|Ray scored a double scoop with this photo taken at Eltham Bus Station on 10th December 2021, as it shows both a new operator and a new vehicle make. This small van had lettering for 'Works for London', but Ray noticed that the phone number and e-mail address shown were for TfL. Some digging revealed that Works for London (WfL) is a new joint venture set up in Spring 2021 to maintain TfL's infrastructure. This covers not only bus stops, bus stations, river piers and Victoria Coach Station but also the trunk road network (amounting to 5 percent of all London roadspace) and associated bridges, tunnels, streetlights, green spaces etc. The new eight year contract involves three companies (Ringway, FM Conway and Tarmac Kier JV) and has replaced the previous London Highways Alliance Contract which had run from April 2012 until March 2021. As with the Highways Alliance, vehicles used by WfL are in a 'grey area' as to whether or not they should be classed as service vehicles. It may be that some central fleet vehicles will be assigned to the operation, but most are likely to be sourced directly, and I don't think it will be practical to try and list these. I will be happy to publish photos of any related vehicles though.
The vehicle itself is also of interest, being a Chinese-built Maxus E Deliver 3 electric van. If the Maxus name sounds familiar it is because it was a van model introduced by Birmingham-based LDV in 2004. LDV had been formed in 1993 and was named to reflect its parentage as the van division of Leyland-DAF. They continued to build vans at Washwood Heath that were based on the venerable Leyland Sherpa model, albeit updated as the Convoy (larger vans, based on the Sherpa 350/400) and Pilot (smaller versions, based on the Sherpa 200). The Maxus was launched in 2004 and was originally to have come in two sizes, though in the event only the larger variants were ever built. LDV was bought by the Russian GAZ Group in 2006 but the company was losing sales and the Birmingham factory was closed at the end of 2008. The designs were sold on and ended up with SAIC (formerly the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation) in 2010. A year later, they set up a new company called Maxus, to build vehicles in China. One of their first products was a van based on the LDV Maxus, but now called the Maxus V80. This was sold in the UK from 2016, though was replaced in 2019 by the V90 (which looks very much like a Ford Transit Mk8). Also in 2019, a smaller, electric van was launched as the EV30, with sales to the UK (where it is branded as a Maxus E Deliver 3) starting in 2020.
Six 'real' service vehicles can also be seen in this photo, comprising four Volkswagen Crafter Incident Response Unit vans, TfL Toyota Yaris 8690T on the left and Nissan Leaf 9100N behind the charging 'shed'.
|Photo date:||10/12/2021||Size:||Regular. An extra large copy of this photo is available.|
|Note added Fri 22/07/2022 by Ray|
At Eltham station on 22/7/2022
|Note added Fri 09/09/2022 by Ray|
At Eltham station 9/9/2022