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Double decker buses ditched from No 4 route only months after replacing ftrs
DOUBLE decker buses have been withdrawn from a York bus route – less than seven months after they replaced the controversial ftr superbuses.
York’s biggest bus operator, First, said the double deckers can no longer be used on the Number 4 service because a route change means vehicles now have to pass under a low railway bridge in Leeman Road.
When First announced in January that it was scrapping the ftrs – which had been branded a “costly disaster” by Labour in its council election manifesto – it hailed their replacement as a “modern fleet of easily accessible double-decker buses” with lower carbon emissions than the ftr.
The double deckers were introduced in March, but Liberal Democrat former council leader Steve Galloway claimed in August that they were banging against overhanging tree branches, frightening children and prompting fears that windows would shatter.
He also claimed they often had inadequate space for wheelchairs and pushchairs and criticised their reliability.
First said then that it believed the modern double decker buses were suitable for customers on service 4 but they have now been switched to other services, such as the Number 6, which runs to Osbaldwick.
Coun Mark Warters, the councillor for Osbaldwick, claimed this had now led to problems with the top decks striking the branches of trees alongside the road in The Village.
He feared the consequence would be efforts to “hack back” the trees to clear a passage for the double deckers.
He also claimed that double deckers lining up in the village sometimes made it “look like a bus depot”.
A First spokesman said it would look into reports of issues with Service 6 and liaise with the council to deal with them.
He said the change to the Number 4 route was one of a number of changes being made in York to improve reliability across the network.