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  May 2010 
 The future is
bright, The ftr is prpl
Sunshine in South Wales
Bright in Leeds city centre
Storm clouds in York
  The past meets the ftr in York 
  The ftr is prpl
  Is it a tram ?   Is it a bus ?   No it's a Streetcar !  However this is is no streetcar named desire - this is actually just an articulated bus developed by Wrights and Volvo for First Group.   The obvious differences from a conventional bus is that the driver sits in a compartment at the front and there is wrap round seating at the rear.  They are branded "the future of travel" hence the "ftr" shorthand name, but yet they require conductors to sell tickets due to high profile problems with the original on-street ticket machines.   There are nearly 40 of them with operation starting in York in 2006 and then spreading to Leeds and Swansea, with a handful being used at Luton Airport before the delayed South Wales service got going.   Many changes have been made to the local infrastructure, particularly in Swansea where vast tracts of the city centre are now bus lanes.  They only operate on one route per city, numbered 4, and only operate during daylight hours.   When darkness falls it is back to the past rather than the ftr, when normal service buses appear.   The future is bright, the ftr is prpl.  
  Special Swansea stance
Perfect for poker
Back from the ftr at 7pm
Hold tight
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Click to enlarge photos.   Click to play video clip.

  Photo Facts (Top to Bottom)
  • First York 19007 (YK06ATY), in York in March 2007, passing York Minster.
  • First Cymru 19033 (S80FTR), in Swansea in February 2010.
  • First Leeds 19126 (YJ07LVU), in Leeds in April 2009.
  • First York 19001 (YK06AOU), in York in March 2007.   Some of the York vehicles are painted in an overall livery.
  • First Cymru 19036 (S50FTR), in Swansea in February 2010.   A special stance has been built beside the former bus station that is currently being rebuilt.   This acts as an island in the middle of the road so ftr vehicles can unload on either side.
  • First Cymru 41162 (R162TLM), a Marshall bodied Dart, in Swansea in November 2009.   No ftr's venture out after 7pm.


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