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A Century of Transport - More Recent Design Developments
High unemployment in the '80s encouraged lower pay rates which, in turn, made minibuses a practical possibility. Service frequencies could be improved and operators would claim the small bus was friendly although alleged comfort benefits were dubious, bearing in mind most were van-based designs.
The late '90s saw the widespread introduction of easy access buses, assisting the mobility restricted, including parents with pushchairs. Entrances are lower and front axle suspension can be lowered if even easier access is required.
Van based minibuses have, to an extent, retrenched in favour of 'midibuses' of similar length and capacity to buses of the 1950s and based on purpose designed bus chassis.
High visibility yellow lettering on destination blinds was another change to the face of the bus as the century turned and assisted those with poor sight. This good work is partially undone by automatic destination displays. Some are good but too many are hard to read and compare unfavourably with the route boards provided on the horse buses and trams of one hundred years before!
©Copyright 2019 Malcolm Keeley for the Transport Museum, Chapel Lane, Wythall, Worcestershire B47 6JA, England.
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