Edited by John Podgorski BA Hons, MSc, CMILT.
(Picture by: L Harrison).
Welcome to the December, 2015 edition of ‘Busmopolitan’.
I am pictured actually looking back towards “Busmopolitan territory”, as I’m at Greenwich, gazing across the River Thames; possibly reflecting on the passing of yet another year, and one of many changes and developments in the subjects covered by this site.
Certainly in London, the onward march of “green” technology has continued unabated, which apart from hybrids, has seen the rise of the virtual electric bus; with examples running in the east of the Capital as we went to press.
In contrast, the close of the year, sees the end of many pre DDA “large” single deckers, as the deadline for their retirement from public service, expired when the clock struck midnight for 2016.
So, familar types such as older Dennis Dart SLFs, Scania L113s and Volvo B10BLEs have been consigned (maybe rather suddenly) to the history books. Such machines can be retofitted for DDA compliance, but the cost may outweigh the book value of the bus.
Stansted Airport witnessed two “new kids on the block”, with Airport Bus Express and Stansted Citylink, joining the fray on the lucrative corridor down the M11 to London.
And Stephensons increased its presence in mid Essex, with the takeover of most of First’s remaining routes in Braintree District.
Other highlights have included growth for smaller operators like Panther Travel, and retrenchment for others, such as New Horizon; who in December “jumped off the local bus rollercoaster”, after 5 years, to focus on its coaching “roots”.
And then there is the saga of Townlink in Harlow, who following a Public Enquiry may have finally “run out of steam”. But maybe a case of “watching this space”.
Another “drama”, was the “Leafgate scandal” on Abellio’s rural branch lines during the Autumn, when there was a mass shortage of diesel multiple unit trains, due to flat tyres caused by poor rail adhesion.
And for 2016, we wait to see who is awarded the new Greater Anglia Rail franchise.
ABELLIO GREATER ANGLIA.
The Class 321 EMU fleet is to be re-tractioned by Vossloh Kiepe, following successful trials with 321448. The work will be done at Ilford depot, and is in partnership with Eversholt Rail, the owners/lessors of the ‘321s.
On 9/12/15, Stagecoach announced it had withdrawn from its partnership with Abellio, in the bid for the new GA rail franchise, which closed on 17th December.
An inquiry has been launched into the causes of the mass DMU shortage caused by poor railhead conditions, during November.
Dubbed as “Leafgate”, it is being led by railway expert John Curley.
Now in the new livery are electric loco 90009 and EMU 317510. 90009 is pictured (above), at London Liverpool Street in April 2005, when it had recently been transferred from Virgin West Coast to ONE; the National Express owned forerunner of Abellio Greater Anglia.
In late December, the NC64 ‘Pretendalino’ set was powered by 90013 + 82118, with ONE liveried TSOs 12098/143 in the consist. Refreshed set NC01 had ONE coloured TSO 12034 inserted.
EMU 321417 was on short term loan, at this time.
ACME BUS, MOLEHILL GREEN.
There is now an outstation at Stephensons, Haverhill depot.
ADVANCE MINIBUSES, SOUTHEND.
From Turnpenny of Poulton, Lancashire, is Mercedes0814D/Essbee SJ57 FYL.
Volvo B7TL/Plaxton Presidents Y172, 202 NLK have passed to Hams Travel of Flimwell, East Sussex. .Y172 NLK was pictured at Grays Bus Station on 1/12/15.
From 15/12/15, new commercial service 14 (Corringham-Fobbing-Basildon) started. It runs Tue, Thu, Fri only, and replaces part of 374, which was diverted away from Fobbing in May 2015.
Volvo B12B/Plaxton Panther KX04 HTD is now GT04 APT.
Scania K114/Irizar YS03 ZKZ has passed to Coopers Tourmaster, Bedlington, Northumbria.
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE (NETWORK COLCHESTER).
Received from Arriva Kent and Surrey, are DAF SB120/Wright Cadets 3521 (LJ03 MYG), 3527 (LF02 PMY).
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer 3421 (AY54 FPZ) is now in Arriva livery, ex TGM. It was pictured (top), at Osborne Street.
Withdrawn are SLF/Pointers 3228 (P228 LKL), 3277 (T277 JKM); SLF/Caetanos 3406/7/9/10 (HX51 LSN, LRJ/L/N) – to comply with the DDA compliance deadline for this type of bus.
The SB120s are now common on Sunday/holiday services.
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE (SOUTHEND).
The outstanding ex Fastrack Volvo B7RLE/Wright for here is 3822 (GN07 AVK). It is pictured (above), in original condition at Dartford, in June 2007.
Now withdrawn are Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointers 3322/4 (T822/4 NMJ), 3281/9 (T281/9 JKM) and the last Plaxton Prestige bodied DAF SB220Ls – 3914/6 (T914/6 KKM).
3916 had sustained accident damage, and all of the above were non DDA compliant; the deadline for these buses to be retired was 31/12/15.
Dennis Darts and DAF SB220s no longer feature in this fleet.
Above: SLF/Pointer 3322 on London Road, Leigh on Sea, in October 2004.
ARRIVA LONDON NORTH.
ADL/Enviro 200s ENL49-61 have moved to Arriva London South. They are now at Thornton Heath (TH) to replace the last Euro II powered DWL Class DAF SB120/Wright Cadets on TfL255 (Balham-Pollards Hill).
BLUELINE TRAVEL, SOUTHEND.
888 is a new school service, between Basildon and Shenfield High, which was registered from 17/12/15.
BROOMFIELD HOSPITAL SHUTTLE BUS, CHELMSFORD.
A new service linking this hospital with the Chelmer Valley Park and Ride, commenced from 1st December.
A new timetable was introduced from 14/12/15; intended to speed up journeys from certain destinations and offer more seats at peak times. However, there were teething troubles, with overcrowding experienced.
Further Class 357 ‘Electrostar’ EMUs converted to low density seating are 357212/21/5/6/7/8; now renumbered 357312/21/5/6/7/8.
Above: 357225 forms the rear of a London to Shoeburyness service, approaching Chalkwell on 28/5/15. Note the Union Jack branding.
CARTERS, CAPEL ST MARY.
Dennis Trident/Alexander ALX400 450 (LX51 FJC) is now with Collier of Earith, Cambs.
COOKS OF WESTCLIFF.
Bova Futura FHD C516 DWY (ex NHJ 714), has gone to PVS, Barnsley for scrap.
CRUSADER HOLIDAYS, CLACTON.
One time Setra S315 EK51 KYY has been offered for sale, through Eastwood Motors Limited, Birmingham.
Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President PVL115 (W415 WGH) passed to Ensign, and was quickly resold to MC Tractors of Ely, for scrap.
DONS OF GREAT DUNMOW.
Scania K410EB6/Irizar YT15 AVB has been re-registered DH15 DON.
The last Class 47 diesel electric locomotive; 47790 – was withdrawn on 15/12/15. 47805 and 47828 were “stopped” earlier in the month.
Above: 47828 at Norwich on 17/8/13; with Abellio Greater Anglia DVT 82139.
Fully restored ex Southend Daimler CWA6/Massey rebody 263 (GLX 913), made its debut at the Ensign Running Day on 5/12/15.
The chassis was new in 1944 to London Transport, as bonnet no D27, with a utility body, and rebodied in 1954 for its new life in Southend, where it served until 1962.
Temporary fleet additions are 901/2/3/4 (LJ54 BCY/Z, BDF/V), ex Arriva London North Volvo B7TL/Alexander ALX400s. 901 is pictured above.
Accident damaged Volvo B9TL/Optare Olympus 114 (PO58 NPN), is being repaired.
Timetable booklet no 27 was issued from 14/12/15; to co-incide with the C2C rail timetable alterations. There were adjustments to services 12 (Aveley Village-Lakeside), 33 (Lakeside-Chafford-Grays), 99 (Tilbury Town and Ferry Circular), X80 (Chafford Hundred-Bluewater) and late night 73s (Lakeside-Tilbury) in connection with this.
Other route changes saw, a half hourly Sunday/holiday headway introduced on 22 (Aveley-Grays) and 73. School service 25 (West Thurrock-William Edwards School) has been extended from West Thurrock ‘The Ship’ to Purfleet in the afternoons, but the portion from ‘The Ship’ to Lakeside has been abandoned. Scholars service 28 (Tilbury-Hathaway Academy), is withdrawn completely. 44 (Lakeside-Purfleet-Grays) has been revised to run along a new bus only road to Tesco at Lakeside Retail Park, Mon to Fri, along with timing adjustments to this; 22, 66 (Lakeside-Chadwell St Mary) and 73.
Volvo FH12 wrecker M3 MJS has been re-registered E17 SGN – pictured below.
Acquired via Ensign are ex Metroline Dart SLF/Caetanos LK03 NLL, LK53 FDE.
One time Terravision contracted Scania K124/Van Hool Y177 JSH has been sold.
Above: Recent Streetlite no 63328, at Head Street, Colchester on 3/12/15.
Further Wright Streetlites at Colchester (CR) are 63335/6/7/9/40/1 (SK65 PXS, SM65 EEU/V/X/Y/Z), 63342/3 (SM65 EFA/B). 63334 (SK65 PXM) has returned from Basildon (BN).
Transferred from CR to Chelmsford (CF), are Volvo B7RLE/Wright Solars 69421/34 (AU58 FFH, EU58 JWZ). However, 69421 had returned to CR by the end of the month.
Optare Solos 53138/9 (EU54 BNJ/K), are now in Refreshed livery.
Withdrawn are Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer 43731 (S731 TWC); Scania L113/Wright Axcess Ultraflows 65574 (S574 TPW), 65650 (T650 SSF), and Scania L94UB/Wright Solar 65665.
Sister 65565 (S565 TPW), has been donated to the Edith Borthwick Special School, Braintree; for use as a “soft” playbus.
Volvo B10BLE/Wright Axcess Ultraflow 66179 (W379 EOW) have rejoined its stablemates at First Eastern Counties. Similar 62195/7 (X689/92 ADK), have become driver trainers with First Essex.
Colchester staff bus Dart SLF/Mini Pointer 43360 (V360 DVG) has had its front destination display paneled over, while Optare Solo crew ferry 53008 (W808 PAF) has returned to CF from CR.
Dennis Trident/Plaxton President 32806 (T806 LLC) has gone for preservation.
Braintree (BE) depot site, was vacated in mid December, with the outstation returning to the old sub yard. Withdrawn 43731, 65574, 65650 were then parked at the old depot, against the gates, to prevent trespass. (Latter two pictured below on 28/12/15).
The former Colchester travel office remained empty over Christmas, having failed to attract a retail tenant.
FLAGFINDERS, BRAINTREE and HALSTEAD.
Regulars at Halstead depot, are Leyland Olympian/Alexander RHs G805 GSX, H493 LNA (tri-axle); Dart/Alexander Dash P391 LPS and Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer W138 ULR.
Electric loco 90043 is now in ‘Powerhaul’ livery. It is pictured (above) at Ipswich. Note the Genesee and Wyoming Company branding, which is now being applied across the fleet.
Ex Heavy Haul locos now with Intermodal, on Great Eastern are EMD diesels 66516/59. 66516 is seen (below), also at Ipswich. Both views taken on 22/12/15.
Mercedes 0410 midi coach BK10 EHS has passed to Grange Travel of Gravesend.
HAILSTONE TRAVEL, WICKFORD.
Offered for sale are Iveco 45C/Excel minicoach BU07 CPZ; Iveco 40C/Concept MX07 UFB and Iveco 45C/Concept MX57 FGD.
HARLEQUIN TRAVEL, IPSWICH.
Ex Coatham of Lingdale, Cleveland is Mercedes 0815D/Ferqui YX07 GYA. It has been re-registered X11 HTC.
Dennis Trident/EL T819 RFG, was on loan from Ensign during December; having previously been with Geldards of Leeds, and ten moving on to Mulpeter of Seaford.
Transferred from Anglian is Optare Solo 904 (MX53 FDM).
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Mini Pointer 290 (EX02 RYR), has received the latest fleet colours.
Withdrawn is Volvo B10BLE/Alexander ALX300 480 (S376 NVP). This is the first bus in the new livery to be retired. Also deleted from stock is Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Mini Pointer 283 (W791 VMV), after a period of disuse. They are stored at Sible Hedingham (HD). Both the above were due to the DDA deadline for these types of bus.
Above: Hedingham fleet no 480, departs Colchester, on 14/10/15.
New are Mercedes Citaros 154/5 (BF65 HVV/Y). No 155 is pictured (below), at Constantine Road depot, on 22/12/15.
Dennis Dart SLF/EL Sprytes 91 (X91 LBJ), 95/9 (X195/9 LBJ) have passed to Beestons, for spare parts only.
JOHN JAMES LUXURY TRAVEL, DAGENHAM.
This new operator has Plaxton Premiere 350 bodied Volvo B10Ms CHZ 4646, 4744, 7466; ex Woods of Leicester and Mercedes 1223L PO59 OML.
Above: Volvo B10Ms CHZ 4646 and CHZ 7466, at Newbury Park on 27/12/15; having arrived from Ingatestone, with an Abellio Greater Anglia rail replacement.
JR EXECUTIVE TRAVEL, COPDOCK.
Mercedes 0816D/UNVI midicoach HX59 EVK has come from Panache Travel of Southampton.
LCB TRAVEL, HARLOW.
Optare Alero YN04 XZR has passed to A1 Van and Truck, Clacton (dealer).
LODGE, HIGH EASTER.
Acquisitions are of ex Bournemouth Yellow Buses Dennis Trident/ELs T270/3/4/7 BPR, V428 DRA and ex Fishwick of Leyland DAF SB200/Wright Cadets YJ03 PFF/G.
Open Top Leyland Olympian/NC PJZ 9463 has been returned to use, but for ancillary purposes.
A second ex London General Mercedes Citaro to be seen on TfL108 (Lewisham- Stratford) is MEC21 (BD09 ZRC).
LONDON OVERGROUND (LOROL).
378226 is the latest ‘Electrostar’ to be upgraded to 5 car formation.
EMUs 315805/9 are now in the new livery. 315809 is seen (above), at Chingford on 19/12/15; while (below) it was seen in it’s Greater Anglia days – arriving at Brentwood in August 2012.
New is S7 Stock unit 21493/4.
D78 units withdrawn are 7013 + 17013 + 8013; 7080 + 17080 + 8080; 7089 + 17089 + 8089; 7100 + 17100 + 8100; 7119 + 17119 + 8119
VivaRail has acquired 7013 + 17013; 7100 + 17100; 17119 + 17119.
8009/13/88/100/19 have gone to Booth Roe for scrap.
MALCOLMS BUS SERVICE, CLACTON.
The depot at Willow Farm, Great Clacton has been moved to c/o Canhams Recovery, on nearby Telford Road.
Additions are Scania K114/Irizar TC03 TLC from Translinc, and ex Beestons Scania L94UB Omnicity YN03 UWJ.
Received from De Courcey of Coventry is Scania K340EB6/Caetano Levante 16 (FJ07 BZB).
Volvo B9R/Caetano Levantes SR115/7/8/9 (FJ60 HXY, FJ11 MKL/E/K) have been transferred to the Kings Ferry, for further National Express contract use.
Commercial service 77 (Great Bentley-Colchester) was de-registered from 20/12/15. A replacement was provided from 21st December, on Essex CC contract, by Panther Travel; for an initial period of 3 months. The “new” 77 runs at a reduced frequency, and no longer serves Turner Rise Retail Park in Colchester. Instead, it runs from Tufnell Way at the Colchester End, with certain journeys extended beyond Aingers Green (Great Bentley), to Seawick (St Osyth Beach) as 77A.
This complements the northern end of First Essex route 63; although the latter will be diverted away from North Station, Bergholt Road and Tufnell Way, from April 2016.
Above: NHT Volvo B6BLE/Wright Cadet X974 CNO, at St Johns Street, Colchester, on a 77 working, on 14/10/15.
OLYMPUS COACHES, HARLOW.
Iveco Eurorider/Beaulas SM10 BUS is now with Glenferry, Litle Ferry, Eire.
Commenced operation of ex New Horizon route 77/A (Colchester-Great Bentley/Seawick), under Essex CC contract, from 21/12/15 (qv). It is worked from Harwich depot.
Acquired for this new venture, is ex Mid Wales Travel ADL/Enviro 200 8.9 metre YX61 BXJ, which has been re-registered DC61 PAN. A second is “long” YX62 FVV. Both have received fleet livery. DC61 PAN is named ‘Daniel’.
From Lodge of High Easter, is former East Yorkshire Alexander Royale bodied Volvo Olympian N592 BRH.
Mini Pointer Dart SLF BIG 9856 has been upgraded to DDA specification. To achieve this, it has been down seated from 29 to 27.
Vauxhall Zafira crew ferry LD02 NCC has been re-registered AB02 PAN. BMW 320D estate ferry car LD52 DXW is now AB51 PAN.
Panther now has its own plot of land at Witham outstation, rather than parking in the main yard at Swanvale Industrial Estate.
The allocation at Witham has become 1 x double decker, ex coach.
Norwich outstation ceased at the end of December. The AGA Norwich standby contract, has passed to Freestones of Beetley.
Above: Leyland Olympian/Alexander RL BIG 7758 at Witham outstation on 30/12/15, with Dennis Dart/Alexander Dash BIG 8843.
Another Trident/ALX400 supplied through Ensign is X263 NNO.
It was latterly with Quintin Kynaston Community Academy, London NW8; but was new to Stagecoach East London.
The picture was taken at Cheshunt.
RICHMOND OF BARLEY.
New is Optare Solo SR YJ65 EVD.
Following the receipt of the new Volvo B8RLE/Wrights at Huntingdonshire, 21301-10 (BF65 WKO/R/-Z) for the North Cambridgeshire Guided Busway; the original 09 reg B7RLE/Wrights from there, have moved to Cambridge, to replace the last 51 plate MAN18.220/Alexander ALX300s.
Dennis Trident/Alexander ALX400s 18342/3/4/5 (AE55 DKF/J/L/N) have transferred to Stagecoach in Norfolk.
STAGECOACH EAST LONDON.
New Routemasters LT271, 388 (LTZ 1271/388) now have overall adverts for Pepsi, while LT241/72 (LTZ 1241/72) are back in red.
Dennis Trident/Alexander ALX400s 17808/9 (LX03 BXC/D), are now driver trainers at Rainham (RM).
Trident 18204 (LX04 FWP) has moved from Bow (BW) to West Ham(WH).
Withdrawn are Tridents 17789/98 (LX03 BWC/M), 17819 (LX03 BXP), 17922 (LX03 OSW). 17819 has been scrapped.
The new buses for Braintree are ADL/Enviro 200s 471-5 (EU65 EOG/H/J/K/L). They have ‘Three Rivers’ fleet names, plus orange route branding, and entered service on 11/12/15. A sixth is due in early 2016. They have displaced the temporary vehicles, back to their existing duties at Boreham, or to Rochford and Haverhill.
Short ADL/E200 427 (YY15 NJO), was on the 247 in mid December, and was then replaced by Dart SLF/Caetano 453 (HV52 WTC). The outbase for 247 has moved back to Ipswich Buses, from Clacton.
Top: ADL/E200 no 427 at Colchester High Street on 15/12/15.
Above: SLF no 453 at Ipswich outstation on 22/12/15.
Scania Omnidekka 903 (YN53 CFV) has a black overall advert for Great Baddow High School.
Ex Metroline Dennis Dart SLF/Caetano LK03 NLG has been acquired from Ensign, and put to work as a driver trainer, with fleet no 9033. It retains red livery.
Withdrawn is Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer T593 CGT.
Volvo Olympian/Alexander RH 828 (N828 FKK) has gone to MC Tractors of Ely, for scrap.
STUARTS MINIBUSES, WICKFORD.
Sold are Mercedes 0814D/ACI UBZ 3961 and Ford Transit 8 seater CP08 RDZ.
SWALLOW COACHES, RAINHAM.
Setra S416 EK06 JHV has been offered for sale.
Into the new livery are EMUs 315819/30/9/45/7/9/51/2/4/9.
Above: Back in 2000, 315849 was part of the WAGN fleet. WAGN became part of ONE, (later NXEA) in April 2004, before becoming Abellio Greater Anglia in February 2012. It’s move to TfL Rail, came in May 2015. This view was taken at London Liverpool Street in December 2000.
TENDRING TRAVEL, THORPE LE SOKEN.
Acquired from Crawford of Kirkintilloch, Scotland is Mercedes 0814D/Plaxton Cheetah DE52 ONW.
Following a Public Enquiry, the Traffic Commissioner has revoked the Operators’ Licences for Townlink and its associated companies Olympian and Roadrunner, from February 2016.
Sourced through Ensign are ex Metrobus Scania Omnicities YN53 RXU/Y/Z and former Stagecoach East London ex Tower Transit Trident/ALX400s LX04 FXJ/L/P. The Omnicities and Tridents retain their dual doors, but now have led destinations. The Omnicities have received fleet livery, but the Tridents retain London red.
Withdrawn is Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer PDS33 (SHZ 2691).
Sold to Jones of Gravesend are Dennis Dart SLF/Alexander ALX200 Y329 FJN; Dart SLF/Plaxton Pounter KX51 UDG and Dart SLF/Caetano MA02 BLU.
Dennis Dart SLF/Marshall Capitals MDS13-16 (LT02 ZDE/G/O/P) and SLF/Caetano Y364 HMY have passed to MC Tractors, Ely, for scrap. SLF/Caetano Y366 HMY has been scrapped on site, while Y374 HMY has been disposed of following collision damage, to Lloyd the Hixon dealer. Mercedes 0814d/Plaxton Beaver MP7 (KV51 KZD) has passed to Erith Commercials (dealer).
ADL/Enviro 200s BX58 BEY, BFA, YX09 FNG, have gone to Ensign, (pictured below).
Traffic news is that service 244 (Canada Fields-Cheshunt rail station) ended after 24th December.
Some new ADL/Enviro 20Ds have arrived.
Nos 513-7 (SN65 ZGU-Y) are at Hatfield, and 518-22 (YX65 RNJ/N/O/U/V) are for Northampton. They have replaced ex Centrebus and London United Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointers.
VICEROY OF ESSEX, SAFFRON WALDEN.
Volvo B10M/Plaxton Premiere R154 SSN is now TUI 9810.
From Tower Transit are Volvo B7TL/Wright Geminis WD432/3/6 (LK54 FLB/C/F).
Volvo B10BLE/Alexander WS304 H17 WCL has been re-registered back to S134 EJE.
Sold to MC Tractors, Ramsey for scrap are Scania L94UB/Wrights WS301/2/3 (T354/6/68 JWA – ex H13/4/6 WCL) and DAF SB220/EL Myllenium WS315 (W476 MKU).
With thanks to: J Benee, S Burden, ‘District Dave’, Ensignbus, Essex Buses Yahoo, L Harrison, Panther Travel, PSVC, RM.