Double decker buses making triumphant return

Almost half a century after they disappeared from the streets of Lidcombe, double deck buses have made a triumphant return.

Story appeared in: Review | September 18th, 2017

ALMOST half a century after they disappeared from the streets of Lidcombe and Granville, double decker buses have made a triumphant return.
Two new double decker buses were introduced on the popular M92 route between Sutherland and Parramatta last month, running through Bankstown, and onto Lidcombe and Granville.
A Transport for NSW spokesperson says the larger buses have created additional capacity on 16 daily trips on weekdays, including peak services travelling towards Parramatta in the morning, then back towards Sutherland in the afternoon and evening. The buses provide seating for 92 customers, which is around 48 more seats than that of the standard two door city buses.
Double decker buses first ran in Sydney in the 1920s by private operators and from 1933, by the NSW Government. They operated all over Sydney and had a driver and a conductor. They hit their peak in the early 1960s.
Bus historian and member of the Sydney Bus Museum, Andrew Chechlacz says Lidcombe and Granville have a special connection with double decker buses.
Lidcombe was the home of a fleet of double decker buses between 1949 and 1969.
"Vickers Bus Service was located at the corner of James and Joseph Streets from 1919 to 1977," he said.
"There's a funeral parlour there today. Their buses serviced Strathfield, Bankstown and Revesby."
Commonwealth Engineering manufactured the double decker buses for the Government between the 1930s and 1953, as did nearby Clyde Engineering. The Government operated about 1,000 double decker buses in Sydney between 1933 and 1986.
The buses were phased out because of reliability issues, difficulty in obtaining spare parts, and a relaxation in the maximum length of single decker buses.
A spokesperson for Transport for NSW says the re-introduction of double decker buses, which are the first in a fleet of six buses for the M92 route, will add valuable capacity to existing services.

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Publication: Review | Section: News | Author: Mick Roberts | Story ID: 131265 | Viewcount: 19408