Edited by JOHN PODGORSKI BA Hons, MSc, CMILT.
Welcome to the April 2015 edition of Busmopolitan.
The Colchester Park and Ride opened on Monday, 13th April. Centred on Cuckoo Farm, at Junction 28 with the A12 trunk road to the north of the town; the £5.9 million project was completed in around 3 months. The service runs Monday to Saturday 0700 to 1900, and operates non stop to the town centre, where it follows the clockwise one way loop, serving stops at High Street – outside the town hall, and Head Street. Colchester has had a rather chequered history regarding park and ride. Back in 1971/1972, a “full time” Christmas scheme was tried, from a site on the garrison and worked by the then Colchester Borough Transport. It attracted custom, to the point that is was continued (on Saturdays only) beyond the festive period, but then petered out by the February. C B T repeated the Christmas P and R on the four Saturdays leading up to 25th December 1973. Then from 13th December 1975 a Park and Ride was established at North Station, running to/from the town centre. Operating on Saturdays only (once again by Colchester BT) on a 6 month Essex County Council sponsored trial, it was poorly used; to the extent that the local media published an article featuring a P and R bus, with the caption, “is the driver the loneliest person in town ?”. Not surprisingly, this experiment wasn’t pursued after its expiry on 6th March 1976, and it was not until 1995 that another Monday to Saturday schedule was tried, running between two sites either side of the town centre, these being car parks at Sheepen Road (to the north) and Butt Road (to the south). Hedingham Omnibuses was the contractor (on behalf of Colchester Borough Council), and the service number C2 was allocated . Once again, this was not successful; one theory being that the termini were within walking distance of central Colchester anyway. This scheme was subsequently revised to run from Butt Road only. Then in 1999, Eastern took over operation; but the C2 was reduced to Saturdays only. Eastern National had already been operating a Saturday only Borough Council sponsored Park an Ride since 1993; between North Station and the town. This was eventually numbered C3. The C2 ceased in 2002, but the C3 continued until 2007. This only stopped when the railway company began charging for car park use at weekends, and a suitable alternative site could not be found. This left Colchester with no park and ride again.
ABELLIO GREATER ANGLIA.
From DRS is electroc loco 90034. It is in unbranded blue.
EMUs 315836/7/43/8/50 are now in the new TfL blue/white livery. Only 315856/60/1 are left in the old ONE colours.
EMUs 317504/5/729 have received the latest AGA colours.
The WB64 ‘Pretendalino’ set, (AGA set no NC64) had been reformed to its original by mid April; including DVT 82126. However, loco 90001 is no longer part of this consist, having been replaced by 90015. Then in late April, 82126 was swapped with 82112, and 11007 with 11018. Set NC12 is no longer completely in ONE livery.
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxgton Mini Pointers X595 FBB, X506/12 WRG have passed to Ensign.
Volvo B10M/Caetano Enigma OIB 3514 is now plain white, ex fleet livery.
New is Mercedes Tourismo tri-axle AC15 ERN (pictured above).
Volvo B10M/Berkhof Axial APT 42S, has been re-registered back to its original R917 ULA.
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE (NETWORK COLCHESTER).
The Colchester Park and Ride commenced operation on 13/4/2015.
The new ADL/Enviro 20Ds for this service are 4071-5 (SK15 GXR/S/T/U/V). They are in black/silver livery, like the First P and R buses in Chelmsford. 4074 was pictured (above), at Cuckoo Farm on the first day. The Colchester buses also sport ‘Arriva’ fleet names.
Dart SLF/Super Pointer 3701 (S701 VKM) has returned to Harlow from Colchester, off loan. SLF/Pointer 3281 (T281 JKM) has come from Southend – on loan.
From 5/4/15, there were changes to Essex CC contracted Sunday/holiday services. 66 (Rowhedge-North Station) ceased to run “direct” into town down the Military Road “hill”, but was diverted through the new housing on Roberts Road (on the site of the Hyderabad Barracks), to continue via Mersea Road). The 102 (Colchester-Harwich) has its Colchester terminus altered from Osborne Street to Stanwell Street.
Mercedes Sprinter service van MF04 DNJ has lost its TGM branding.
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE (NETWORK HARLOW).
From Kent Thameside at Dartford is VDL SB200/Wright Pulsar2 3756 (YJ08 DZF).
ARRIVA LONDON NORTH.
From Arriva London South are Volvo B7TL/Alexander ALX400s VLA101/2 (LJ54 BCO/U). They are allocated to Edmonton (EC).
Sold are LDV Convoy minibus X956 BNE and BMC 850 midicoach BX55 NYB.
Withdrawn are Mercedes 814L/Balmoral WIW 4748; short Dennis Javelin/WSs N982 BHE, FA54 WMW.
Sold is Renault PP160/WS truck derived schoolbus K18 WPA.
Short ADL/Enviro 200 SEN38 (SK07 HLO) has returned from London General, with SEN39 (YX09 FLP) going in exchange.
Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President PVL70 (W578 DGU) is now with BVT Ltd, Newquay – via Ensign. Sister PVL110 (W401 WGH) has been resold by Ensign to Seaford and District.
BUSINESS B, SOUTH WANSTEAD.
Has AEC PRV Routemaster RML2697 (SMK 697F).
One coach from the Motts fleet usually stables at the old Crusader depot at Clacton. During April this was Setra S416 EU08 FAJ.
Dart SLF/Mini Pointer DPS3 (MM51 XVB) has been transferred to the Yorkshire fleet.
Redundant Trident/Presidents HTP3, 4, 6 (PN03 UMB/K, ULY) have gone to Dawsonrentals, Milton Keynes (dealer).
DE VERE TRAVEL, SIBLE HEDINGHAM.
New is Mercedes City accessible minibus BD15 CWJ, for use on stage work.
DONS OF DUNMOW.
Impressive used acquisitions are YJ12 KFE, a Van Hool bodied Volvo B13R 57 seat tri-axle coach, from Elliot of Manchester; and Scania K400/Lahden 6X2 YT61 GRK – ex New Adventure TGravel of Cardiff.
EAST THAMES BUSES.
One time DAF SB120/Wright Cadet DW5 (LV52 TJV), latterly with London General; has gone to MC Tractors of Ely for scrap, after cannibalisation by Ensign.
A “new” open topper is ex Brighton and Hove Trident/EL T808 RFG. It was initially used on General Election campaigning by the Conservative party. Trident/ALX400 192 (T192 CLO), has gone on loan to Renown of Bexhill. Trident/ALX400 156 (LX04 FXR) is now WLT 916; 158 (LX04 FXT) is now WLT 428.
Alexander Royale bodied Volvo Olympian 827 (WLT 307) is withdrawn, leaving 829 (WJY 759) as the last of this type in the operational fleet. Tridents are no longer used on stage service; only private charters and rail now.
Acquired as part of a “job lot” from the now defunct Western Greyhound is former Southend Corporation/Southend Borough Transport Leyland Titan PD3/EL MHJ 347F. Whether or not Ensign keeps it, its future is now secure. It requires restoration.
Also set aside for potential Heritage Fleet use is ex Western Greyhound ‘RMA’ Routemaster NMY 648E, while restored former Southdown Leyland Tiger PS/Harrington DUF 179 is now back in use.
Also for the Heritage fleet is former Southend Transport VH Astromega JEV 245Y, acquired from Fords of Althorne.
Temporary fleet Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President 913 (X653 LLX) has been sold to Redroute of Northfleet. Short term operated Optare Solo 985 (WK11 APV) is now with Pickford of Chippenham.
The 24th edition of the Ensign ‘Thurrock Area Bus Times’ booklet was issued from 13/4/15. This coincided with minor enhancements to routes 22 (Aveley-Grays), 25 (Lakeside-Wiliam Edwards School – schooldays only), 33 (Lakeside-Chafford Hundred-Grays), 44 (Lakeside-Purfleet-Grays) and 73 9Lakeside-Tilbury). On Saturdays, the frequency of the 44 has been increased to half hourly.
A new Vauxhall Vivaro engineers’ van is EY15 DVO.
Ford Transit minibus HK59 AZO has been converted into an engineers’ van, with its rear and side windows blacked out.
EOS LONDON, RAINHAM.
Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President 101 (X158 FBB), is withdrawn after being deroofed under a low bridge.
EPPING FOREST COMMUNITY TRANSPORT.
VW Crafter DX09 KWO is in use.
ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL – COMMUNITY LINK.
There have been some changes to operating centres in north east Essex.
Now ceased are The Old Rectory at Brook Street, and Marylands at Colchester and the coach park at Clacton Common Shopping Village. The welfare buses at the latter have moved to the far side of the Shopping Village car park/Kennedy Way in Clacton, and the former to Peddars Close, Shrub End in Colchester.
EXECUTIVE MINIBUSES, AVELEY.
Mercedes Sprinter 515CDi/UVM EM08 BUS has passed to WMSNT of Birmingham.
The former Dagenham depot at Chequers Lane is now a distribution centre for on line grocery specialist Ocado.
Picture taken on 12/4/15.
SLF/Pointer 43480 (R680 DPW) has moved from Chelmsford (CF) to Basildon (BN). Volvo B7RLE/Wright 66798 (MX05 CCA) has transferred from CF to Colchester (CR).
Withdrawn at Clacton are SLF/MPDs 43357/9 (V357/9 DVG); Scania L113/Wrights 65527/38 (R147/38 GSF); Scania L94/Wrights 65651/2 (T651/2 SSF) – 65652 is accident damaged.
Long term withdrawn Scania L94UB/Wright 65569 (S569 TPW) has gone for scrap, along with sister 65570 (S570 TPW).
From 6/4/15, Colchester town service 63 (Roman Way-Tufnell Way) ceased to be commercial and became an Essex CC contract. It has been reduced from 30 mins to hourly and tickets are now inter available with those on Hedingham service 50 (Colchester-Layer/Tollesbury). 63 is also now scheduled for double deckers.
On the same date, Colchester local 66A (Old Heath-West Bergholt) was rerouted away from “the hill” on Military Road, to run via Mersea Road and the new Roberts Road, to gain its line of route.
(Military Road “hill” is still served by routes 61/A, 66).
And the Colchester terminus for routes 103/4 (Harwich-Colchester) was changed from Osborne Street to Stanwell Street.
The Colchester travel shop and crew facilities have moved from Queen Street, to the bottom of Queen Street; into premises previously used by Arriva Colchester. Queen Street depot is now only used for bus maintenance and parking.
Volvo B10M/VH RUI 6607 was in withdrawn condition at the Clacton OC in April.
FLAVIN, STANFORD LE HOPE.
This is the new title for coaches previously operated under the Bobby’s Minibuses/Chariots of Essex/Priory of Essex fleet names. Livery is white/blue, which follows that of the erstwhile Priory vehicles.
Arrivals are of VH Bodied Volvo B10Ms L975 OWY – from Down of Mary Tavy, Devon, and L56 REW – ex Fraser and Golding of Rufford, Lancashire.
FORDS OF ALTHORNE.
Acquired via Ensign is former Stagecoach East London ex Stagecoach Merseyside Trident/ALX400 S808 BWC.
On loan from Scania of Worksop (dealer), is Scania K410EB6/Higer YN64 XPP.
Van Hool Astromega double deck integral coach Y245 JEV has passed to Ensign – for preservation. It was one of a batch new to Southend Transport.
Has been sold by its current owners, Arcapita, to USA based Genesee and Wyoming (G and W). G and W now has majority shareholding, with the existing Freightliner management retaining 5% of the shares.
The Dagenham Dock operation has ceased; with the end of the scrap traffic to Cardiff. The sidings have been lifted. The picture below shows the site in February 2010.
GALLEON TRAVEL, HARLOW.
Impressive new additions are YK15 OKA, a VDL SBR4000/Berkhof tri-axle double deck coach, and YN15 YTP an Irizar i6 integral coach.
GALLOWAY OF MENDLESHAM.
New is Mercedes Tourismo tri-axle BF15 XPJ – in a blue, white and yellow “swirly” livery.
Mercedes Sprinter/UVG KE04 PUH has come to Essex, from the Oxfordshire fleet.
HAILSTONE TRAVEL, WICKFORD.
New is HT15 BUS; a Mercedes 1523L 33 seat coach with UNVI bodywork.
Received from Anglian Bus are Dennis Trident/ELs 712 (T812 RFG), 722 (W822 NNJ).
Anglian Scania Omnidekka 554 (YN55 PZF) appeared at Clacton (CN) depot, in late April, en route from Hants and Dorset Trim.
Volvo B10BLE/Wright 486 (R233 HCD) has moved internally from Sible Hedingham (HD) to CN; Tridents 702 (T802 RFG), 743 (X386 NNO) from CN to Tollesbury (TY).
Volvo Olympian/Alexander RH 81 (M144 UKN) is withdrawn.
Withdrawn Optare Excel 202 (T789 XVO) was still at Clacton depot in April. Also present were cannibalised Trident/EL 730 (W83 NNJ) and long term VOR Trident/ALX400 737 (T107 DBW).
Sold Volvo Olympian 65 (L109 LHL) was noted at The Storage Pod self storage depot, West Byfleet, Surrey in April. It is to be converted by Go-Ahead London into a static school library.
From 27/4/15, the Kelvedon (KN) allocation reverted to 8 buses, ex 7. School contract 098 (Silver End-New Rickstones Academy) is now worked by KN throughout. Previously HD had run the 098 in the afternoon, (except for the Wednesday “late bus”, and when the Academy finished early at end of term, which have always been KN duties).
On loan in early April was Mercedes Benz demonstrator BP14 FJZ.
A subsequent history is of AEC Regent 65 (DPV 65D) , which is now Masons Tea Bus at Ten Mile Bank, Norfolk. It has previously been at Quantock Motor Services in Somerset.
JONES (BUS 4 u), BRAINTREE.
From CT Plus is BMC YJ59 HLX. It is normally used on the Stansted Hilton Shuttle.
KEANE OF LINFORD.
Has ex Metroline Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President LK51 XGG, via Ensign. It has been converted to single door, but retains London style roller blinds.
KINGS TOURS, STANWAY.
Bova Futura FHD KC10 ABC has passed to Moseley, South Elmsall (dealer).
LODGE, HIGH EASTER.
Scania L94/Van Hool V40 DGE is now with DA Travel of Kilphedar, Scottish Islands.
LONDON BOROUGH OF HAVERING.
Has some of the first MANTGL10.180/Nuk truck based welfare buses to enter service; BAA0115, 0215, 0315 (SN15 VDE/F/G). Also new are Mercedes 513CDi/Treka welfare buses BMT0115, 0215 (LJ15 FKG, FGZ).
Above: Dusk is falling on 12/4/15, as Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer LDP209 heads through Westcombe Park, on a southbound 108 working.
The Victorian grandeur of this section of the Stratford to Lewisham route contrasts starkly with the gritty urbanness it encounters north of the River Thames.
LONDON GENERAL (NORTH).
Received from London Central are Volvo B9TL/Wright Gemini2s WVL448/9 (LJ61 GWG/K).
New Class 378 trailers are 38407-12/14.
New are S7 Stock units 21431/2; 21447/8; 21451/2; 21453/4.
Above: In original condition; D78 7117 at Upminster in June 2004.
Withdrawn are D78 units 7052 + 17052 + 8052; 7062 + 17062 + 8062; 7076 + 17076 + 8076; 7085 + 17085 + 8085; 7117 + 17117 + 8117.
Vivarail has acquired 7052/17052, 7062/17062, 7076/17076, 7085 + 17085; 7117/17117 for the D-Train project.
Booth Roe, Rotherham has taken 8052/62/76/85/117 for scrap.
Above: A noctural view of D78 7051 at Upminster in September 2004.
MAYHEM EVENTS, ABRIDGE.
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer S92 EGK has been sold.
Dennis Dart SLF/Super Pointer Y661 NLO is now Reserve, after a brief spell back in service. It is parked up at the rear of Frating depot. After having been used on the Stena Line shuttle at Harwich International Port, SLF/Super Pointers Y152 NLK and Y663 NLO appeared on stage work at the end of April. They have been replaced at Harwich by Volvo B6BLE/Wrights.
Withdrawn Toyota Optima P960 DNR and cannibalised Dart SLF/Super Pointer RX51 FNS have gone from Ardleigh site; leaving withdrawn Volvo B10M/Jonckherre Deauville K908 RGE still there.
The former Elmstead Market depot is now a used car lot – Elmstead Car Sales.
Iveco Eurorider/Beaulas F10 BUS is withdrawn.
Volvo B12B/Plaxton Panther YU04 XFC is now in black/silver fleet livery, ex Crawley luxury green/cream.
Enterprise Primo YX07 GVD is now SB07 PAN. It is allocated to Parkeston and has displaced Solo VB08 PAN to a regular spot at Stansted. Other vehicles with regular allocations are Solo BIG 7006 and Leyland Olympian BIG 9249 to Parkeston; Dart SLF/Mini Pointer BIG 9856; Mercedes Sprinters AB52 PAN, AB03 PAN and Leyland Olympian BIG 7758 to Stansted; Volvo B12T/Panther AB07 PAN to Great Dunmow. All other vehicles are common user.
Volvo B10M/Plaxton Panther W3 TRU has been offered for sale.
Above: W3 TRU at Stansted Airport in January, 2015.
Acquired through Ensign is former Bus Eirean Dart SLF/Plaxton Mini Pointer EK51 XXC orig 02-D18253, which had latterly been with Green Triangle of Manchester.
All Leyland Olympian 1204 (H263 GEV) has passed to Wigley, Carlton for scrap.
Neoplan Starliner tri-axles MV12 ODR and OV63 XCN are in Grand UK Holidays and Sunrise Direct livery respectively, ex plain white.
Dennis Dart/Alexander Dash 515 (P392 LPS) is delicensed.
RICHARDS TRAVEL, GREAT BADDOW.
Sold is Scania K114/Irizar YN55 PZB.
SEE LONDON BY NIGHT, RAINHAM.
Now has former Brighton and Hove Trident/EL T818 RFG, via Ensign.
This small operator has retired.
Sold is Scania L94IB/Irizar X498 AHE.
MAN 18.220/ALX300 22058 (KV 58 FAK) is back in fleet livery, ex pink overall advert for Cancer Research UK.
Ancillary Ford Transit dropside truck N24 HPV, is withdrawn due to accident damage.
STAGECOACH EAST LONDON.
From 4/4/15, Rainham (RM) began joint operation with North Street (NS) on TfL103 (Chase Cross-Rainham). As a result, Scania Omnidekkas now appear on 103. From 27th June, Rainham will take over 103 completely, as North Street will need capacity for new TfL contract gains 498, 499.
Above: Trident 18456 at Chase Cross, the northern terminus of 103 in May 2009. At this time, ELBG owned East London, rather than Stagecoach.
Above: Trident 17794, pictured outside Leyton garage in October 2004; has now been donated to a local school (see below).
Trident 17573 (LX03 BTV) has come from Selkent, but is not to be used. Internal moves are of Tridents 17891/2 (LX03 ORA/C) from Leyton (T ) to BK; ADL/Enviro40Hs 12128-53 from Bow (BW) to T. The Enviros were displaced from BW by the conversion of TfL15 to LTs, and have replaced Scania Omniciites and Tridents at T. Trident 17427 (LX51 FKA) is now a driver trainer. Withdrawn are Tridents 17751-3/6/7/81-4, 17801/5 (LX03 BTF/U/V, BUA/E, BVT/U/V, BWU/Z). Sisters 17503/88/9 (LX51 FNF, LV52 HFX/Y) have transferred to Stagecoach East Midlands. Trident 17140 (V140 MEV) is now with DA Coaches of Coatbridge, Scotland – via Ensign. Tridents 17441/66, (Y441 NHK, LX51 FLC), 17505/6/45/51 (LX51 FNH/J, LY02 OAU, OBC) have passed to Lister, Bolton (dealer), while 17570 (LV52 HFB), 17801 have been scrapped at West Ham. 17794 (LX03 BWH) has passed to Sandringham School.
Scania Omnicities 15152/3/7/61 (LX59 COU, CPE/O/Z) have passed to Sullivan Buses at South Mimms.
New Routemaster LT271 (LTZ1271) is the first of the ‘Year of the Bus’ silver vehicles, to lose this livery. It is now in a pink and black overall advert for Magnum Ice Cream.
The hybrid Optare Tempos, 25111-5 (YJ08 PGO, LX09 BGF/K/U/V) have passed to Ensign. 25112 was re-registered from WLT 461 back to its original mark before sale. These had been used by Selkent at Catford (TL), but were latterly stored at WH.
Above: The hybrid Optare Tempos were originally numbered 29001-5.
29004 was pictured at Canary Wharf in August 2009.
Leyland Olympian/NC 947 (H547 VAT) has been reinstated and allocated to Haverhill. Also now at Haverhill are Leyland Olympian/Alexander RL 724 (J624 GCR) and NC-Leyland Olympians 862/3 (J562/3 HAT), plus Volvo Olympian/Alexander RHs 827/9 (N827/81 FKK). All of these came from the Essex fleet. 862 has been working from Great Dunmow outstation.
From 1/4/15, became the operator of council contracted service 18 (Newport-Haverhill); taken over from Freedom Travel.
Acquired in a dealer capacity are ex Nottingham City Transport Scania Omnidekkas YN53 CFA/P/U/V/X/Y.
Ex Stagecoach East London Scania Omnicity ‘deckers are LX59 COU, CPE/O/Z. They have fleet numbers DS50-53.
Now in fleet livery, ex overall adverts are ADL/Enviro 40Ds DN33778/9/82 (SN12 AVU/V/Y).
The Tridents borrowed from Stagecoach East London have been (logically) renumbered. LX03 BTU/V/Y are now TAL33207/8/9, ex TAL33209/7/8.
Acquired via Ensign, is ex Western Greyhound/Velvet Dart SLF/Pointer KX51 UDG, which is in allover pink and has been dubbed the ‘Pepper Pig bus’ ! SLF/Super Pointer SPD9 (NFZ 6606) has gone to Lawrenson of Preston for scrap – via Ensign – after recovery of its seats. This bus was new to Stagecoach West as W501 VDD. The same purchaser took SLF SNZ 7296.
Above: NFZ 6606 awaits collection from Purfleet on 3/4/15.
Trident/President Y847 GCD and SLF/Pointer KP54 BYK, have come via Ensign.
St Albans City Services S4/S5 (St Peters Street-Cottonmill Circulars) passed to Redline Buses of Aylesbury from 5/4/15.
WARD’S OF ALRESFORD.
Founder/proprietor Edgar “Eddie” Ward has passed away, after an illness. He was in his late sixties. The company was established in Southgate, London in 1969 and moved to Essex 10 years later.
Former Yorkshire Traction Bristol VRT LAK 937W is now a static cafe in Deptford, SE London. Pictured on 12/4/15.