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Friday, 23 August 2013

How many doors?

A recent post on the Omnibuses blog reports that two-door single deck buses were being specified for a bus rapid transit scheme in the West of England.  Included is a comment that, in the provinces (of Britain), two-door buses are almost extinct.  Most buses in Britain, outside London, have a single entrance/exit.






Even Britain's articulated buses generally only have one set of doors in each half of the bus.  

Many of these started life in London as three-door buses, but have had their second set of doors removed.










It is interesting to compare the British approach to bus layout with that of most of the other countries I have visited in recent years, both in Europe and North America.

It's true, I have found single-door buses elsewhere - on the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar.

Oddly, the minibus I found was two-door!

 

 I also found single-door buses in Malta in 2009.  Provision of Maltese bus services has since been changed, with the traditional (and not-so-traditional) vehicles being replaced by a modern fleet operated by Arriva.  I understand the Arriva vehicles perpetuate the single-door layout. 

 


But what of elsewhere in Europe?

Two-door buses can be found from Tromsø in northern Norway...





...to La Línea in southern Spain...


















... to the Croatian capital, Zagreb...












  ... to the Dutch city of Rotterdam...













... and on the other side of the Atlantic, too, from New York...

 








... to Victoria in British Columbia, Canada.










 


The two-door layout is also commonplace on vehicles used on longer-distance services, such as this Austrian PostBus in Salzburg...



 
 





... or this French inter-urban bus in Strasbourg...




...or this one, in the Norwegian city of Trondheim.



Is two-door a standard layout across Europe and North America, then?  Not really - as there are plenty of places where buses have not two but three doors.





This example is in Stockholm...














... this one, The Hague...







... while this one is in Munich.










 

Even quite small buses, such as this one (on the right) in the Italian city of Rimini, can have three doors.



 





Three doors is the minimum I have seen on articulated buses outside Britain.  Here are examples in Hamburg...








 


... Bordeaux...









... and Montréal 






A four-door layout is also common for articulated buses, such as here in Tallinn...
















... or Geneva...








... while in the Slovakian capital, Bratislava, some of the articulated buses have five doors.





 

One vehicle type which is far less common abroad than in the UK is the double-decker.

In Canada, two-door double-deckers operate in Victoria, British Columbia.





Two-door double-deckers also operate in Gibraltar.  This one appears to be a second-hand vehicle which may previously have operated in Berlin.







Berlin's newer double-deckers have three doors...














... as do those operating in in the small principality of Liechtenstein.








Those I found in Copenhagen also had three doors.  Copenhagen has since abandoned double-deck operation.


In my home city of London, two-door layout has remained standard for most double-deck and larger single-deck buses for many years.











 


The latest new design, however, has three doors (or two doors and an open platform).

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