Bendy buses are making a return to the UK’s streets, six years after the last of the controversial articulated vehicles went out of service.
The Mercedes-Benz Citaros, which are hinged in the middle, are going into service for operations around Gatwick and Bristol Airports. The three-door buses have a passenger capacity of 163 people, with 46 seated and the rest standing.
The move marks a return to the UK for the buses, which were introduced to the capital in 2001. While they were praised for their passenger carrying capability and good accessibility, the vehicles were disliked by cyclists and were criticised for blocking road junctions that weren’t designed for such lengthy vehicles.
Then Boris Johnson made it part of his 2008 Mayoral Election campaign to remove bendy buses from the city with the last service operating in December 2011.
The new 18-metre articulated buses include full luggage racking and LED destination displays with three interior display screens. They are Euro VI compliant and are fitted with a ZF six-speed Ecolife transmission.