This is draft guidance, and we welcome your feedback

Operational requirements focus on the consideration of both the bus driver and the physical requirements for the buses.

Bus fleet allocation

Double-deck buses are specialist vehicles that are specified by contracting agencies for use on specific routes.

Bus operators will often have a fleet consisting of a mixture of bus types which use the same depot and are driven by the same bus drivers. It is important that bus operators have systems and processes in place to ensure that double-deck buses are not accidentally used on single-deck only bus routes.

These systems and processes should be recorded in the health and safety plans which are reviewed by contracting agencies.

Diversions and dead-runs

For double-deck bus routes it is important to ensure that appropriate corridor clearance checks have been undertaken not just for “in service” bus routes but also the roads used by all planned diversions and dead-runs.

Planned diversions are the roads used when the main road is closed for maintenance or a planned event.

Clearing diversion roads ahead of when they are needed ensures that buses can continue to be used during planned disruptions. This is particularly important for double-deck buses given their additional clearance requirements compared to general traffic.

Given the changing nature of events, a range of approved diversion routes should be developed over time.

A dead-run is the term for any trip when the bus is not in revenue service such as to/ from the depot or when a bus repositions between the terminus of one trip and the start of the next trip. It is essential for contracting agencies and bus operators to assess and agree the dead-run routes that double-deck buses will use and to ensure all clearance works are complete before using these roads.

Bus operators should ensure that drivers are aware of the specified double-deck bus dead-runs and the importance of not deviating onto other roads.

Double decker bus route map in Wellington

Example map of approved double decker bus dead runs in Wellington. (Source: Greater Wellington Regional Council)