

In an original announcement about ieTrams in October 2022, TfL said: 'The 15-mile route 358 between Crystal Palace and Orpington is one of London's longest.

'A standard garage charge [at the start of each morning] alone would not sustain a zero-emission bus the entire day.

'Due to the length of the route, a pantograph at each end of the route, rather than back at the garage, will mean buses receive a quick boost on the spot.

'With minimal turnaround time, fewer buses can again provide the same level of service.'

TfL's bus fleet has more than 1,400 buses categorised as 'zero emission' and all its other buses are designated 'low emission' and meet or exceed Euro VI emission standards. 

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2024-07-09T09:01:01Z dg43tfdfdgfd