By Oliver Hall
Michelin Fleet Solutions has announced it has increased its share of tyres used by the bus fleet in London.
The company said it now provides tyres for 98 percent of the vehicles operating on certain London bus routes within the M25, via contracts with Transport for London.
As part of the agreements, Michelin will carry out tyre fitment, maintenance and fleet inspections on every vehicle, ensuring all tyres in service are in good condition.
The combined agreements – all supported on pence per mile (PPM) contracts – cover well over 8,000 vehicles under the management of London Buses – part of Transport for London (TfL) – operating primarily on 245/70 R 19.5 and 275/70 R 22.5 Michelin X InCity tyres.
With 2.2 billion passenger trips made across approximately 700 different routes on the London network each year, the combined contract includes single-deck, double-deck, bendy-buses and historic Routemasters (still operating on two heritage routes) supported by Michelin Fleet Solutions, traversing a combined total of nearly 300 million miles each year.
The X InCity tyres in use are designed primarily for urban and inter-urban applications, and Michelin reports the tyre “performs well in demanding stop/start applications and benefits from a casing that has additional protection against kerb damage with reinforced sidewalls.”
The tyres feature wear indicators on the sidewalls to simplify regular fleet checks and in order to maximise mileage obtained from each tyre and minimise their environmental impact, London bus contracts are operated according to the ‘Michelin Four Lives’ tyre process.
Each tyre is regrooved when the tread depth reaches 3mm, taking advantage of the additional layer of rubber included in all Michelin commercial vehicle tyres. Once the regrooved tyre has lived out its life it is remoulded by Michelin into an X InCity Remix, which can also be later regrooved.