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.
ABELLIO GREATER ANGLIA.
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.
AH MINIBUSES, CLACTON.
YC62 FWS is a Ford Transit 16 seater, ex Farrell of Bishops Cleeve, Gloucestershire.
Service 268 (Grays-Blackmore) ceased from 1/9/16.
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.
APT COACHES, RAYLEIGH.
Volvo B12M/Jonckherre FJ04 ERK is now PT04 APT.
EY04 WKZ is a Ford Transit Connect ancillary van.
ARRIVA KENT THAMESDIE (GRAYS).
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Mini Pointer PDL138 (SN06 BPF) has gone on loan to TGM at Heathrow.
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE (NETWORK COLCHESTER).
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.
Above SLF no 3293 on Maldon Road on 2/9/16.
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE (NETWORK HARLOW).
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.
Above: Mb Citaro 3896 at St Albans on 17/9/16.
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE (SOUTHEND).
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.
ARRIVA LONDON NORTH.
Volvo B7TL/Alexander ALX400 VLA139 (LJ05 GRZ), has returned to Barking (DX) from Arriva Kent Thameside.
ARROW TAXIS, MALDON.
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).
CHARIOTS/FLAVIN, STANFORD LE HOPE.
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.
EAST THAMES BUSES.
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.
FLAGFINDERS, BRAINTREE and HALSTEAD.
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.
FORDS OF ALTHORNE.
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.
GRAHAM’S OF KELVEDON.
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.
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.
Above: 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.
JOHN JAMES LUXURY TRAVEL, DAGENHAM.
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.
KEANE TRAVEL, STANFORD LE HOPE.
Yellow liveried Volvo Olympian/NC Countybus R284 LGH has been sold.
KINGS TOURS, STANWAY.
On loan from Evobus, Coventry during September was Mercedes Tourismo tri-axle BL16 GBO.
New is Mercedes Tourismo BV66 GVX.
L&R COACHES, BASILDON.
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.
LCB TRAVEL, HARLOW.
Sold is Mb Sprinter 413 minicoach X734 AVU.
LODGE, HIGH EASTER.
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.
MARC1 TRAVEL, BILLERICAY.
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.
NATIONAL EXPRESS OPERATIONS.
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.
ORIGINAL LONDON SIGHTSEEING TOUR.
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.
ROMAN COACHES, COLCHESTER.
From Travelstar of Walsall is Bova Magique YJ11 ANU, which has been named ‘Lily’.
RSM DRIVER TRAINING, CANVEY ISLAND.
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.
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.
SERCO – CALEDONIAN SLEEPER.
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.
SIMONDS OF DISS.
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.
STAGECOACH EAST LONDON.
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.
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.
STAN’S OF GREAT TOTHAM.
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.
STEPHENSONS OF ESSEX.
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.
TALISMAN COACHLINES, GREAT BROMLEY.
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.
VICEROY OF ESSEX, SAFFRON WALDEN.
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.