Since their introduction in late 2003, the Macclesfield to Knutsford service 27 has enjoyed flat-floored buses. Being used all day six days a week does take its toll and it has to be said that they were beginning to feel a bit ragged with engine idling not being the smoothest. However, they seem to have disappeared this week with K and L registered buses from the early nineties taking their place. While it can be a joy to savour 1990’s solid build quality again with engines having a satisfyingly throaty roar, the higher floors and the fact that the buses are not in their first flush of youth is a concern. Bowers may restore the Wright-bodied VDL’s that we did have yet but it’s curious that there is no word of the reasoning behind what has happened. I realise that we are in depressed economic times but going back to 15 year old vehicles does seem retrograde and some may not take too kindly to their appearance, especially those who aren’t so mobile. Let’s hope that it has nothing to do Cheshire County Council’s forthcoming demise because the VDL’s were leased from Arriva Bus and Coach. Let’s not be too glum (that’s difficult in the current climate, I know) because it might turn out that a much needed refurbishment is in progress. We’ll see what happens.
Update 2009-02-20: Spotted one of the VDL’s in service while on the way home so they may just have needed some work done on them. The others may return.