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CURRENT VEHICLE NEWS
This section covers the current vehicle news pertaining to bus operators within the "TLB" area, roughly comprising the old LT/LCBS areas.
New vehicle orders:
Additionally, there are outstanding orders still due to cover recent tender wins. Exact exact types and totals remain to be confirmed, so only my estimated figures are given:
** The annual Notting Hill Carnival on 30th/31st August was served once again by numerous normal and extra buses, route details were listed fully in TLB 540 pages 12 & 13. There were many extra buses (of normal types) as usual on the 18, 28, 31 and 328 plus, on the Monday only, the six ON buses between Sudbury and Prince of Wales or Scrubs Lane and X buses Euston to Prince of Wales. The pvr on the 27 increased from 15 to 25 and on the 148 from 17 to 33. Numerous extras on the 390 running from HT with all types including TEs (for the second time, the first being at last year’s Carnival). Extras on the 15 between Aldwych and Paddington, this year with 11 Tridents from WH (WH501+). Route 316 was again double-deck (TA and TP), as on both days the route was diverted avoiding the contentious roads where d/ds are “not allowed due to objections.”
Route 52 was, as usual, split into two sections: Victoria to Notting Hill Gate via Kensington (AC271+) with some buses showing green slipboards [All stops to Notting Hill Gate ONLY], and Victoria to Willesden via Marble Arch (AC251+) with some buses showing red slipboards [via Marble Arch and Edgware Road]. These slipboards, together with separate ‘via point’ displays, were meant to make it easier for passengers to know which route the bus was taking. However, many buses displayed the wrong via points and most of them seemed to ‘forget’ their slipboards. A good idea, but….. ?!
Once again this year, Stockwell ran extras (all WVLs as SW281-293) on the 36 which is otherwise an NX operation, while NX ran the special 36X (NX31-45) with PVLs as well as some extra ‘normal’ 436s with MALs. The special 436X though, which has been operated by Citaro artics for the past six years, was with new MECs (‘rigid’ Citaros). It was run with 14 MECs (#RA1+) and, although the buses came from RA, some of the drivers were from MW. Thus, in some cases, brand new buses just delivered a day or two earlier were used on the 436X before going into service on the 521 on 1st September! Arriva joined in for the first time this year with the special route 2X. In the event, it was run entirely by Norwood using 14 DLAs (N115-128).
One rather unexpected thing though was the effect on iBus. Extra buses on routes such as the 15, 18, 27, 36 and 52 were described with route numbers Y15, Y18, Y27, Y36 and Y52. This may well have been an internal TfL designation, like a D suffix for some school buses for example, but would merely confuse passengers who would have no idea what it meant.
** RT 1, unveiled at Wisley on 5th April (TLB 536 page 28 and pictures in TLB 537 and LBM 148), visited central London on Monday 13th July. It was posed outside the Waldorf Hotel on Aldwych exactly 70 years since it first appeared there when it was ‘launched’ by LT on 13th July 1939. It first went into service on 9th August 1939 on route 22 from Putney (Chelverton Road) Garage (AF). To commemorate the latter event, a private enthusiasts’ excursion on Sunday 23rd August 2009 visited Putney where RT 1 was posed for photographs with route 22 blinds in AF Garage and at the Putney Common terminus of the 22.
** “The Winton Train” on 1st to 4th September was a steam-hauled train journey from Prague to London to commemorate a series of eight epic trips just prior to the outbreak of World War Two 70 years ago. The man who facilitated the journeys, Nicholas (now Lord) Winton and now 100 years of age, welcomed the passengers to London. During the summer of 1939, he managed to get 669 children out of Czechoslovakia by train to Britain, although on the last journey on 1st September 1939, that train was detained by the Germans and the 250 children on board did not make it out of the country. Some of the survivors who did reach Britain, together with family members, took part in the re-created journey. To transport the passengers from Liverpool Street Station to the Czech Embassy in Kensington, four suitably vintage buses were used. RT 1, together with Cobham’s STL 2377 plus Ensignbus’ Cravens RT 1431 and standard RT 4421.
** The Upminster rail depot open day on 29/30th August saw a special service on route 248 using RT 3871 (LBC), RLH 62 (Ensign Bus), RM 1 (LT Museum) and, on the Saturday RM 2060 (East London) or Sunday RML 2760 (East London). The RLH also performed several journeys as 248A under the Cranham low bridge. Privately owned RT 1702 and RML 2589 visited on the Saturday.
** Routemasters to Imber: Where is Imber you might ask? It is a very remote ‘lost’ village on Salisbury Plain near Warminster in Wiltshire which was requisitioned during WW2. Residents were all evicted and, although they were promised that they could return, that never happened. Ever since, it has been used for army training purposes. However, every now and again, the MoD allows restricted access to part of the village. One such occasion was Saturday 5th September 2009 and a special bus service (23A), the first bus to serve the village for 66 years, was registered by the Bath Bus Company between Warminster and Tilshead. RM 25, RML 2344, 2665 and 2735 operated!
** FirstGroup recently launched its ‘Greyhound’ brand, initially to be used on two services from 14th September running non-stop between Victoria (Bulleid Way) and Portsmouth and Southampton. To this end, eleven coaches have been prepared, the ‘launch’ vehicle being Scania/ Irizar 23315 (YN55 PXF). They will operate under a new O’Licence under the Truronian name from a base near Fareham.
** Stagecoach’s Oxford Tube service is now in the process of being re-equipped with twenty-six new VanHool TD927 Astromega double-deck coaches. These are numbered 50201-226 and are 14.2m long 87-seaters. They are replacing 25 x 13.7m Neoplan coaches (Nos. 50101-125).
** EasyBus is expected to take its franchised bus operations (currently worked by Arriva for easyBus) back in-house. A base for thirty vehicles has been secured at Park Royal off the North Circular Road.
** The MCV-bodied double-deck bus (TLB 538 page 6 refers) is to be mounted on a Volvo B9TL chassis. When ready, it is said that Go-Ahead London will trial it.
** Plaxton Primos YX07 HNO and YX55 DSB noted doing a “Brentford- Northfields” shuttle.It seems to be a private shuttle from a firm at the junction of Boston Manor Road and Great West Road.
** Buzzlines of Lympne (Kent) seems to be running an ‘office shuttle’ on M-F between Leatherhead Station and Unilever House 0700-1900.
** Seen in Kingston in mid-July was an all-red Enviro200H hybrid, full of computers and on trade plates, presumably from Alexander Dennis at Guildford. It was also noted in LU’s Fulwell Garage.
** The TfL-spec dual-doored Optare Versa YJ58 BZY that had been on loan in London (TLB 533 page 21 refers) earlier this year is now with Countywide Travel, Basingstoke, still red and dual-doored.
ARRIVA LONDON NORTH
ARRIVA LONDON SOUTH - BA, BN, BS, CN, N, TC and TH.
Following the report last month about DLA 134’s accident, I’m informed that the bus was impounded by the Police and was subsequently towed to a storage site in Dagenham. This necessitated the tow truck passing through the Dartford Tunnel. Thankfully (I guess), what remained of the damaged roof needed to be cut off to release it from its embedment in the tree, therefore the Police allowed the somewhat “low height” bus to pass through the Tunnel. Further news reaches me that the bus has been judged a write-off and is currently being stripped of useful parts in Norwood Garage. Finally on the subject, the car driver is still recovering in hospital and furthermore, the bus driver has been told that the Police will not be taking any action against him.
EC/ECw. DDL 1, 2, 3, 4
CNu/CNt. DDL 5, 6, 9
And from last month, confirmation that DLA 120 is confirmed as still being H45/18D.
ARRIVA SOUTHERN COUNTIES group, Maidstone
Kent Thameside Ltd: (DT,NF), also
including reference where appropriate to the associated
Arriva Guildford & West Surrey Ltd (CL,GF,HM garages)
Arriva Southend Ltd (Thurrock area operations from Grays) (SE and GY garages).
NF’s new E200s 4036-43 did enter service on route 499 on Saturday 8th August, one day before the formal rerouteing via Ebbsfleet. The two Mini Pointer Darts 1606/7 also entered service on route 455 by that time, leading to the withdrawal of two (of the three) Varios at Northfleet. Vario 1186 remains as a spare for the two MPDs and the Solos SRs on ‘small bus routes’ 414, 453 and 455.
The award of two school bus contracts in the Godalming area of Surrey resulted in two aged Darts from Milton Keynes, and new to Limebourne, arriving on 24th August at Guildford. They are in ‘inter urban’ livery. Perhaps the old MK yellow might have been more appropriate! Staying at Guildford, two Volvo B7TLs from Gillingham released the two Dominators to join their solitary sister at Maidstone, after the B7TLs had been replaced by new E200s right at the end of August.
Odd workings: Volvo B7TL 6439(TW) on the 402 into Bromley on 11th August. Tunbridge Wells-based Dart 3593 (GJ52 HDZ) which had been in yellow and then white, lost its route branding for route 401 (Sevenoaks- Westerham); it is said that it will be treated to more branding.
On 1st September it was announced that Arriva had agreed to sell the small Horsham operation based at Warnham Station to the Go-Ahead Group. It will be operated by Metrobus from their Crawley Depot, initially without any substantive change to timetables. Currently Horsham has nineteen buses: 12 x Dart SLFs (3032/68/69/74/80/81/82/83/85, 3103, 3179, 3248) for Horsham town routes and route 93, 6 x E200s (3976-81) for TfL 465 and 1 x Volvo Olympian (5925) for a school service. Dart 3179 in red livery acts as a spare for the 465 as well as the town routes. The Olympian will be retained by Arriva SC, the E200s will transfer to Metrobus, but it seems unlikely that many (or any?) of the Dart SLFs will be used by Metrobus in the long term.
Acquired vehicles from MK Metro, Milton Keynes (August) Nos. 3531/3533 respectively.
And from Arriva Medway Towns, Gillingham (31st August)
1182, 1183 NF/NFw. 3030 HM/CL. 3112, 3113 --/GF. 3122, 3123
Disposals (including moves to ‘other parts’ of A-SC) during August:
Varios 1182, 1183 to Wealden PSV.
ARRIVA the Shires Ltd (AY,GR,HH,LD,SV,WB garages) and
ARRIVA East Herts & Essex Ltd (HA,WE garages)
The four outstanding new vehicles all turned up on 1st and 2nd September, having been previously allocated 09-registrations. The two Scanias are for Luton and have nominally replaced the last Volvo B6s. The two ‘DB300s’ are at Garston for the company’s pvr increase on TfL work from 7th September. In fact, the pvr increase is of three buses but only two new buses were ordered – this may cause even more pressure on the ‘TfL double-deck fleet there. We have reported plenty of times on how many odd workings (and vehicle loans) there has had to be to cover the run-out.
DAF 3270, 3272 and Volvo B10Bs 3850/51/52 to inter-urban colours. All three of Aylesbury’s Tridents with route 500 branding, 5421, 5422 and 5432 were suddenly freshly repainted into inter-urban style by mid-August, now minus the branding. DAFs 3441 and 3449 have also lost their 500 branding (both are at Luton now!). DAF 3274 (GR) suffered a fairly minor engine fire on 29th August.
Coaches 4362/63/68 visited A-SC Maidstone during August for repainting into school-bus yellow for use at Stevenage. 4367 followed, but re-emerged in ‘inter-urban’ livery; all returned to SV. 4363 rather surprised several passengers when, in gaudy yellow, it turned out on Stevenage town service SB8 on 24th August. Coach 4047 to new-style Green Line livery.
The once-huge fleet of Mercedes-Benz minibuses of 709/711/811 and Vario models has been considerably reduced over recent years. Leaving aside the three withdrawn buses (2196, 2244 and 2248) awaiting disposal, those left licensed for service are these: MB709Ds 2128/31/33 (LD) and Varios 2173 (AY), 2177 and 2374 (HA), 2179, 2180, 2249 and 2373 (HH). The Aylesbury bus was used on the Chesham rural services which passed to other operators from 7th September. Also the large fleet of step-entrance Volvo B6s has been rapidly reduced lately, and we just have four (3117, 3128, 3133 and 3137) left shown as licensed, all at High Wycombe, whilst 3122 had been the last B6 in use at Luton – once the home to plenty of the breed. The two Optare Aleros (0443/4) at Harlow for the Sawbridgeworth town service also seem to have gone or at least been stood down, as a Vario has been the normal bus through August. In any case, the routes have been deregistered from the end of October.
Odd workings: Coach 4055 (HH) on the 6 on 15th August and 4047 on the 4/5 town services on 4th September; HH Varios on the 52 on 26th August (2180) and 27th (2179). At GR, Citaro 3917 on the 5 on 10th August. More Garston (TfL) buses have been retro-fitted with blinds for the TfL double-deck routes 142/258/340, with Darts 3218/20/21 and Cadets 3704-28 now duly fitted out.
All four below arrived in the first days of September, so
there is the possibility that the registrations may need to be changed to 59
(July): 2196 AY/AYu. 2248
HA/HAu. 3122 LD/LDu. 3151, 3159 AY/HHu. 3332 WB/WBw.
(September): 3640/41 --/LD. 6100/01 --/GR.
Off loan: DLA 11 returned on 31st August from GR to Arriva London.
Scania 3162 from standard to dark blue (for route 32 in
MB.115 1258 (KS05 JJE), the little minibus used on the ‘ZIP’
service in Harlow passed, with the ‘ZIP’ service to its new operator LCB
Travel, who took over the route from 1st September.
MK Metro fleet notes:
One typo in TLB537 p15, the E200s 0351-55 of course have reg prefix MX09 (not LX09)!. Dart 3531 (TLB540) is in inter-urban (not normal) livery. Darts 3531 and 3533 then passed to Arriva SC at Guildford. Dart 3521 to lime green. It seems that Darts 3179 and 3294 (both from AY) and 3212 (from GR) are formal transfers to MK, rather than mere loans. The recent Enviro300s have now gained route branding, 3570-75 in all-red for route 4 and 3576-78 in orange for route 5.
The Galleon Travel Ltd bus operation, trading as Trustybus from River Way, Harlow was acquired from start of operations on Sunday 23rd August. Twenty Trustybus vehicles were transferred to Centrebus Ltd and, initially at least, seem to be retaining the Trustybus name. Presumably, buses will soon receive Centrebus fleet numbers. Already, R462 and R484 LHG are in Centrebus livery.
P726, P727 RYL Dart SLF – Plaxton Pointer 10.0m B36F – 1996.
And via Ensignbus, formerly Arriva Midlands (No.4169)
M169 GRY Scania N113DRB – East Lancs H47/33F – 1995.
EAST LONDON BUS
More and more Scanias arrived at Bow in advance of the take-up of route 205 on 29th August. They were widely used during August on routes 26 and 30, and occasionally on the 8. Bow duly took over route 205 on the appointed date. Meanwhile, older Tridents continue to depart to Ensignbus with, at the beginning of September, just three (17083 at BK and 17084/086 at U) left in service [leaving aside ‘heritage’ Trident 17001 of course]. The twenty Tridents converted to trainers are all now re-allocated to garages (see below) and many Scania trainers have departed.
The batch of seventeen Enviro200s started to arrive a bit early when the first three got to Rainham (RM) by 21st August, others following. They are due to enter convert route D3 at West Ham by its tender renewal date of 19th September. More repaints into all red include 17157, 17297 and 17852. However, despite there being very few that have yet to gain all red livery, my ever vigilant SE25 reporter informs me that 17189, 18487 and 34317 have now received second all red repaints.
Odd workings: E400 18500 (WH) was on the 115 on 21st, 22nd and 24th August. On 3rd September 18500 was on the 277 (WH331) and on 4th as WH326. The occasional (but still fairly rare) Scania on the 174 continues, with 15014 on 22nd August. From the first day of the 205 at Bow, at least one Trident was observed on each day being pressed into service.
New deliveries: (At least 36045-053 had been delivered in August, the rest due in September).
36045-061 LX59 ANF/P/R/U/V, AOA/B/C/D/E/F/G/H/J/K/L/M
AD E200Dart – AD Enviro200 10.2m B29D.
Loaned vehicles: Tridents 17577/579/581/584/589/590 returned from Metrobus to Selkent (TL) during August. As at 5th September just five (17481, 17571/574/582/585) remained at Metrobus.
15100/01/03/04/06/08/09/11-24 RMu/BW. (In practice, 15113/15 were still at RM on 29th August, but should have followed within a few days).
From trainer conversion at Cosham: 17099/100/101 to Ut. 17102/103 to NSt.
17104/105/106 to BKt. 17107 to BWt. 17108 to RMt. 17109 to TBt. 17110 to RMt. 17111 to PDt. 17112, 17113 to TLt. 17395, 17396 to BWt. 17397 to WHt. 17398 to TLt. 17399 to PDt.
Now, normal transfers, some of which confirm our suggestions in TLB540:
17115 RMu/BK. 17123/125 PD/TL. 17126/127/128 RMu/PD. 17131/133/134 PD/BW.
The ‘extra observed’ transfers noted in TLB540 are included above except for these: 17238, 17519, 17932, 34269, 34312, 34356, 34357, 34386 - which should therefore be regarded as merely loans. In particular, there are numerous Dart loans from PD and TB to TL on almost a daily basis, often in the evenings! Those (34377-80) shown above, though, are official transfers.
Trident 17879 from 527 CLT to LX03 NGN. Scania OmniCity 15100 from LX09 FYV to 527 CLT.
Disposals; - Dart 34158 to Ensignbus in July.
Olympians 16122, 16123; Tridents 17064/065/080/082/085/087/090/092/094/097;
Disposal: No. 464, a MCW Metroliner – sold to Scenic Suncruisers, Scarborough (August). The registration 864 DYE has been retained by Ensignbus.
EXCEL, Stansted (within the T-GM Group, part of the ‘Arriva family’)
FIRST in BERKSHIRE (First Beeline Buses Ltd) (BL and SH garages)
FIRST LONDON incorporating
FIRST CAPITAL EAST - DM.
FIRST CAPITAL NORTH - H and NP.
CENTREWEST LONDON BUSES - G, HS, ON, UX, WJ and X.
The batch of thirty-one Volvo B9TL/ Wrightbus Eclipse Gemini 2 buses for Alperton route 83 was due to start being delivered as we closed for press. Referring to TLB 539, we recorded the arrival of the first one at the Volvo workshop at Brimsdown as long ago as 21st June. It had an early chassis and body number (body AD610) whereas the other thirty have much later numbers (AD718-AD747). Nevertheless, the ‘early’ one joins the others with new 59-plates. So far, 37773-783 are LK59 CWN/O/P/R/T/U/V/W/X/Y/Z, and 37784-797 LK59 CXA/B/C/D/E/F/G/H/J/L/M/N/O/P, with 37798-803 to complete the batch (but as yet with unallocated registrations).
On Saturday 22 August the annual V Festival at Chelmsford (Hylands Park) attracted a large contingent of double-decks from First Essex and Fourways, but they were aided by First London VDN 34215 and six Tridents. The damaged Wrightbus integral DL WN 35003 had recovered from its accident on 1st June by the end of August, as has the E400 DN 33519 from its 5th January incident (TLB 533 refers). However, I gather WNH 39002 was involved in an accident on 26th August and was last seen being unceremoniously towed down the Bayswater Road.
Odd workings: during August, numerous appearances of Alperton’s E200s on routes 92 and 224, an odd one or two on the 79, but on 10th to 13th August one turned out on the 223 each day! E200 DML 44125 (G) was most unusually on the 95 on 24th. During August, route 191 has seen two TNs, a TNL and VNL 32308 on 20th August. Route 385 has once again seen something other than stalwart DMS 41474. After DM 41785 on 20th June reported in TLB 539, 3rd August saw DM 41781 and subsequently numerous examples from the 41773-88 batch since then.
(DN 33601/02/07, DML 44127/28, DMS 44419 were STILL not in use at G by 1st September).
Disposals: DB 67296 (TLB 539 p26 refers) – It is with St John Ambulance at their Southall premises.
BLUE TRIANGLE - BE
DOCKLANDS BUSES – SI;
LONDON CENTRAL - BX, NX, PM and Q;
LONDON GENERAL - A, AF, AL, MW, PL, RA and SW.
New deliveries (August)
MEC 1-3 (BG09 JJK/L/U); 5-10 (BG09 JJX/Y/Z, JKE/F/J);
11-19 (BD09 ZPR/S/T/U/V/W/X/Y/Z);
Note that MEC 27 (BD09 ZVS) was not delivered to London. It suffered an accident whilst on delivery and was sent back to Germany for repair. We would expect it to receive a new 59 mark.
(Correction to TLB 540) LDP 1, 7, 8 A/BXw should read LDP 1, 8,
9 A/BXw. (LDP 7 still at BX).
EVL 3, 4, 6, 21, 23 gone from fleet by August.
Inward Loan: contrary to the note in TLB 540 page 31 that the hired Solo had gone, it has not. Although the shuttle service between Stratford and the Olympic Park operated for Bovis did indeed cease, the Solo OS 1 (MX09 HHW) remains. It is used by Bovis to take their sponsors and VIPs on personalised tours of the Olympic site. It is now based at New Cross (NX) and operated by LG’s Commercial Dept.
In use in July and August was Metrobus GYE 443W. It was formerly with Media Bus, Canning Town and is now converted to part open-top but has retained its dual door layout, thus is now PO43/28D. It is all-red and has been used in service on the Epping- North Weald peak hour service. The two Turkish– built BMC Falcon low-floor midibuses are for route 392 (Harlow- Hoddesdon) taken up from 1st September. They are all-red with route branding.
METROBUS, Crawley (within the Go-Ahead Group) (C,CY,LR,MB depots)
Scania/Olympus deliveries continued into early August with 889-893 but were then suspended until mid-September. 894-899 will now be re-registered PN59 KFW/X/Y/Z, KGA/E.
Once the ‘route 64’ Scania OmniCitys arrive in September, more red OmniDekkas will be repainted blue and cascaded to Crawley. By the end of this year, therefore, the intention is that all remaining Olympians at CY will be withdrawn. There has been a late change to the order of some of the ‘route 64’ batch. 962-965 are now YT59 DYF/G/H/N. The whole batch had arrived in the UK by the first few days of September and were then moving to Scania’s Lingfield depot, prior to delivery to Metrobus. I shall show them as in stock in September.
Metrobus is to assume operation of the Arriva services based at Horsham from Saturday 3rd October. However, it will all be worked from Crawley. In theory, the nineteen Arriva buses will transfer, but it seems likely that Metrobus may use its own vehicles on the Horsham local routes.
Odd workings: Scania OmniCity 955 (C203) on route 127 on 20th August. Examples of assorted Scanias from the newest batch for the 75 noted elsewhere: 884 (C143) on 119 on 4th August, 875 (C263) on 405 on 7th, 877 on 405 on 17th, 871 on 127 on 19th, 877 on 64 on 27th. .
(August): 889-893 (PN09 ENH/K/L/M/O) Scania N230UD – Optare Olympus 10.8m H45/23D.
(September): 958-973 (YT59 DYA/B/C/D/F/G/H/N/J/M/O/P/S/U/V/W)
Transfers (August): 129 C/CYw. 505 Qt/CYw. 836 CY/CYw. 889-893 --/MB.
Off loan: Tridents 17577/579/581/584/589/590 returned to Selkent in August. These went back once Scania/ Olympus up to 893 had entered service. 894-899 remained outstanding, so five Tridents remained on loan as at late August: 17481, 17571/574/582/585.
Darts 125, 126 to Mike De Courcey Travel,
(Within the Comfort Delgro group of Singapore)
The six E200s (DE 993-998) at Brentford started to enter service on route E8 from 15th August. These were the first new buses to be delivered to Metroline in the all-red livery without the familiar blue skirt. They have white roof pods for the cab air-conditioning. This adds another Dart class at the garage to the DA/DP/DM mix of types. We now have them scheduled on 117 (DP), 190 (DM), 209 (DA) and E8 (DE). Recently, it has been increasingly common to see DMs on the E8 (and even the E2, e.g. on 11th August DM 962 and 963) and DPs on the 209 (in particular). The occasional DA does wander, e.g. on 8th August DA 145 was on the E8 and DA 149 on the 190. The DEs were soon out and about, but hardly at all on the E8 to begin with. On 18th August new DE 998 was AH66 on the newly-double-deck route E2; on 19th DE 996 and 998 followed on the E2 with DE 997 on the 190 (AH60) and on 20th DE 993 and 996 on the E2.
The remaining DEs were allocated to West Perivale for new route 395 starting on 5th September and to Cricklewood for route 251. By the third week of August though, it was discovered that some of the matches of chassis/ body/ fleet numbers with registrations was incorrect. Therefore DE 999-1003 already at PA took registrations allocated to DE 1010-1014. They soon went into service on PA’s routes prior to the start of the 395. DE 1004-1006 had already arrived at W at the end of July and others duly followed. The first sighting of one on the 251 was DE 1006 on 24th August.
Another nineteen DEs are due, perhaps as soon as later this month. These are for Cricklewood to replace older DLDs on route 316. Sadly, although the route really needs double-deckers and it was proposed that it should have them, the familiar NIMBY problem on part of the route has dictated single-decks. The will be DE 1015-1033 (LK59 AUW/Y, AVB/C/D/F/G/J/L/M/N/O/P/R/T/U/V/W/X).
The seventeen Trident/ Enviro400s (TE 976-992) for Brentford route E2 were late arriving, with just three, TE 978/979/980 coming by 30th August. Although these three carried their booked registrations LK09 EKX/Y/Z, the whole batch is being re-plated with 59 marks, thus: TE 976-992 (LK59 DYY, DZA/B/C/D/E/F/G/H/J/L/M/N/O/P/R/S).
The unique Marshall-bodied Dart SLF MLF 122, one of those inherited from Thorpe’s, caught fire and was completely destroyed while on route C11 (as PA107) in Claremont Road, Cricklewood on the morning of 20th August. TE 937 (PB) suffered an accident but was soon back in use at Potters Bar by 17th August. TP 457 (PB) (TLB539 p30 refers) is also back in use at PB.
Can anyone explain why TP 3 has been fitted with a replacement nearside destination display? Instead of having the display carrying both route and via point in the upper section of the first nearside window, it is now fitted with an example that shows just the route number in the bottom left hand side. Apparently looks very odd. Repaints noted in the last month have been very few: DLD 193, TA 658 and TE 839. It is expected that some of the TPs redundant after the loss of route 205 from 29th August will gradually move from Perivale (PV) to Brentford (AH) to replace other TPs that can be eventually returned to Dawson Rentals. Meanwhile, numerous redundant Darts remain stored, mosty now in all-white, awaiting return to Dawson Rentals. The handful of SELs at PV that had been a top-up to route 205 are now being used on route 460.
New deliveries (August)
Some of the buses from DE 999 upwards, (which arrived on delivery from late July onwards) had the incorrect match of fleet, registration and chassis numbers applied. Buses classified DE 999-1003 now have regs originally allocated to DE 1010-1014. In turn, DE 1010-1014 have now been given the registrations originally earmarked to 999-1003! To reprise the list, therefore, tthe July deliveries were:
Transfers: VPL 220 HT/EW. TPL 272 W/HT. TP 411, 415. 417
PV/HT. DE 1007-1014 --/W.
Disposals: MLF 122 destroyed by fire (20th August).
NSL SERVICES, Twickenham
A few vehicles appeared from late July with new NSL logos. By the end of August, only a small minority of buses in the fleet had actually received them. These are in white with an upward pointing yellow arrow. They are quite small and are applied on the fronts and above the driver’s cab and front entrance door.
Grant PALMER, Dunstable
RED LINE, Aylesbury
Varios usually appear on the Hemel evening service contracts, although on 9th June the green Primo MX56 ABV appeared. Several extra vehicles have been acquired to allow for the expansion of services in Buckinghamshire; the Enviro300 is in school bus yellow.
REGAL BUSWAYS, Essex
Acquired via Ensignbus (August):
N414 MBW, N424 MBW Dennis Dart 9.8 SDL – Plaxton Pointer B40F – 1996.
SOUTHDOWN PSV, Crawley Down
With the extension of the 410 to Holland, regular double-deck working, using the two DAF/Presidents and the Volvo B7TL, on the 410 has been replaced by a new pattern. One each on school routes 606 and 657 and one on Mon-Fri peak hour short workings on the 410 between Redhill and Oxted plus the M-F offpeak 494 between Oxted and Caterham.
STANSTED TRANSIT, Stansted and Braintree
SULLIVAN BUSES, South Mimms
Correction to TLB540: LDP 17 (P517 RYM) did not go to Brundrit after all (although LDP 10 did).
LONDON UNITED - AV, FW, HH, S, TV and V and
LONDON SOVEREIGN - BT and SO.
The batch of E200s DE 32-49 duly went into service on route 72, the first report being of just five of them among a lot of normal Darts on 11th August. It took most of August for the rest to follow. The follow-on batch of seven, DE 50-56, arrived in late August complete with “59” registration plates. These are the buses ordered for new route 324, which has been postponed for some months due to local objections over part of the proposed route. Hopefully, the company may be able to use them elsewhere temporarily.
The first few SPs of the next big order started to arrive from Poland through Immingham and Hull from 25th August when SP 68 landed. The first twenty are due for Edgware (BT) to convert route 183, these being SP 68-87 (YT59 RXR/S/U/V/W/X/Y/Z, RYA/B/C/D/F/G/H/J/K/M/N/O). The next seventeen have been allocated registrations (SP 88-104) YT59 SFK/N/O/U/V/X/Y/Z, SGO/U/V/X/Y/Z, SHJ/V/X and are to fulfil the conversion of Fulwell routes 65 and 71.
Withdrawn Darts and Volvo B7TLs (older VAs and VPs) have been gathering at various locations, but sales seem to have been very thin on the ground. Although some would go off lease, some others are to be reinstated for a conversion to double-deck of route 81 (Hounslow- Slough) and some workings on the 222 (Hounslow- Uxbridge) from 10th October. A few VPs are also reinstated (one is known, see below) to help out on the 183 until the new SPs go into service.
Since the arrival of the Scanias, there is now a problem in Brook Street Kingston at the 65 stand. Due to the extra length (10.8m instead of 9.9m of the TAs), when there are three on the stand, the last one protrudes into the road. Apparently, the new DEs at Shepherd’s Bush have blinds including route 148. Now that WOULD be a strange working! Both DPS 6 and 10 look as though they won’t be working from Shepherd’s Bush again too soon as 6 looks like it’s been dumped and 10 has been covered over. The two odd loans mentioned last month, DPS 527 (AV/SO) and 579 (FW/SO), were both back at their home sheds (AV for 527 and 579 for 579) in late August. By the way, the DPFs have not been seen since early July when all the loans started, and in any case are no longer required.
In full red livery this month are DP 78, DPS 587, 670, 692 plus SLE 33, 36, 40. The latter completes the ‘route 13 batch’ at Edgware, SLEs 21-44 are now all dealt with, all having been repainted at Barton Park Eastleigh.
Odd workings: SP 30 on the 49 on 4th September. Thus far, these have not attempted the route as there has been a left-turn restriction (Fulham Road to Sydney Street) to longer buses in Chelsea. However, it can evidently be achieved with care! Meanwhile, the rather unloved SOs continue - or at least were doing so to late August - to act as spare cover at S (SO 1, 7, 8 and 9 usually on route 220), FW (3 and 4 on the 267) and BT (2, 5 and 6 on the 13).
New deliveries (August):
DE 50-56 YX59 BYA/B/C/D/F/G/H AD E200Dart – AD Enviro200 10.2m B29D.
DP 97 HH/AV. DPS 6, 10 S/Su. DPS 8, 13, 14, 15 S/HHu. DPF 558-562 SO/wdn.
587, 641, 660, 668, 670, 681, 691, 692 from B30D to B27D.
Delete reference to VA 93 converted to H43/17D. It remains H43/20D at present.
New deliveries (August):
9479-9493 (LJ09 OKN/O/P/R/S/T/U/V/W/X/Z,
Detail changes: Tridents 9762/63/64/65 repainted, refurbished and downseated from H43/20D to H43/19D. We now have 9737/39-44/46-57/59-65 completed – any more please?
TRUSTYBUS, Harlow (Galleon Travel/ Trustline)
The operation was sold to Centrebus Ltd from 23rd August - see Centrebus entry for the list.
UNIVERSITYBUS (t/a uno), Hatfield
The "Where are they now" column (or: Subsequent vehicle disposals)
RM 967 Further to TLB467, this RM was sold from the unknown owner in Blaenau Ffestiniog in North Wales to an unknown owner in Scotland, possibly in the Edinburgh area at the end of 2006 ? In 2002, this RM was fitted with an LPG powered engine which was still working when it left North Wales; it makes this RM unique. Has anyone any recent information since 2006.?
RM 1971 from Mr A Adams, Luton to the London Bus Export Company, Lydney, Glos. (July).
RML2528 from Routemaster Buses Ltd. / RML2418 Ltd., Wem, Shropshire to Dreadnought Coaches, Alnwick, Northumberland (September).
RML2677 from Mr M Roulston (t/a Glasgow City Transport), Glasgow to Ensign Bus and then subsequently to Ambassatours, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada (all August).
RMA14 (KGJ 602D) from Mr P Graves, Watford (having been in storage in Essex for 13 years), to Mr S Boxall, Beckenham (August), for eventual restoration.
T 4, 8, 9, 11, 33 (WYV 8T, etc), 819, 820 (RYK 819Y, etc) Following the clearance of the London Bus Company’s Dagenham overflow yard during May, it is reported that early Ts 8, 9 and 11 were broken up on site and taken away in skips. Ts 4, 33, 819 and 820 were transferred to Northfleet for further storage, however T 820 was stripped and its shell collected by Wigley, Carlton on 25th August.
L 181 (D181 FYM) from Hardwick to Hulme Hall, Cheadle Hulme (July).
Miscellaneous Double deck types:
EVL 1 (PL51 LGA) was the first one seen repainted into Plymouth Citybus red and white livery; it has become fleet number 411.
SP 4 (K304 FYG) from Johnsons Coaches, Hodthorpe to M Travel, Normanton, West Yorkshire (July).
V 10 (N310 JBV), 44 (P244 UCW) (First 34010, 34044) from First Bristol to First Hampshire & Dorset (by August).
V 41, 43 (P241, 243 UCW) (First 34010, 34043) from First Bristol to First Somerset & Avon (by August). [Sorry, these are Volvo Olympians, no room on previous page - Ed!]
DAL11 (N311 AMC), 601 (N601 KGF) (Stagecoach 32311, 32601) from Stagecoach South to Wigley (by August).
DAL 609, 610 (N609, 610 KGF) (Stagecoach 32609, 32610) were destroyed in the fire at Stagecoach South Wales Aberdare depot on the 8th July.
DM 229, 230, 232 (R229 TLM etc.), 265 (T265 JLD) (First 41229 etc.) confirmed with First Cymru.
DML 247 (S247 KLM), 253 (S253 JLP) (First 41247 and 41253) arrived with First West Yorkshire in late July and were initially stored with DML 254 (S254 JLP) and DM 284 (T284 JLD) (First 41254 and 41284). At the end of August, DML 253 and 254 had entered service from Leeds (Hunslett Park depot) and DM 284 had joined DM281-283 at Halifax. A further five DMLs had arrived, but had not entered service. These are DML 248 (S248 KLM), 255, 256 (S255, 256 JLP), 315 and 316 (V315, 316 GBY) (First 41258 etc.). All the DMLs have been re-seated to B31F.
LDP 41 passed to Ensign Bus from Go Ahead London in July 2009. This corrects the entry in SUP44A.
VN 6 (K123 BUD, ex K6 KLL) from Bluestar / Solent Blue Line to Glover, Ashbourne (by August)
LUL/LBSL Fleet; Newly reported vehicles Allocation
6720F LS09 AUA Ford Transit Crew-Cab Dropside Truck JNP White/Blue SDD
6737F LR09 LHU Ford Mondeo Estate Car ? White/Blue
6741F LL09 FBF Ford Transit Low-Roof Crew Van Metronet White/Blue GHO
6780F LS09 BZF Ford Focus Estate Car ? White/Blue
6787H HK09 BHF Honda CR-V Estate Car ? Silver ACN
6788F LS09 ATX Ford Transit High-Roof Crew Van ? White/Blue ACN
6790F LL09 ETE Ford Transit High-Roof Van Metronet White/Blue HAD
6791VW RE09 BBU Volkswagen Caddy Crew Van ? White/Blue
6796F LT59 LCF Ford Transit mid-height Van ? White/Blue
6814F LL09 ETU Ford Transit Low-Roof Crew Van ? White/Blue
- VN07 CKO Ford Focus Estate Car JNP Dark Blue SDD
? LS09 BXC Ford Focus Estate Car JNP White/Blue SDD
- WP09 SMV Mercedes-Benz Econic Refuse Truck JNP White/Blue ACN
- WP09 SMX Mercedes-Benz Econic Refuse Truck JNP White/Blue ACN
? YS09 CXC Ford Transit Staff Facility Van JNP White/Blue ACN
Additional information and updates
Bus Company Fleets; Newly reported Vehicles
- VE04 ECX Ford Fiesta Van Transdev Red HH
- GV57 YCJ Vauxhall Corsa Van Go-Ahead London Red Q
99 YP08 YOD Vauxhall Corsa Car Arriva London Silver DX
Transfers reported are:
Arriva London: 43 (NX54 YTK) from LV to CN,
East London: 95091 (HT05 VAE) BK to WH and 96015/96016 (EX08 KZN/KZP) WH to RM, Metroline: YE09 ONX to HD, and
Transdev: S169 TOC from TV to HH.
LONDON TRAMLINK, Croydon
Car 2534 is due back after repair from Crewe Railway Works during the second week of September. It would return in its original colours of red & white plus repaired and replaced panels. Of course, one end suffered severe damage in the crash in September 2008, but other (‘good’) end also suffered damage in a conflict with a Class 66 locomotive whilst being shunted at Crewe. After some testing, it will need to have the refurbishment to match the rest of the fleet, prior to returning to service.
In the event, just one spare tram could be based east of Croydon and that was kept at the Sandilands crossover. This was mainly to cover the routine servicing requirements of the trams over the three-week-long third phase period of the works. Should an emergency have arisen, whereby more than one tram needed to have depot attention, then a back-up plan was in place to transport the trams by road to do an exchange, but fortunately the need never arose. However, two trams suffered broken windows one evening, then parked at Beckenham Junction and New Addington, causing a reduction in service for a few hours. Once the mobile sander (TLB540 p36 refers) had come into operation at Lloyd Park, the cleaning of the trams based in the Sandilands Tunnel reverted to being done at Lloyd Park stop which gave more flexibility with the sanding operation.
So, Phase 3 developed into Phase 4 (or perhaps 3 and a half). From Tuesday 1st September, trams were able to run into the centre platform at East Croydon and there was a 10-minute service to both New Addington and Beckenham Junction, plus a 20-minute shuttle from Elmers End to Arena. Therefore, there was still a break in the through service with ‘east’ trams coming into East Croydon, passengers walking the few yards to the temporary stop in George Street near Dingwall Road for connections towards to the Town Centre and Wimbledon. The bus link (operated by First London) between Sandilands and East Croydon was no longer needed now. The arrangement lasted until Sunday 6th September, with tram service returning to normal in the East Croydon area from Monday 7th.