Stewart J. Brown The Lodekka Alternatives

ISBN 13: 9780711035355

The Lodekka Alternatives

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9780711035355: The Lodekka Alternatives
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Traditionally double-deck buses had been supplied in highbridge or lowbridge versions. The latter were designed to operate on routes that traversed areas with low railway bridges and were therefore fitted with bodies that were lower to the ground. This was generally achieved through having an offset aisle for the passengers to access the upper-floor seats which was inconvenient for both passengers and conductors and reduced the overall ceiling height on the lower deck. A radical solution for the problem was developed by Bristol with its introduction of the famous Lodekka. As a result of trading restrictions, Bristol could only supply the Lodekka to the Tilling Group operators. Thus, this radical design was not available to other operators, leading to rival companies such as Leyland seeking to develop their own version. As such, a generation of lowbridge buses was created. Two models emerged from AEC - the Bridgemaster and Renown with a total of 430 vehicles manufactured - one from Albion (the Lowlander with 275 built) and one from Dennis (the Loline with 280 built). These models were popular with BET companies such as Ribble, East Kent, City of Oxford and Western Welsh, with municipals such as Belfast, Cardiff, Sheffield and Walsall and with Scottish operators such as Scottish Omnibuses. Production was ultimately to be curtailed as a result both of the development of the rear-engined double-deckers, such as the Leyland Atlantean and Daimler Fleetline, which revolutionised bus design and by the decision that the New Bus Grant would only be applicable to rear-engined buses. This informative volume delves deep into the history and development of these alternatives to Bristol's Lodekka, showcasing the many varieties of lowbridge buses that emerged at the time.

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Stewart J. Brown
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