London Buses route 507
Mandela Way (MW)
|Vehicle||Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaro 12.0m
BYD electric bus 12.0m
|Peak vehicle requirement||15|
|Night-time||No night service|
|Via||St Thomas' Hospital
|End||Victoria bus station|
|Length||2.5 miles (4.0 km)|
|Journey time||12-20 minutes|
|Operates||06:30 until 00:30|
Red Arrow route 507 commenced operating on 7 September 1968 as part of the Red Arrow network of flat fare bus routes aimed at commuters in Central London linking some of the capital's main railway termini.
On 2 June 2002, along with route 521, the route was the first bus route in London to be converted to articulated bus operation with a fleet of Mercedes-Benz O530G Citaros, replacing the ageing Leyland National Greenways. Being commuter routes, and so little used outside peak times, these routes were deemed suitable to test the articulated buses on, rather than a major trunk route.
During late 2003, early 2004, a series of onboard fires on Mercedes-Benz O530Gs led to withdrawal of the entire fleet, while Mercedes-Benz made some modifications. During this period limited services operated using a variety of different buses on route 507, including double-deckers. An evening service was introduced in April 2007.
The peak vehicle requirement increased from 9 to 15 to cope with the increased frequency, now at every 3-4 minutes. One criticism on articulated buses was high levels of fare evasion, yet the new Citaros retain open boarding, to help move commuters quickly from the busy rail termini. This has drawn further criticism, as the Red Arrow name was dropped on conversion, so there is nothing to distinguish the buses from normal services, with fears passengers may start boarding normal buses through the centre doors.
Another criticism of articulated buses was the low number of seats, with only 49 per vehicle. A standard rigid Citaro has 44 seats, however the new ones for route 507 have just 21, with room supposedly for up to 76 standees, leading to criticism the new buses were "cattle trucks" and even more crowded than the buses they replaced. Despite the increase in frequency, the total number of seats has dropped.
- Day, John (1973). The Story of the London Bus. London Regional Transport. ISBN 9780853290377.
- Graeme Bruce, J; Curtis, Colin (1977). The London Motor Bus: Its Origins and Development. London Transport. p. 116. ISBN 0853290830.
- "Bendy-buses withdrawn after fires". BBC. 2004-03-24. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
- "The beginning of the end for the bendy bus". Greater London Authority press release. 2008-12-05. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
- "Passengers call for the return of the bendy bus". The London Paper. 2009-07-31. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
- Electric buses hit London roads The Guardian 19 December 2013
- London routes now served by BYD ebuses China Daily 23 December 2013