Busmopolitan – Essex and District Bus and Rail Newspage. October 2016.

Busmopolitan Logo 02

Edited by John Podgorski BA Hons, MSc, CMILT.

Welcome to the October 2016 edition of Busmopolitan.

A new railway franchise has started, with Abellio awarded a long term 10 years tenure, after having run this short term since 2012. This has coincided with major weekend engineering works on the southern end of the Great Eastern Main Line during October; pictures of some of the resultant replacement road services featuring below.
There have been lots of changes at Arriva Kent Thameside. The red TfL buses have all transferred to Arriva London. The provincial side, has seen the end of scheduled double deck operation at Colchester, and the departure of long Optare Versas from Southend and Darts from Harlow.
Staying in Southend, the pier railway has reopened, after its enforced “holiday” over the summer.

New are Vauxhall Vivaro 8 seaters EU66 DSO, DTV/X, DUA.
Acquired is Renault Master 8 seater PO11 CBF.

90002 GA (IPSWICH) 28-10-16.jpg

The renewed franchise started on 16th October. It has been renamed Greater Anglia. This is a separate company which has been established. The new title appeared on digital and printed publicity immediately, and the old style names were removed from stations. Rolling stock began to be rebranded from the end of the month. Class 90 electric locomotive 90002 heads a Norwich- London service into Ipswich on 28/10/16 (above).
It runs until 2025 and has several commitments; the most significant being the introduction of new trains, by 2019. It is also hoped ‘Norwich in 90’ will become a reality. (London Liverpool Street to Norwich, non-stop in an hour and a half).
Chelmsford station ticket office has been formally re-opened by Chairman of Essex County Council, Councillor John Aldridge, following a £5 million improvement project for the station concourse area.
Class 321 EMU 321303 is back in service following ‘Renatus’ refurbishment.
Class 90 electric loco 90002, DVT 82107 and their MkIII carriage set have the new ‘GA’ branding.
90034 has returned to DB Schenker, off hire.
EMUs 317513/14 are now in the new livery.
The Class 360 EMUs now all have grey upholstery, ex purple. This is to do with a ‘Refrsh’ project.
Calss 08 diesel electric shunter 08754 is resident at Norwich Crown Point depot.

A new depot has opened at Start Hill, Stansted, at premises previously occupied by Enterprise Car Rental.

Scania K114/Irizar SN03 CLZ has pased to Yelloway of Chadderton, Manchester.

Has transferred to Arriva London North.
All buses have been renumbered into the London alpha-numerical series and received ‘GY’ garage codes. VDL300/Wright Gemini2 DW209 is pictured (below) at Newbury Park on 10th October.

LJ09SVD DW209 66 (NEWBURY PARK) 10-10-16.jpg

Additionally, Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Mini Pointer PDL138 (SN06 BPF), which had been on loan to TGM at Heathrow, has also passed to Arriva London North.

YJ08DZN 3762 1 CR 18-10-16.jpg
From Arriva Kent and Surrey at Guildford are ADL/Enviro 200s 4015/16/17 (GN58 BTY/Z, BUA).
Sapphire liveried VDL200/Wright Pulsar 3762 (YJ08 DZN) was here from Arriva KT Northfleet, but it quickly moved onto Stevenage. It appeared on route 1/A during its brief stay, and was seen entering Maldon Road on 18th October. Upon arrival in Hertfordshire, it was branded for routes 100/101 (Stevenage-Hitchin-Luton).
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Mini Pointer 1560 (EU56 FTO) briefly appeared here from Harlow, en route to loan at Northfleet.
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer 3412 (SN54 HWZ) has moved to Arriva Kent and Surrey at Guildford.
Withdrawn is Dennis Trident/EL 5445 (T406 SMV). 5445 went to Southend for storage, and its last active day was 14th October.
Due to transfer to Arriva Kent and Surrey at Maidstone, are Scania Omnidekkas 5372/3 (AY55 DKA, YN06 TFZ), Volvo B7TL/Wright Geminis 6130/1/12 (LF02 PLN/O, LJ03 MHV). 5372 sustained collision damage, and left Colchester before the others – for repairs. These movements are connected with the traffic changes, detailed below.
From 30/10/16, service 133 ceased to run (as limited stop) between Colchester and Braintree, apart from early morning/late night positioning journeys. 133 has reverted to being an “all stops” Braintree to Stansted Airport. Alternative facilities are available on First Essex/Regal service 70 and National Express route 250. From the same date, a daytime Sunday service was re-introduced on 1/A (Ambrose Avenue-Greenstead) and 8 (Highwoods-Monkwick) – run commercially.
From 31th October, service 2 (Horkesley Heath-Highwoods) in Colchester was revised (at its eastern end), to run around Eastwood Drive again, and terminate at Highwoods Tesco; the section to/from Gavin Way being axed. The peak hour extensions to/from Boxted additionally ceased.
The “Chicken Run” staff services for Grampian Country Foods at Witham ended from 22/10/16, (they were officially de-registered from October 30th). These were latterly three registered routes, serving Colchester, Harwich and Ipswich, and numbered 801/2/3. It is understood Grampian wanted more flexible transport solutions to tie in with its varying shift times. These services had originally started in 1997, (as Harwich to Witham) with Tony Glew as initial provider. After 3 months, Fargo took over, and ran the contract until Arriva/TGM won it in 2008. During the summer of 2016, certain runs were short term subbed to Panther Travel. Beestons has now taken over.

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Above: When with Arriva Kent and Surrey; ADL/Enviro 200 4017 at Guildford, Friary Bus Station, on 30/4/16.

Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Mini Pointer 1560 (EU56 FTO) has gone on loan to Arriva KT at Northfleet – via a brief stay at Colchester (qv). This was the last Dart at Harlow.
Optare Solo 2462 (KE55 FDF) is back in use, after store at Southend. It has received a new engine.
Solo 1465 (KE55 KTJ) has gone to Hardwick, Carlton, for scrap.

Following receipt of the new ADL/Enviro 400 MMCs,(which were officially launched on 7th October) – route 1 has gone over completely to double deck operation, ex “long” Optare Versa saloons. The Versas have moved onto services 7 and 8 in the main, and they will lose their ‘One’ branding. The ‘Wave’ branded “short” Versas 4200-12 off the 9, have moved to Arriva Kent and Surrey at Guildford; (4204/7/11/12 went via Maidstone).
DAF SB120/Wright Cadet 3838 (GK52 YVC) has transferred to Hemel Hempstead, while Volvo B7RLE/Wright 3824 (GN07 AVM) is now at Stevenage.
DAF SB120/Wright Cadet 3509 (KE51 PUV) has returned from Arriva Kent and Surrey at Guildford, while 3503/8 (KE51 PUF/U) are on loan (to Northfleet). 3500 (KE51 PTY) is now withdrawn, and others will follow suit. These buses have spent their entire careers with Arriva Southend; initially as red TfL vehicles from Grays, before relocation to Southend in 2010.

Above: DAF SB120 no 3503 at London Road, Hadleigh in December 2014.

KE51PUF 3503 AKT GRAVESEND 4-10-16 (D RHODES).jpg
Above: 3503 at Gravesend on 4/10/16.  (D Rhodes).

On loan to Northfleet depot are DAF DB250LF/Alexander ALX400s 6007/11.

Grays depot has transferred from Arriva Kent Thameside (qv).
TfL346 (Upminster-Cranham) has passed to Go-Ahead Blue Triangle (qv).
SN06BPF 1629 AKT 346 (UPMINSTER)  9-07
Above: Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Mini Pointer 1625 at Upminster Rail Station in September 2007. At the time of the photo,  Arriva Southend was still the licensed operator of TfL346 and the bus was on loan from Arriva Kent Thameside at Dartford.

Acquired are:
Ayatts Bravo double deck coach SIL 4458 – from Astra of Andoversford, Gloucestershire.
Volvo B12T/Van Holl double deck coach CRZ 3806 – from Carr, Pluckley, Kent. This was new to Berrys of Taunton as N754 CYA.
Duple Helstair 425s NIL 1095, SIB 3277 – from Francis of Nettlestone, Isle of Wight.
Scania K113/Irizar N685 AHL – from Oakley of Plymouth. Scania K113/Irizar R866 SDT, from L and R Travel of Basildon.

Has taken over the Grampian Country Foods Witham works contract from Arriva.
They started from 23rd October. The route is numbered T1 (Witham-Ipswich), and usually uses a Scania Omnidekka.
Optare Metrocity demonstrator YJ65 EPU was on loan in late October.
Optare Solo M920s KX54 NLD/E have passed to United Coaches, Newarthill, Scotland.


On loan for rail work, were Coach Innovations of Kidderminster Van Hool T920 Altano SH09 ASH (above), and Red Route of Northfleet Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President X653 LLX (below).


Commenced operation of ex Arriva London North TfL346 (Upminster rail station-Cranham) from 1st October. ADL/Enviro200s SE232-4 are allocated. These were displaced from TfL W19 (Ilford-Walthamstow), which will move to CT Plus in November.
There were extensive vehicle movements later in October, due to the conversion of Dockland TfL D8 to double deck. (See below).
In from Metrobus are Dennis Dart SLF/EL Esteems 230-32 (PO56 JFE/F/G). Received from Docklands are ADL/Enviro 200s SE147/48/50 (YX61 BXP, DTO/V) – displaced from TfL D8, (SE147 quickly went on to London General North); plus Volvo B7TL/Wright Geminis WVL113-17 (LX03 EEB/F/G/H/J), WVL249/50 (LX06 EAO/P) and Volvo B9TL/Wright Gemini2s WVL413-21 (LX11 CWU-Z, CXA-D). The WVLs continue to mostly appear on TfL D7 and their move has made use of spare capacity at River Road depot.
ADL/Enviro 200s SE38-46 (LX10 AUR/T-W/Y, AVB-D) have been returned to Docklands Buses.
Solitary VDL SB180/MCV MDL1 (YJ60 DDE) has moved to Docklands.

Cuurent resident Class 08 diesel electric shunters at Ilford depot are 08573/700.

Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President 570 (W487 WGH) has lost its fleet names and route branding.

New Class 387 EMUs 387301/2 were delivered to East Ham (EM) depot in late October, for staff training purposes.

From APT of Rayleigh is Bova Futura MH06 YZM.
Bova Futuras WWC 820, R902 TCH are now with Dolphin of Norwich.

New are ADL/Enviro E20Ds 1221-35 (YX66 WFS-W/Y/Z, WGA/C-G/J/K). They are for the forthcoming TfL W19 (Walthamstow-Ilford) contract, from the new depot at Walthamstow Stadium – coded AW.
ADL/Enviro 40H Citybus 2510 (SN16 OHZ) suffered severe rear end damage, in an engine fire at Bishopsgate on 3/10/16. It was on a northbound TfL26 (Waterloo-Hackney Wick) journey. It has been withdrawn.

Class 66 EMD diesel electric locomotive 66089 was at Marks Tey sand yard on 3/10/16. 66199 was at Dagenham Dock on 29/10/16.
Resident Class 08 at Dagenham Dock is currently 08934.
It has been announced that there are to be 863 redundancies across the company, in a major restructure, caused by changes in the UK freight market. These will affect various operational grades.

YX61BXK SE141 D8 (CROSSHARBOUR) 30-5-15.jpg
Above: ADL/Enviro SE142 (right) at Crossharbour on 30/5/15.

TfL D8 (Stratford-Crossharbour) has been converted to double deck, using ex Metrobus 59 reg Scania Omnicity double deckers, which had previously been at Croydon for TfL64 (Thornton Heath-New Addington). This had been lost on re-tender to Arriva London South. They retain Metrobus fleet names. They are 958-73 (YT59 DYA-D/F/G/H/N/J/M/O/P/S/U/Y/W.
960 is seen (below) at Crossharbour on 29th October. As a result, there were extensive vehicle reallocations between Docklands and Blue Triangle.


Received from Blue Triangle are VDL SB180/MCV MDL1; ADL/Enviro 200s SE38-46.
SE142-45 have moved to London Central.
SE147/48/50; Volvo B7TL/Wright Gemimis WVL113-7, 249/50, B9TL/Gemini2s WVL413-21 have gone to Blue Triangle.
SE146 (YX61 BXO) went to London General North. SE149 (YX61 DTU) to London Central at New Cross.

Dennis Javelin/Plaxton Premiere 320 DUI 672 is now named ‘Skippy’.

Class 68 diesel electric locomotives 68004/28 are on loan to Greater Anglia for ‘Thunderbird’ duties.

AM6/Class 306 EMU 306017, which had been on loan since June 2011, has returned to the National Railway Museum at York.

Volvo B7TL/Wright Geminis VWL28, 30 (LF52 THX, TJO); VWL36-38, 41 (BX04 BAA/U/V, BBJ) – latterly with London General, have passed to Ensign.

The last operational Dennis Dart SLF/Alexander ALX200, 780 (LX51 FGK) – has passed to Movie Mobil Ltd, Kenley, Surrey, having been returned off loan to EOS London.
Being used for spares are ex Plymouth Citybus Volvo B7TL/EL PL51 LFE and ex Stagecoach East London Dennis Trident/Alexander ALX400 LX03 OSJ.

Borrowed ex GHA Optare Solos YJ59 GHB/G have returned to Ensign, and been replaced by a pair of ex GHA (new to Menzies, Heathrow) Scania Omnicities – YR10 AZO/V.
Plaxton Primo 661 (BU08 ACV) is now in EOS orange/black, ex Swallow coaches white/blue colours.
Dennis Trident/Plaxton President LK03 CEU has passed to Ensign.
There is now an outbase at North Weald Airfield, for those stage routes in this area.

New are Class 374 ‘E320’ EMUs 4021+4022.
Some of the original Class 373 EMUs are being withdrawn for scrapping. These launched Eurostar in 1991. 3005 + 3006 have gone to EMR, Kingsbury for breaking.

Further new Airbus A320-214s are D-AEWO/P.

Following the end of the summer season, Volvo B7TL/Alexander ALX400 32087 (KP51 WBZ), moved over from Clacton (CN) to Chelmsford (CF) and then Colchester (CR). Sister 32086 remains parked up at CN. 32068 (KP51 VZS) has relocated from CN to CR.
Fire damaged Dennis Trident/Plaxton President 33045 (LN51 DVK) has gone to Alpha Recovery for scrap.
Fire damaged Volvo B7RLE 66809 (MX05 CDE) is being cannibalised.
The staff building at the former Clacton bus station has closed. It is pictured (below) on 26th October.


Former Volvo B7RLE/Wrights 66980/82 (KX05 MHJ/L) , now with First Eastern Counties, have received Norwich Yellow Line livery.

Former Hong Kong tri-axle Leyland Olympian/Alexander RH L808 SNO is now with Howards of Sankey.

Has confirmed that it will continue its London City-Cardiff ‘Airbridge’ service. Originally started to cover closures of the Severn Road Crossing, it was due to finish on 21st October.
New is DHC-8 402 G-PRPH.

Current resident Class 08 shunters at Felxstowe are 08530/624.
86639 + 86613 FL IPSWICH 28-10-16.jpg

Class 86 electric locomotives 86613 + 86639 were stabled (above) at Ipswich on 28/10/16.

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Above: One of the ex Heavy Haul Class 66s, Intermodal 66547 heads “down” through Kelvedon on 3/10/16.

Class 92 electric locomotive 92032 was stabled at Dagenham Dock on 29th October.

Mercedes Sprinters sod are:
XO12 BOY – to Welham Travel, Welwyn Garden City; FF62 BOY – to Reay, Wigton, while DD62 BOY has also left the fleet.

GRAHAM’S, KELVEDON. Scania K114/Irizar YN03 DDE is now with Glenferry, Little Island, Eire.

W517WGH 576 HO 92 CR  5-10-16.jpg
Above: Volvo B7TL 576 at Maldon Road, Colchester, on 5/10/16.

Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President 581 (W956 WGH), was moved from Clacton (CN) to Kelvedon (KN) on 3rd October. 574 (W506 WGH) followed on 5th October. From the 6th, routes 91/92/95/A became scheduled completely for low floor, but Volvo Olympian 71 (R626 MNU) continued to appear regularly for the rest of the month.
B7TL/President 578 (W519 WGH) appeared at KN from CN on 21st October. 575 returned to Clacton (CN). 576 left KN in mid October, but returned by the end of the month. By 31st October, B7TLs 574/76/78/81 were all available for service at KN.
Withdrawn Volvo Olympian/NCs 72 (R629 MNU), 95 (R279 LGH) have been stripped of parts at KN. Withdrawn Olympian/NC 93 (R273 LGH) and Dennis Trident/ELs 714/29 (T814 RFG, W829 NNJ) remain parked up at Clacton (CN).
Dennis Trident/EL 701 (T801 RFG) has been converted to DDA specification at Hants and Dorset Trim, ex loan to Chambers.
Ford Transit 16 seater YT12 DBZ has returned to Robertson Van Hire, off loan.

There was 24 hour strike planned for 10th October, over starter pay rates for new driving staff. Established drivers get £11.00 per hour, but new drivers only receive £8.81 and UNITE Union wants £10.00 for its members. The lower rate affects one-third of the platform staff. An emergency timetable was plannned for the day, but fortunately the dispute was settled amicably on 7th October.
However, the interim timetable remained, as arrangements were already in place. Thus, on 10/10/16, buses carried yellow/black boards in their windscreens, denoting the temporary arrangement.
Dennis Lance/EL 162 (L162 ADX) has passed to Easton and Otley College.
Ex Carters Dennis Trident/Alexander ALX400 6 (LG02 FCE) has gone to PSV Recycling, Hadleigh, for scrap.
MAN/MCV 260 (AY60 BVD) now has ‘Ipswich Buses’ fleet names on Carters livery. It is pictured (below) at Ipswich Old Cattle Market on 17/9/16.

AY60BVD 156 IB EX CARTERS 202 IP B S 17-9-16 (D RHODES).jpg
(Photo by D Rhodes).

YX16 NWW is a nearly new Volvo B8R/Plaxton Panther. Seen above on railway replacement at Witham on 9/10/16.
RO10 LRV is a Mercedes Sprinter minicoach.
Neoplan Skyliner YN03 AWH has been exported via Plaxton, Anston (dealer).

VH T917 tri-axle HOW 3R is ex Howard of Great Sankey, Cheshire.

A new Harlow-London commuter service has started. Setra S315 IJZ 474 illustrates the branding (above) at Witham on 15th October.
BJ63 ZNE is a Ford Transit LWB hi cube ancillary van.

A19LNR L&R (GA RRP WITHAM) 29-10-16.jpg
Another “classic” used coach is L975 OWY, an ex Chariots/Flavin of Stanford Le Hope Plaxton Excalibur bodied Volvo B10M, which has been re-registered A19 LNR. It was seen (above) on rail replacement at Witham on 29/10/16. Neoplan Tourliner YN07 EBO is now A20 LNR. Leyland National Greenaway HLZ 4439 has passed to Alder and Ward (Malcolms Bus Service), Clacton.
Scania K113/Irizar R866 SDT is sold.

Setra S416 KE08 YFX is now 46 AEW.

Two TfL contracts have been retained, starting 1st October.
42 goes over to double deckers, using new Euro VI hybrids; replacing LDP Class Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointers. Extended southwards from Denmark Hill to East Dulwich. Route is thus now Liverpool Street-East Dulwich. New MHV Class Volvo B5LH/MCV EvoSetis are used.
108 (Lewisham-Stratford) gets an allocation of ex London General MEC Class Mercedes Citaros (Euro 5 engined). MEC 1 and 2 were the first, with MEC20 (BD09 ZRA0 following. These are being refurbished by Hants and Dorset Trim, upseated to 33 and repainted. Examples have already been trialed on the service, since November 2015. The 108 is re-routed between Poplar and Stratford via Violet Road,, Carpenters Road and Stratford City Bus Staion to terminate at Stratford International Station. This replaces the old route via High Street and Great Eastern Road to Stratford Bus Station. The double deck TfL 108 Lewisham-North Greenwich short workings are provided by Euro 5 engined PVL Class Volvo B7TL/Plaxton Presidents off TfL321 (New Cross-Foots Cray, Sidcup). Vehicles replaced by the 108 changes are the DW/DWL Class DAF SB120/Wright Cadets, ED Class Dart SLF/MCV Evolutions and LDP Class Dart SLF/Pointers – indeed LDPs 194 and 206 moved to Bexleyheath (BX). SE Class ADL/Enviro 200s of TfL286 (Greenwich-Sidcup) still appear though.

BT09GOH MEC42 108 LEWISHAM 29-10-16.jpg
Above: Mb Citaro MEC42 at Lewisham on 29/10/16.

EMU 317888 is now in LOROL livery.

From October 7th, the Jubilee Line joined the Night-Tube network at weekends. The Stratford-Canary Wharf section runs in the area covered by ‘Busmopolitan’.
The same date saw the turnback at Mansion House (on the District and Circle Lines), closed. It was removed over the next two days. Its counterpart at Tower Hill is due to follow suit.
The D78 Stock has received a temporary reprieve, while S Stock is returned to Bombardier for Automatic Train Control (ATC) modifications. 10 D Stock trains (20 3 car units) are involved. They are single ended 7007/12/16/18/30/32/34/37/46/57/70/75/95/115 and double ended 7502/12/26/30/32/34.
Driving car 7508 has passed to LT Museum, for spares only.

Above: D78 7046 forms the rear of a Wimbledon-Barking service at Embankment on 28/9/15.

A Scania K410/Caetano Boa Vista double deck tri-axle coach appeared at Start Hill Scania, during early October. It is one of 6 destined for the A1 London-Luton Airport service. The vehicles are essentially double deck Caetano Levantes and are similar to 12 recently supplied to Ulsterbus.

Scania Omniexpress YP10 VZB is now with Coopers of Killamarsh.

Volvo B10M/Plaxton Excalibur V283 SBW has passed to Bradshaw of Heywood, Manchester.
Iveco CC100E/Indicar YN05 ARX is now with Ace Travel of Beeding, West Sussex.

Leyland Olympian/Alexander RHs J327-31 BSH, latterly with London United – have passed to Ensign.

Acquired from Ceefa of Pitsea is Volvo B10M/Plaxton Premiere N559 SJF.
Sold is Leyland Olympian/Alexander RH J849 TSC.
Volvo B10M/Berkhof Axial R914 ULA has fleet livery on its rear only. The rest of the coach is in “as acquired” condition of white with red/blue side stripes. The picture (below), shows it with previous operator Hunters Ride of South Mymms, in August 2005.


Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Mini Pointer BIG 9856 returned, off loan from Regal, before going back on loan.
ADL/Enviro 200 AB62 PAN has been named ‘George’, while DAF DB250LF/EL DC52 PAN is ‘Louise’.
Vauxhall Zafira crew ferry AB02 PAN has been re-registered back to LR02 NCC.
AB02 PAN is now on DAF DB250LF/EL FD02 UKR. Volvo B10M/Plaxton Premiere N611 APU is now BIG 9807.
DAF DB250LF DC52 PAN and Volvo B12B/Plaxton Panther AB53 PAN have been retrimmed. DAF DB250LF AB02 PAN is undergoing major refurbishment at Matching Tye.
Volvo B12T/Plaxton Panther AB07 PAN is “warm stored” at Colchester outbase.
The Witham rail standby ceased after 14/10/16. Witham outstation is still used for vehicle parking, however. Matching Tye workshop is also now used operationally, while maintenance facilities have been established at Parkeston depot.
Previously sold Volvo B10M/Plaxton Excalibur J734 CWT, has been offered on ebay.
The old Stansted parking site, has been converted into a fenced compound by Stansted Airport Ltd.

DC52PAN DAF PANTHER (WT) 23-10-16.jpg
Above: DAF DB250LF/EL DC52 PAN at Witham outstation on 23/10/16.

WJ66 KCC is a new Van Hool TX27.

Withdrawn are Boeing 737-800s EI-EFS/W.
EFS has passed to Ukraine International Airlines.

Volvo B10M/Berkhof Axial R944 SJM is withdrawn.

From 4th October, the running of trains resumed, initially on test. Full public service returned from October 5th.
The line had been closed since June, due to concerns about the safety of its supporting structure.

Ex Bedford Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Super Pointer 32422 (KV53 EYY) is now stored as Reserve at Cambridge.

Received from Selkent are ADL/Enviro 200s 36280/82 (LX11 AWW/Y). They are at Barking (BK).
Now driver trainers are Dennis Trident/Alexander ALX400s 17363/4/8/95/7/9, 17409/26/27/34, Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointers 34353/5/7/8/62. Tridents 17993-97 (LX53 KCA/C/E/F/G) are now back at Romford (NS) ex Reserve. Previously withdrawn Trident 17809 (LX03 BXD) has been scrapped by the company.
The two Tridents stored at the old Stagecoach Swindon depot, had gone by early October.
Scania Omnicity ‘decker 15076 has moved from WH to BW.
Tridents resold through Ensign are:
17910/26 (LX03 OSD, OTB) – to Marshalls of Sutton on Trent; 17917 (LX03 OSN) – to Laguna Travel of Bournemouth; 18236/48 (LX04 FYC/R) – to First Bus Stop of Gravesend.
Trident 17913 (LX03 OSJ) is being cannibalised by Ensign (qv).
Overall adverts:
New Routemasters
LT239 (LTZ 1239) – Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.
LT248 (LTZ 1248) – School of Rock.
LT380 (LTZ 1380) – Spotify.
Back into fleet livery are New Routemasters LT268, 374/97, 400 (LTZ 1268/374/97/400).

Ex Bury St Edmunds ‘Breeze’ Dennis Dart SLF/Alexander ALX200 436 (LX51 FGF) is regarded as Reserve.
Withdrawn is Scania/Irizar coach 203 (OW03 LFL) – which had operated from Haverhill.
Volvo B10B/Alexander PS 233 (M233 TBV) and Volvo Olympian/Alexander RH 827 (N827 FKK) are now in the Galloway of Mendlesham fleet. The Olympian had previously been on long-term loan.
The Haverhill based ex Blackwater Link ADL/Enviro 200s 431-34 (EU10 NVP/R/S/T) are in practice, not all used at Bury St Edmunds at any one time, with long and Short Dart SLF/Pointers often appearing. Also, the ‘Breeze’ name no longer appears on buses, but is still used on digital and printed publicity. Note that on Sundays and public holidays, the Bury St Edmunds town services are operated by Coach Services of Thetford under Suffolk County Council contract, using the old First Eastern Counties service numbers of 80, 81, 82, 83. ADL/Enviro 200s appear on these.

Ex Soames Volvo B12B/Plaxton Panther KX09 GMO, has received Suffolk Norse livery.

TfL W9 (Chase Farm Hospital-Southgate) has been gained from Metroline on retender, while TfL298 (Potters Bar-Arnos Grove) is retained. Both start on 4/2/17.

New is Bombardier CS 100 HB-JBC.

Open top Bristol KSW/ECW WNO 480 is sold. It went to the premises of Xeliabus at Eastleigh, and was then offered on ebay.
Van Hool TD824 DSK 107 is withdrawn, and has been re-registered D108 ELO.

Some of the Scania/Irizars are reported as parked up at Scania, Purfleet, while others collected at a site in Barking. Those that were at Taylors End, Stansted – had gone by late October. Scania/Irizar K380EB6 tri-axle YN08 MLZ was offered via Auction through Gordon Brothers at the end of October.
Recorded as sold are:
Scania K360/Irizar tri-axles YN08 MLZ, YT10 WLA-D.
Scania K360/Irizar 4x2s YT12 YUA-E.
King Long XMQ6127 BK63 ZTC.
Scania K360/Irizar tri-axles YN64 AMO/U/V/X.

Toyota Optima M933 CHU has passed to a dealer in Romford.
LDV Convoy minicoach BX06 XZA and Mercedes 0814D/Robin Hood L111 ANT are also sold.

Overall adverts:
Volvo B9TL/Wright Gemini2 VN36161 (BJ11 EBA) – Zillertal.
ADL/Enviro 40H DNH39116 (SN12 ARX) – Zillertal.
ADL/Enviro 40Hs DNH39115/25 (SN12 ARU, ATO) – India.
ADL/Enviro E40H DNH39127 (SN12 ATV) – Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.
Back to red – ADL/Enviro 40D DN33781 (SN12 AVX).

Scania Omnilink/EL YR52 VFL now has a led destination, ex roller blind.
Accident damaged Volvo B10BLE/Wright WNZ 1864 is withdrawn.
DAF DB250LF/Alexander ALX400 X427 FGP is now with Barnes of Dagenham.
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton pointer KP54 BYL has passed to Seaford and District.

Optare Solo S627 JRU, acquired from Panther Travel by a Turners employee, has suffered a major engine failure and is now parked up at the depot.

From Tower Transit are Volvo B7TL/Wright Geminis WD429/31 (LK54 FLG/A respectively). LK04 HXP is WD445; LK04 HYV is WD444.
Ex Johnsons of Hodathorpe is Volvo B9R/Caetano FJ60 EGE.
National Express Volvo B9R/Caetano Levante L80 SGB has returned to South Gloucester Bus and Coach at Patchway. B9R/Levantes FJ60 HXS/Y, FJ60 KVS have fleet nos NX14-16.

With thanks to: L Bourne; R Delahoy; EBN; A Hazell; J Lidstone; J Sadd.


Courtworth Banner cropped

Busmopolitan – Essex & District Bus and Rail Newpage. September 2016.


Welcome to the September 2016 edition of Busmopolitan.

The new 66 registration sees fresh additions to Arriva Southend – ADL/Enviro 400 MMCs; First Essex, Ipswich Buses and Stephensons – MMC and ‘classic’ ADL/Enviro 200s; plus the entry to service of Ensign’s quartet of BCI ‘Enterprise’ Australian- Chinese 100 seat air conditioned 380 bhp tri-axle double deckers. Small independant Graham’s has a brand new DAF/Irizar i6 integral; the first in the area.
Talking of new equipment, Abellio has pledged to renew all of its rolling stock during the duration of its new franchise. These will include bi-modal and “straight electric” multiple units.
Arriva double deckers have returned to the streets of Southend, for the first time since 2012, with the launch of the 10 new Enviro 400 MMCs. However, the MAX service 5 has ceased after less than a year.
Meanwhile, the TGM identity has almost completely vanished, with Arriva repaints reaching the point that just one bus is left in the blue/white/yellow scheme.
Finally, the start of the new school year has seen some interesting changes with regards to operators of some school contracts. One surprise has been the return of a bus “depot” to Tollesbury ! Read more below.

Has a new home to school contract in St Albans, using Renault Master accessible minibuses.

Over the new franchise, the entire train fleet will be renewed. This will see the end of all loco hauled stock, along with the current Class 153, 156, 170 DMUs and Class 317, 321, 360 EMUs. The new order is split between Bombardier and Stadtler, and are due in 2019-2020.

Above: Class 321 EMU 321358 departs Manningtree for Harwich Town, on 24/5/14.

Current fleet developments:
317513/15 are now in Abellio GA livery
321338/48/51/55/422/26/33/35/38/47 now have grey upholstery, ex green.
360115 has grey upholstery, ex purple.
Both ‘321s and ‘360s are being completely re-upholstered in grey as an internal refresh.

YC62 FWS is a Ford Transit 16 seater, ex Farrell of Bishops Cleeve, Gloucestershire.

Service 268 (Grays-Blackmore) ceased from 1/9/16.
YJ57XWF AMBER 269 (BRENTWOOD) 18-6-16.jpg
Above: Amber ex Burnley & Pendle via Ensign Optare Versa YJ57 XWF, on the parallel 269 service, at Brentwood Rail Station on 18/6/16. 269 continues.

Volvo B12M/Jonckherre FJ04 ERK is now PT04 APT.
EY04 WKZ is a Ford Transit Connect ancillary van.

Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Mini Pointer PDL138 (SN06 BPF) has gone on loan to TGM at Heathrow.

Received from Network Harlow is Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer 3417 (SN54 HXD), meaning this batch are all back where they started.
Dennis Dart SLF/Pointers 3327 (X519 GGO), 3293 (Y293 TKJ), and SLF/Alexander ALX200 3335 (W471 XKX) have moved on to Arriva Kent and Surrey at Maidstone. SLF/Pointer 3328 (X471 GGO) is withdrawn.
To Arriva colours ex TGM are short Dennis Dart SLF/Caetano Nimbuses 1562/4 (RX07 KPG, HX04 HUH). This leaves SLF/Pointer 3314 (S312 JUA) as the last bus here in TGM livery. Also now to Arriva, from SxConnect livery are Volvo B7RLE/Wrights 3825/6 (GN07 AVO/P). SLF/Pointers 3413 (SN54 HWY), 3421 (AY54 FPZ) have lost their Driver Recruitment branding. 3418 (SN54 HXE) – the last bus here with roller destination blinds, now has led displays.

Y293TKJ 3293 AR CR 1A (MALDON RD) 2-9-16.jpg
Above SLF no 3293 on Maldon Road on 2/9/16.

All of the ex Ware Volvo B7RLE/Wrights have come here. They are 3875-82 (KX11 PVN, PUK/J, PVL/A, PZY, PVD respectively).
Volvo B7RLE/Wright 3731 (GN54 MYO) has moved to Arriva Kent and Surrey.
Mb Citaro 3894 (BU06 HSG) is the third to be repainted out of Green Line colours into Arriva livery – but still with Route 724 branding.

BU06HSK 3896 GREEN LINE ARRIVA 724 (SA) 17-9-16.jpg
Above: Mb Citaro 3896 at St Albans on 17/9/16.

New are ADL/Enviro 400MMCs 6499-6516 (SN66 WHS-X/Z, WJA/C-G/J-M/O). 6503 was the first in service, on 22nd September on route 1 (Rayleigh-Shoeburyness). This marks the return of ‘deckers to Arriva in Southend after an absence of 4 years 3 months.
Optare Versas 4202/7 (YJ61 CHX, CJO), have lost their ‘Ride The Wave’ route 9 dedicated adverts, but retain route branding.
There were some service changes from 4th September.
4/A (Southend-Shoebury). Weekday service ceased. Sundays unaffected.
5 (Southend-Basildon) – withdrawn. This was branded as MAX.
7/8 (Southend-Landwick) – revised with 407 school variant axed.
As a result of the end of MAX5, Volvo B7RLE/Wrights 3815/24 (GN07 AVC/M) are withdrawn. 3816/20/21//23/24 are still in use, but with their branding modified to read ‘Southend-Hadleigh’ (still with MAX names). They are often to be found on route 1.
On loan for driver training was New Enterprise of Tonbridge Dennis Javelin/Plaxton YN53 VBX.

Above: Volvo B7RLE no 3816 at Hadleigh on the penultimate day of MAX5 operation; 2nd September.

DAF SB120/Wright Cadet 3509 (KE51 PUV) has gone to Arriva Kent and Surrey at Guildford, while 3502/6 (KE51 PUA/K) are withdrawn. 3506 quickly passed to Hardwick, Carlton (dealer) for scrap.

Volvo B7TL/Alexander ALX400 VLA139 (LJ05 GRZ), has returned to Barking (DX) from Arriva Kent Thameside.

Further outstations are at Tollesbury and Tolleshunt Knights.
In Maldon, there is extra parking at Autobahn Tyres on The Causeway. The main depot is on Station Road.

New is Mercedes 923 midicoach YN66 ENF.
The Feering to Ipswich private schools contract has been lost to Suffolk Norse.

In from London General are Scania N230UD/Olympuses 873/77/78/84 (PN09 EKV, ELO/U, EMV).
ADL/Enviro 200 SEN36 (YX61 FZV) has moved to London General.

Red Route Volvo B12B/Plaxton Panther FJ55 XBC, has been on loan for rail replacement again, this month, along with Coach Innovations Van Hool Altano T920 SA09 ASH.

Dennis Trident/EL 701 (T801 RFG) is on loan from Hedingham, (qv).

Scania L94/Van Hool T741 JHE has been acquired from Sprat of Wreningham.

5B-DCV is an Airbus A319-132, which is the second aircraft for this up and coming Cypriot fleet, which flies to Stansted. It was new to Royal Brunei Airlines in 2003.

The remaining Class 08 and 09 diesel electric shunters have been offered for sale. Their only presence in the ‘Busmopolitan’ area was at Dagenham Dock.
Generally, main line locomotives have taken over shunting duties.

Former Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President VP16 (X168 FBB), has gone to MC Tractors at Ely for scrap, after cannibalisation by Ensign. New to Easylink, it had latterly been with London General.

G-EZPP is a new Airbus A320-214.

The new BCI Enterpise high specification tri-axle double deckers, entered service during September. They are 401-4 (LX66 GXC/D/E/F). No 402 is pictured (above) at Shenfield on Abellio Greater Anglia RRP on 17/9/16.
Dennis Trident/Plaxton President 195 (GVV 205) has been re-registered to W56 PCC. It was seen (below), crossing Wilsons Corner at Brentwood on 17th September; running light to Shenfield to take up a TfL RRP duty, all stations to Chadwell Heath, then Newbury Park.


Dennis Dart SLF/Alexander ALX200 780 (LX51 FGK) has been on loan to EOS London.
Dennis Trident/Alexander ALX400 103 (V479 KJN) has passed to Bear Buses of Feltham.

From 1/9/16, commercial service 86 (Harlow-Waltham Cross) was revised between Waltham Cross and Upshire. From the same date, new routé 87 commenced between Harlow and Epping.
Ex GHA are Optare Solo M880s YJ59 GHB/G. GHB was seen (below) at Harlow bus station on 17/9/16. Both are on loan from Ensign, along with Dennis Dart SLF/Alexander ALX200 LX51 FGK (qv).


New are Airbus A310-214s D-AEWM/N.

New are ADL/Enviro 200 MMCs 44660-62 (YX66 WBE-G) – all at Basildon (BN).
Dennis Trident/Plaxton President 32856 (V856 HBY), latterly at Basildon (BN) – is stored at Braintree (BE).
Dennis Dart SLF/Marshall Capital 41736 (X736 HLF) is back in use at Hadleigh (HH), after recertification and repaint into Refreshed colours.
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer 42485 (SN03 WMM) has been refurbished and is now in Refreshed livery. All of this batch are at HH, except 42484 (SN03 WLW) which is still at Chelmsford (CF). Also now in Refreshed is Scania L94UB/Wright Solar 65675 (SN51 UYJ).
BMC Yellow school bus 68520 (KP54 AZU) has been repainted, and now sports large blue logos for Colchester High School.
Wright Streetlites at HH are having the black surrounds of their rear registration plates repainted purple.
Scania L94UB/Wright Solar 65680 (YR52 VEK) has been withdrawn and cannibalised at Colchester (CR). This is the first of its batch to go. It was one of the “launch” vehicles for the Chelmsford Park and Ride in 2005.
Fire damaged Dennis Trident/Plaxton President 33045 (LN51 DVK) is withdrawn.
From 25th September, the following summer only routes ceased:
16 (Clacton Circular); 17A (Clacton-Point Clear); 19 (Clacton-St Osyth Beach) and 75B (North Station-Colchester Zoo).
Hadleigh Engineering department has won the First Bus Team Of The Year Award. Their excellent work can be seen on the streets of Southend daily – in the shape of smartly turned out buses.

Has commenced operation of the Thurstable School contract at Tiptree. Gained from Hedingham, a local outstation has been established at Tollesbury. This is at Garlands Farm and not the old Hedingham depot. 3 services are run, with two others subcontracted; (Kelvedon) to Graham’s and (Heybridge/Great Totham) to Stan’s. The initial allocation was Scania Omnidekka YN56 FDX; Volvo B7TL/Plaxton Presidents LK03 NHG/V and Volvo Olympian/Alexander Royale P263 PSX. One bus is spare.
The recently acquired low floors all carry a slightly revised livery, featuring a new Flagfinders ‘ff’ logo. This has also ben applied to Volvo Olympian/Alexander Royale P418 KSX.

Above: Scania Omnidekka YN56 FDX at Tolleshunt Darcy on 7/9/16; returning to Tollesbury outstation off a morning run into Thurstable School.

G-PRPI is a new Bombardier Dash DHC8 twin turboprop.

There is now an outstation at Mayland (golf club).

Two vehicles are now outstationed at Regal Busway’s Cooksmill Green depot, but the berthing of buses at Stephenson’s Boreham site has ceased.

Loaned Class 08 diesel electric shunter 08571 was retuned to Wabtech at the end of September; with resident 08530 returning to Felixstowe Dock.

DAF powered Irizar integral YN66 VYG is new here. Scania K114/Irizar YN03 DDE passed to Moseley (dealer) in part exchange.
Graham’s is running the Kelvedon to Thurstable school contract at Tiptree, for Flagfinders (qv).

Iveco 45C14/Excel BU07 CPZ has passed to Onley, Benfleet.

W516WGH 575 HO KN 6-9-16.jpg
Low floor Volvo B7TL/Plaxton Presidents are being introduced to Kelvedon (KN) to replace Volvo Olympians. 575 (W516 WGH) was the first to arrive, from Clacton (CN) on 6th September and allocated to the Alec Hunter school run. 560 (EU53 MVZ) followed on 14th September, and was immediately put on stage work, but returned to HD on 16th September. Then 576 (W517 WGH) came from CN on 21st September.
Minibus operation has resumed, with the gain of a contract for Toppesfield Primary School. Ford Transit 16 seater YT12 DBZ has been hired from JD Robertson for this. It works from HD.
Dennis Trident/EL 701 (T801 RFG) is on loan to Chambers. It now has a front fleet number in the larger font. All of the Tridents are to be upgraded to DDA specification. 701 is the first to be treated. Hants and Dorset Trim at Eastleigh is doing the work.
Volvo Olympian/NCs 72 (R629 MNU), 93/5 (R273/9 LGH) are withdrawn, while Volvo Olympian/Alexander RH 86 (M294 UKN) and Volvo Olympian/NC 96 (R552 LGH) have gone to Alpha Recovery for scrap.
From 4/9/16, there were changes on the Colchester to Brightlingsea corridor. The M-Sat daytime frequency of 87 was reduced to half hourly, ex 20 minutes, and the 87A variant ceased. The 87 was also diverted in Colchester to run via Magdalen Street, Barrack Street, Hythe Hill, Hythe Station Road, with East Hill, East Bay, East Street, Greenstead Road (apart from section past Tesco) no longer served. Sunday evening 87s withdrawn after 1930.
There were alterations to the 041 group of Honywood School contracts at Coggeshall from 5th September. Bus 4 (Easthorpe) moved from Kelvedon (KN) to Sible Hedingham (HD). Bus 7 (Silver End) was renumbered 1. Bus 9 (Marks Tey) became 7. Bus 10 (Kelvedon) was withdrawn.
The Plume School contracts are now all operated from KN. They are PL1 (Tollesbury direct); PL2 (Tiptree Heath,-Great Totham-Wickham Bishops); PL3 (Tolleshunt Darcy-Tolleshunt Major-Little Totham-Great Totham); PL4 (Tolleshunt Darcy-Goldhanger-Mill Beach-Heybridge Basin); PL5 (Mundon-Latchingdon-Cold Norton-Purleigh-Woodham Mortimer).
The Thurstable, Tiptree school contract has passed to Flagfinders, while New Rickstones Academy no 063 at Witham has been lost to Regal Busways, as new contract no 509.

J838TSC L357 HO 098  (RIVENHALL)  12-13Above: Back in December 2013, Hedingham Leyland Olympian/Alexander RH L357 (subsequently fleet no 80), at Rivenhall Place on the New Rickstones contract. This was renumbered from 098 to 063 in September 2014.

Above: Another “vintage” view, this time at Silver End Broadway, in May 2012. Hedingham Leyland Olympian/Alexander RL  L371 (later fleet no 62), is on contract 068 (041 from September 2014) to Honywood School at Coggeshall, while Flagfinders convertible open top Leyland Olympian/ECW A990 XAF works the number 003 run to Alec Hunter Academy, Braintree; which Hedingham gained from September 2013.

Above: Hedingham Leyland Olympian L369 heads the afternoon line-up at Thurstable School, Tiptree in December 2010. The Network Colchester Dennis Trident is on the 611 “direct” route to Tollesbury, which Hedingham took over from September 2013 and ran until July 2016.

More new ‘classic’ ADL/Enviro 200s are 105-108 (YX66 WCJ-M).
Ex Bristol Greyhound is ADL/Enviro 200 KX59 GNY, now fleet no 77.
Returned to DawsonRentals, off lease was ex Carters Volvo B10M/Caetano Enigma NK51 ZSR.
On loan from ADL was ADL/Enviro 20D YX65 RKK. This received tgemporary fleet no 500.
Withdrawals are of Dennis Trident/Alexander ALX400s 17 (LG02 FEM), 18/19 (V126/62 MEV), and Dennis Dart SLF/EL Spryte 89 (X89 LBJ). 18/19 went to PSV Recycling, Hadleigh for scrap, along with ex Carters Volvo Olympian/Alexander RH 43 (R156 LHK).
DAF DB250LF/Optare Spectra X153 LBJ is now with Lynx, Kings Lynn.
From 4th September, the ex Carters routes were all formally transferred to Ipswich Buses . The ex Carters vehicles will receive Ipswich Buses livery in due course.

Volvo B11R/Plaxton Elite tri-axle YN13 GXP is now in green/white fleet livery, ex plain white. It is picture (below) on the A12 Chelmsford by-pass on 17/9/16, on an AGA Witham-Newbury Park RRP. Following is Luxury Transport of Hayes (Middlesex)  VDL Bova WJ65 EKX.


Also now into fleet colours is Mercedes 1223L PO59 OML.

Yellow liveried Volvo Olympian/NC Countybus R284 LGH has been sold.

On loan from Evobus, Coventry during September was Mercedes Tourismo tri-axle BL16 GBO.

New is Mercedes Tourismo BV66 GVX.

Neoplan Tourliner YN07 EBO is now here, ex Vision Coaches of Widnes.
A less exotic acquisition is Dennis Javelin/Plaxton Premiere 320 L40 GNA; ex Denwell of Birlip, Gloucestershire and previously N319 SNL.
Scania K113/Irizar A19 LNR has been re-registered back to R866 SDT.
Volvo B10M/Van Hool A20 LNR has reverted to its W285 WCS mark.

Sold is Mb Sprinter 413 minicoach X734 AVU.

A heritage addition is 1948 Bedford OB/Duple CFV 851 – ex Payne of Thundersley.

D78 Stock withdrawn is 7004+17004+8004; 7005+17005+8005; 7033+17033+8033.
To VivaRail: 7004/5/33.
To Booth Roe: 17004/5, 8004/5.

Scania K113/Berkhof WSC 485 has ben acquired from Ceefa Coaches of Pitsea.

Has AEC PRV Routemaster open topper RM978 (LDS 164A). This was initially in an overall advert “wrap” for South Essex College ‘Enrolfest’, but has now been smartly turned out in traditional London Transport red with gold lining.

Scania K410EB6/Caetano Levante SH187 has an additional fleet number on the roof.

Traffic changes from 1st September, saw the withdrawal of routes 41 (Ingatestone-Shotgate), 47 (Shotgate-Chelmsford) and 489 (Moreton-Brentwood).
Wright Streetlite no 12 is now in red/yellow fleet livery, ex white.

A new open top fleet numbering series has been introduced. This starts at 200.
DAF DB250LF/Plaxton Presidents have been renumbered from the 100s as a result.

Essex CC school contract 030A (Manningtree-The Oakleys-Harwich School) has been gained from First Essex.
Registered school bus service 302 (Bishops Stortford-Saffron Walden) has passed to Stephensons and been incorporated into their 301 service. Registered school runs 446 (Clavering-Saffron Walden) and 446B (Manuden-Saffron Walden) have been integrated into Stephensons of Essex service 446 (qv).
As a result of the above, Stansted office and depot closed after 11/9/16. Central administration has moved to the HO at Brantham, while local supervision is now run from Matching Tye. There have been changes to allocations at other sites, with Colchester,  now up to 4 vehicles from 1; Great Dunmow – 2 to 3; Ipswich 1 to 2; Witham 1 to 2.
From 19/9/16, Panther covered Harwich-Dovercourt town service 2/A and school contract 118 on behalf of Hedingham, who was experiencing a staff shortage.
DAF DB250LF/EL Lowlander PN52 XBH is now in fleet livery, ex Arriva. It has been re-registered DC52 PAN.
Dennis Lance SLF/Wright BIG 7793 has passed its MOT for another year, and initially went to Reserve (at Clacton).
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Mini Pointer BIG 9856 has been loaned to Regal Busways.
Optare Solo BIG 7006 has reverted to S627 JRU, and passed to a private buyer, who is a Turners of Essex employee. Mercedes Sprinter AB52 PAN went to Enigma Travel, Colchester and is RX54 RRU again.
Ford Transit 16 seater DC52 PAN is also sold – to a Kent owner, and has reverted to its original LN52 LFW mark.
Leyland Olympian/Alexander RL F639 LMJ has been exported to Los Angeles, USA.
Withdrawn are: Leyland Olympian/ECW coaches BIG 4005, D511 PPU; Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer S303 JUA; Lance SLF/Wright BIG 7793; Volvo B6BLE/Wright BIG 9807; Optare Excel BIG 9861. The Olympians and Lance are retained as heritage vehicles. Big 9807 has been re-registered back to V259 HBH; it was prepared for service by Panther and repainted, but never used as such.
A list of vehicles known to be stored at the old airfield at Matching Tye is as follows:
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Mini Pointer W799 VMV; Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer S303 JUA; Optare Excels BIG 9861, S169 UAL; Leyland Lynxes H724 KBC, J295 TWK, J266 UDW, K242 CHB; Leyland Nationals long YEV 307/8S; Leyland National short BYW 365V; Leyland Olympian/Alexander RLs K508/10 ESS; Leyland Olympian/ECW long coach HSB 312Y; Leyland Olympian/Leyland H547 GKX; Volvo B10M/Jonckherre G112 ENV; Volvo B10M/Plaxton Premiere N615 APU; Volvo Olympian/Alexander RH R941 YOV.
Volvo B6BLE/Wright Cadet BIG 9807/V259 HBH is stored at Matching Tye workshop.
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer S303 JUA was moved from the airfield to Stansted depot in early September, but moved on again when that site closed.
Colchester outstation site has been fenced and equipped with a keypad entry gate. It remains a public lorry park managed by the Borough Council, with Panther as the main tenant. Mb Sprinter AB03 PAN and Volvo B12T/Plaxton Panther AB07 PAN were seen there (below) on 16th September.


Fiat Doblo ancillary van EN51 ABF has been sold, after a period of disuse. Space was needed at Parkeston, following the closure of Stansted depot; hence its demise.

New is Airbus A320-251 TC-NBC. It is named ‘Goksu’.

Following demolition work, there is now a clear view of the old Maldon East station, from The Causeway. Picture (below) taken on 2nd September.

The Essex County Council 063 Silver End to New Rickstones Academy at Witham contract has been gained from Hedingham. Regal already ran the other contract between these two locations; no 060. A double decker is now used to run both contracts as one, with new route number 509. The Braintree outstation allocation has increased from 3 to 4 vehicles as a result.

Ex Westway of Raynes Park is Volvo B12T/Berkhof double deck coach 449 GTU.

From Travelstar of Walsall is Bova Magique YJ11 ANU, which has been named ‘Lily’.

Another ex Blue Triangle Dennis Dart SLF/MCV Evolution is AE06 HCG. It came via Ensign.

New are Boeing 737-800s EI-FRV/W/X/Y/Z.

EI-DHS RYANAIR FR9772 STN-FKB  11-8-16.jpg
Above: Boeing 737-800 EI-DHS loads at Stansted Airport on 11/8/16, for departure on flight FR9772 to Baden Baden in Germany. After takeoff, the initial course took it over Chelmsford and Maldon, then along the River Blackwater before heading south east.

The ex Hallmark Scania N120UD/Optare Olympuses YN08 OBY/Z, initially entered traffic in “as acquired” metallic grey, but OBY has now received the yellow/silver fleet livery.

Class 86 electric locomotive 86259, returned to Willesden depot from Ilford in late September, after use on carriage testing duties at the latter.

Transferred from National Express (NX) to the private hire fleet areVolvo B9R/Plaxton Elites 141/44 (YN10 FKM/R).
Internal NX coach transfers are of Volvo B9R/Caetano Levante 210 (FJ13 EBD) from Runcorn to Sharston, and Volvo B11R/Caetano Levante 240 (BD65 JFF) the other way.
Runcorn runs NX services into Essex.
Accident damaged National Express Volvo B9R/Caetano Levante 161 (FJ11 MLV) has been stripped for spares.

On loan from Lynx, Kings Lynn were Optare Tempo X1060s YJ58 CEY and PF10 MDX.

From Stagecoach Manchester are Dennis Trident/Alexander ALX400s 17452/500/01 (Y452 NHK, LX51 FNC/D). They are for contracts at Cambridge.
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Mini Pointer 33305 (AE51 VFX) has gone to Stagecoach East Kent.

ADL/Enviro 200s 36346/48 (LX59 ANP/U) have gone to Selkent.
Above: Dennis Trident/Alexander ALX400 17920 crosses Piccadilly Circus in July 2004. It has now begun a new life in rural Kent.

A large number of leased Dennis Trident/Alexander ALX400s have been returned to their lessors; 17759-78 (LX03 BUH/J/K/P/U/V/W, BVA-H/J-N/P), 17854 (LX03 BZH) . All went to Investec, except 17765/854 to Lombard. 17762 was the bus involved in the failed London bombing of 21/7/05.
Withdrawn is 17809 (LX03 BXD).
17808 (LX03 BXC) has gone to PVS for scrap.
Now driver trainers are: Tridents 17807/10.
Ex Selkent ADL/Eviro 400s 19749/50/54 (LX11 BCK/O/Z), 19809/19 (LX11 BJY, BKN) are now at Romford North Street (NS).
Dennis Trident/Alexander ALX400s resold through Ensign are:
17920 (LX03 OSU) – to Poynters of Wye, Kent.
18233/45/50 (LX04 FXZ, FYM/T) – to Brylaine of Boston, Lincolnshire.
18246 (LX04 FYN) – to Grant Palmer of Dunstable.
17947 (LX53 JYK) has been re-acquired by Ensign from Sarcophagus Films, Shepperton, 17554 (LY02 OBF) has gone to MC Tractors at Ely for scrap.
Overall adverts:
ADL/Enviro 40H 12321 (SK14 CZH) – back to red.
ADL/Enviro 400 19862 (LX12 CZR) – TK Maxx.
New Routemasters LT248 (LTZ 1248) – Deliveroo; LT314 – Trolls; LT386 – GiGi; LT394 – Monster Jobs; LT397 – American Airlines.
Ford Transit Connect ancillary van HT05 MFA has been sold, and was recently seen at Kelvedon.

Above: Trident 18246 at Holborn in June 2004; when brand new.

Is running the Heybridge to Thurstable school contract at Tiptree on behalf of Flagfinders (qv). This arrangement is carried over from Hedingham days. Likewise, Stan’s continues to subcontract the Stanway School to Shrub End run in Colchester from Hedingham.

Mercedes Tourismo BG65 VXB now physically carries its fleet number MBT2.

New are “classic” ADL/Enviro 200S 477-81 (EU66 AVB/C/D/F/G). They are branded for ‘Blackwater Link’ route 90 (Maldon-Witham), except 481 which is an additional vehicle for ‘Three Rivers’ 38/A (Witham-Braintree-Halstead). 479 is seen (above), approaching Maldon on 30th September.
ADL/E200s 431-34 (EU10 NVP/R/S/T) have lost their ‘Blackwater Link’ branding as a result, and moved from Boreham to Haverhill, chiefly for use at Bury St Edmunds on the ‘Breeze’ services, replacing Dennis Dart SLF/Alexander ALX200s. The first “old” ‘Breeze” bus to be stood down as a result, was SLF/ALX200 439 (Y284 FJN).
Ex Hallmark originally Network Colchester Scania N230UD/Optare Olympus YT59 NZM/N entered service in early September, with fleet nos 507/8.
Ex Go-Ahead London Scania Omnidekkas BV55 UCT/W are nos 648/9.
The last step entrance single deck bus, Volvo B10B/Alexander PS 233 (M233 TBV), is withdrawn. Step entrance ‘deckers and coaches remain in this fleet.
From 1st September, scholars service 51 (Great Dunmow-Newport Grammar School) was renumbered to 451; while 52 and 53 (Wimbish-Newport Grammar School) became route 453, and 94 (Great Dunmow-Saffron Walden) became 419. From the same date, service 90 (Maldon-Witham) no longer served Elizabeth Avenue in Witham.
The following new school routes commenced on 5/9/16:
413 (Great Dunmow-Saffron Walden, school journeys of 313/A); 438 (Great Yeldham-Newport); 441 (Takeley-Saffron Walden); 444 (Barley-Saffron Walden); 446 (Manuden-Saffon Walden). 444 takes Stephensons into Hertfórdshire for the first time. 446 is ex Panther 446/B.

The former Soames depot at Otley is now in use, with 8 vehicles allocated.

Now runs the ex Beestons Feering to Ipswich School contract. Volvo B8R/Plaxton Panther YX16 NWS was seen (above) at Stanway on 15/9/16, on the afternoon run.
The coaches acquired from Soames have appeared with just ‘Forget Me Not Travel’ fleet names. The vehicles involved are Volvo B9R/Plaxton Profile FJ59 CBU; Volvo B12B/Plaxton Panthers R17 BUS, KX09 GMO, YX10 FFU.

Above: The predecessor of Suffolk Norse was Suffolk County Council Education Department. This “directly operated” fleet had an orange/cream livery for many years, beford adopting blue/white in the late 1980s. Bedford YNV/Plaxton Paramount C304 NHD was seen in November 2003; after sale to Manheim Auctions at Frating, near Colchester. It was quickly resold for further use.

From 3/9/16, 306 (Borehamwood-Watford) was revised, with the 306B/C variants withdrawn and partly replaced by 398.

Another Van Hool Astromega is FUH 933. This was new to Parks/Trathens as MSU 589Y, but later spent some years in Cyprus. Similar DSK 107 is delicensed.
S714 NWL is a Peugeout 206 engineer’s van.

Following the end of operations into London Stansted (route A50); the fleet is withdrawn and parked up at the Taylors End depot, and Start Hill Scania. Scania K124/Rizars YT10 WLC/D were seen at Taylors End on 24th September.

Commercial service 418 (Harlow-Loughton) ended from 12th September, but the remainder of this group continue. The Sunday service on 392 (Harlow-Hoddesdon Circular) ended after 11th September.

Above: Scania Omnidekka TB-RXM at Hastingwood on 8/9/16.

Acquired via Ensign are more ex Go-North East Volvo B10BLE/Wrights; W901/2/7 RBB; X492/918/35 WGR.
Withdrawn is Scania Omnilink/EL YU02 GHH.
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer KP54 BYL has passed to Ensign.
ADL/Enviro 300 EDL37 (SN61 CYY) is now with Compass of Worthing, via Ensign.
Ensign has resold short ADL/Enviro 200 EDS36 (MX10 DXY) to Travel Wright of Newark.

There were several traffic changes during September.
Green Line 797 (Hatfield-London Baker Street) ceased from the 3rd. Taken over by UNO in March 2015, this was reduced to peak hours only since March 2016; while on 26/9/16, new St Albans City circular S1 (via Cell Barnes and St Albans Abbey) started. This replaced 656 (St Albans-Cotton Mill and St Peters) and the urban part of 657 (Harpenden/Flamstead-St Albans-Cell Barnes). The S1 has existed before, but not as a circular. Also from 26th September, Hatfield local 607 was rerouted away from St Albans Road west, to serve the town centre via the Galleria Shopping Mall.
New vehicles are Mercedes Sprinter 16 seaters 101-6 (KX66 USE/W, URS, ULM, USL). They are used in Oxford.
Other fleet news is that Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer 127 (LG02 FFY) has been sold to Croft Travel of Middlesbrough. SLF/Mini Pointer DMP105 (KC03 PGU) is now with Tomlinson of Winsford. Also sold are Mb Sprinters KX14 EBD, KM64 OEC/D, OHF, KP64 MWG, RZZ.

Dennis R Series/Plaxton KP51 UER, has passed to Centrury Travel, Darnell, Sheffield.

With thanks to: A Barham; S Barham; W Bell;  P Dickson; ‘District Dave’; Ensignbus; A Hazell; MBC Review; Panther Travel; Jim; RE;  J Sadd; P Smith/Talisman; R West.

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