The impressive styling and smooth ride of the Mercedes Citaro buses which frequent Service 5 to Victoria Hospital and latterly on the 9 Service to Cleveleys may conceal faults which become apparent when examples are found with 'Not in Service' on their screens parked by the curb. The simplest fittings would seem to cause the most problems and in one case this week it was the door mechanism. Apparently the sliding bolt on one of the two frames broke with the consequence the doors would not work in sequence. This is not the first time I have witnessed the problem with a similar episode also on Talbot Road when the vehicle had just entered service.
The Fitter arrived to make things right having dealt with another problem elsewhere in the town (but not with a Citaro). Rumour has it that BTS have had second thoughts about the second tranche of Citaros which were due to be delivered in 2016. Interestingly the ADL Demonstrator remains in regular operation on Service 5 possibly to more fully test out this model. One design feature on the ADL bus is its rear display screen which allows 'full disclosure' of where the vehicle is headinhg - as opposed to the abrupt route number which is the sole identifying aspect on the Citaro design. Images below attest to the obvious benefit of the ADL design in this regard. Above and Right : Fitter at work on a Citaro door frame - Talbot Road.
Below : The ADL Demonstrator hard at work on Talbot Road and Service 5 with its competition passing en route to the Hospital. Note the helpful rear destination screen on the ADL bus and the more abrupt single aspect number on the Citaro fleet.