Edited by John Podgorski BA Hons, MSc, CMILT.
Welcome to the July 2017 edition of Busmopolitan.
In late July, the UK government announced that from 2040, new “straight” fossil fueled vehicles would no longer be sold in the UK. This is in line with other European countries, such as France. From a bus point of view this will mean more hybrid and pure electric types; a species now spreading across London, but still less familiar in provinces. And there are other forms of propulsion available, including hydrogen, solar and even wood acid.
The end of conventional diesel and petrol power won’t happen overnight though. It will likely be a protracted affair, like to ousting of step entrance buses by low floor vehicles from 1999 onwards. This was not completed until low floor became law for registered bus services from 1/1/17.
Go-Ahead London has opened a new depot at North Greenwich, not far from the O2. At Morden Wharf, this replaced Mandela Way, which was located on the old Bricklayers Arms railway goods yard. On the fringes of the Busmopolitan area, the Mandela Way routes were distributed between the new depot and other local garages, including Docklands Buses at Silvertown.
Also on the edge of the area covered by this website, the Anglian Bus depot at Ellough near Beccles has closed, with only outstation facilities remaining. Maintenance and paying in have moved to New Rackeath (Norwich) and Konect at Dereham, with Hedingham additionally carrying out some repairs on vehicles.
A long term rail replacement has started at Northumberland Park station in north east London. Running until Autumn 2018, it utilises a shuttle bus, while the level crossing is replaced by a footbridge and the area generally modernised. Panther Travel has the contract.
The sub yard is now used by Bibby Distribution for its Unipart Rail contract.
Above: ADL, Harlow on 15/7/17. Present were CT Plus Optare Solos, Abellio and Go-Ahead London ADL/Enviro 400s and an unidentified red Dennis Trident/Alexander ALX400. (John Podgorski).
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE (COLCHESTER).
Above: DAF SB120/Wright Cadet no 3534 in the evening rush hour traffic on East Hill, Colchester on 26/7/17. (Simon Austin).
DAF SB120/Wright Cadet 3516 (LF52 USZ) has gone to Arriva Southend (qv).
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Mini Pointer 1558 (KX56 HCP) continues with a rear roller blind and side blind route number display, but normally set to blank. SLF/Pointers 3416/17 (SN54 HXC/D) additionally still retain theirs – but again, set to blank.
Above: SLF/MPD at Colchester Bus Station on 7/7/17. (John Podgorski).
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE (HARLOW).
Above: One of the new ADL/Enviro 200 MMCs; 4083 is branded for the 508/9/10 Harlow to Stansted Airport routes. It was seen at Harlow Bus Station on 15/7/17. (John Podgorski).
New ADL/Enviro 200 MMC 4087 (YX17 NHE) is not branded.
Optare Solo 1466 (KE55 KTU) is the last bus in TGM blue.
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE (SOUTHEND).
From Colchester is DAF SB120/Wright Cadet 3516 (LF52 USZ). It has replaced 3504 (KE51 PUH) which is withdrawn. DAF DB250LF/EL 6255/61 (FD02 UKK/T) are also retired.
SB120 3528 is back off loan from Stevenage.
Current driver trainers are DAF SB120/Wright Cadet 3521 (LJ51 DDX), Scania K340/Caetano Levante FJ56 PDO.
From 23/7/17, there were the following service changes:
New route 6 (Southend-Temple Sutton) – M to Sat.
Revisions to 7/8 (Landwick-Rayleigh), 9 (Rayleigh-Shoebury).
On 29 (Belfairs-Temple Sutton), the Southend to Temple Sutton section was replaced by new route 6.
A selection of withdrawn buses has collected at Short Street depot, prior to disposal. They are DAF SB120/Wright Cadets; DAF DB250LF/Alexander ALX400s/Plaxton Presidents; Dart SLF/Alexander ALX200s, SLF/Plaxton Pointers; Volvo B10BLE/Wrights, Volvo Olympians – from other Southern Counties fleets.
Noted on 29/7/17 were:
DAF DB250LF/ALX400s V332 DGT, 6001 (KL52 CWO) – plus one other.
DAF DB250LF/President 4167 (LJ51 DLD).
Dart SLF/ALX200 3334 (W466 XKX) – plus 4 others.
Dart SLF/Pointers 3295/97 (Y295/97 TKJ) – plus 5 others.
Volvo B10BLE/Wright 3304 (W132 XRO).
Volvo Olympian/NC Countybus 5944 (R614 MNU) – in TGM livery.
ARRIVA LONDON NORTH.
Edmonton (EC) depot closed operationally on 14/7/17, but continues for storage and engineering. The premises at Towpath Road had originally been opened as a bendybus base in 2003, for TfL149 (Edmonton Green-London Bridge); and TfL34 (Walthamstow-Barnet) was also initially worked out of there when Arriva regained that contract. There were two previous London bus depots in the area; at Lea Valley Trading Estate (ED) – for the erstwhile London Suburban Bus (1994 to 1997 – and later taken over by MTL London Northern and ultimately Metroline), plus the original Edmonton London Transport garage at Tramway Avenue. Coded EM, this closed in 1985.
Above: One of the more quirky corners of Edmonton depot, seen in July 2004. (John Podgorski).
Vehicle news is that New Routemasters LT326-28/31/33/34/37/38/41-46/49, 471 have been received from Arriva London South. They are allocated to Ash Grove (AE) to convert TfL48 (Walthamstow-London Bridge) from DW Class DAF DB300LF/Wright Geminis.
The closure of EM depot (above), saw ADL/Enviro 200s EN1-11 delicensed, although EN9 quickly reappeared at Enfield (E).
Overall adverts: LT219, 519 – to Chiquita Bananas, LT588 to Magnum.
LT183, 209 back to red.
ARROW TAXIS, MALDON.
Ex London Borough of Hounslow are Iveco 45C15/Stanford welfare buses GN09 LKX, GN59 FFO.
Accessible Mb Sprinter 513 AY17 UGK (in Dengie Dart white/red livery), Sprinter 516 RJ17 OCY (in EVM demonstrator white/blue livery), were on loan from Orwell Trucks at Ipswich and EVM at Craley, respectively in late July. Pictures taken by Paul Layzell on 11/7/17, at ‘Dart Day’, County Hall, Chelmsford. Mb Sprinter 516/Mellor accessible DF66 AEC was also on loan (from Mellor) over this time.
Mb 814D CIB 331 is withdrawn.
The first of the ex East London Transit Volvo B9TL/Wright Geminis transferred to Metrobus, for X26 to be converted for its new role, is WVL334. All initially ran in “as acquired” condition.
Delicensed are Marshall Capital – Dennis Dart SLFs DMN10, 14.
Above: ADL/Enviro 40D E281 at Southend Travel Centre on 25/7/17 – on the 575 commercial service. (David Arnold).
BLUELINE TRAVEL, ROCHFORD.
On hire from Maymist Coaches, Barking between 14 and 21 July was Volvo B12B/Caetano FH05 URP. This was new to National Express. It was covering Bova Futura T322 KNN.
John Podgorski spotted FH05 URP on the A12 south at Marks Tey Racecourse, on 17/7/17.
The Regal yard at Millhead Way Rochford, is being used for overflow parking. The main Blueline yard is at Welton Way.
Volvo B7TL/Wright Gemini LF52 ZND is currently delicensed and stored at Millhead Way. With it on 29/7/17 was ex NXWM B7TL/Plaxton President V427 MOA.
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer DP192 (EJ52 WXF), latterly with London General, has been resold through Ensign, to Bear Buses at Feltham.
BRENTWOOD COMMUNITY TRANSPORT.
Route 898 (Brentwood-Blackmore) ceased after 28/7/17.
808 (Brentwood-Warley) was revised from 31/7/17.
Trenitalia branding is now appearing on trains.
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer 252 (EU03 BZK) is delicensed due to engine failure.
37057 + 37116 were on a NR test train on the GEML on 19/7/17.
66111 was on 4L07 Burton-Felixstowe on 4 and 12/7/17. 66085 was on Wakefield Europort-London Gateway.
66080 was at Bow Olympic on 5/7/17, while 66069 was seen at Ipswich on 4L07 Burton-Felixstowe. And 66133 on 6X77 Dagenham-Mossend, seen Leyton Midland Road.
66089 on London Gateway-Wakefield International on 12/7/17. 66030 on Wakefield-Felixstowe, also on 12/7.
66206 on 4L07 on 13/7/17. 66050 on 20/7.
66121 was at Bow on 13-14/7/17.
19/7/17: 66004, 66050 on 4L07 Burton-Felixstowe. 66188 at Bow Olympic.
66186 at Harlow Mill on 20/7/17. 66177 on 6Z57 Broxbourne Redland-Wembley empties. 18 HOAs and IIAs.
20/7/17: 66198 on Wakefield-Felixstowe.
23/7/17: 66050 on 4L07 Burton-Felixstowe.
24/7/17: 66030 at Bow Olympic.
25-26/7/17 saw 66006 at Bow Olympic.
DB red liveried 66097 on Marks Tey sand on 26/7/17.
66230 on London Gateway-Wakefield on 31/7/17.
Following the closure of the London General depot at Mandela Way (MW) on 29/7/17, TfL100 (Wapping-Elephant and Castle) is now operated.
Above: Mandela Way site seen in May 2004, before it became an operational bus depot. The Metrobus former London Central Volvo Olympians were stored there. (John Podgorski).
On 5/7/17, 37419 ran light from Willesden to Norwich up the GEML as 0Z37.
37059 + 37069 (topped and tailed) were used in the ‘Buffer Puffer’ night time tour on 28-29/7/17. It ran as Eastleigh to Walton on the Naze, also visiting Colchester Town and Clacton.
Preserved Bristol VRT/ECW 3072 at Marks Tey on 7/7/17. (John Podgorski).
New are Airbus A320-214s G-EZRK/L/M, G-UZHB.
Above: The two-axle BCIs are now on local bus services around Thurrock. No 142 at Lakeside Bus Station on 29/7/17. (Simon Austin).
BCI Excellence 143 (LX17 GZD) has been on loan to New Adventure Travel, Cardiff.
Sold are: Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer no 799 (KU02 YTX) – to First Great Western, for rail replacement. ADL/Enviro 200/MCV Evolution TT57 BLU – to Hulleys of Baslow, following temporary use on ex Amber bus routes.
The ex Amber routes taken on emergency Essex/Thurrock CC contracts, have passed to long term operators.
Routes 11 (Aveley-Basildon), 374 (Grays-Basildon) passed to First Essex from 1/7/17.
Service 61 (Brentwood-Blackmore) passed to EOS from 21/7/17 (see below).
ADL/E200 MMC 8.9m demonstrator YX17 NXA was on loan in late July.
Dennis Dart SLF/Caetano Nimbus LK03 NLT has been broken up for spares, having not been used.
EOS took over service 61 (Brentwood-Blackmore) from Ensign from 21/7/17. This poster was at Blackmore. Note the spelling mistake ! (Daniel Disbury).
From 22/7/17 route 87 (Harlow-Staple Tye-Epping) was revised to improve connections with London Underground at Epping.
EPPING FOREST COMMUNITY TRANSPORT.
Route C392 (Water Lane-Rye Park) was revised from 31/7/17, with a Saturday service introduced.
ESSEX LUXURY COACHES, ROCHFORD.
Vehicles noted are Mercedes Touro SK57 CHX in gold and Mb 0814D Y30 CHT in silver/black. The Touro is kept at Rettendon, due to space limitations at the main Rochford OC.
The Rettendon site is on the plot previously used by Elite Engineering some years ago.
Hyundai i800 8 seat minibus PJ10 HNP has fleet no 124.
FIRST EASTERN COUNTIES (IPSWICH).
First took over the Ipswich Park and Ride commercially from Ipswich Buses, from 3/7/17.
Ex First Borders ADL/Enviro 300s are being used; 67752/60/63/73-76 (SN62 APF, AUC/K, AXH/K/O/U). All bar 67776 were initially delivered to Great Yarmouth, with some being used there short term. Four Volvo B7RLE/Wright Solars have also been displaced from Ipswich. They are 66850 (KX05 MHN), 66979/81/84 (KX05 MHF/A/N). Initially they went to Great Yarmouth on loan for the summer, but ultimately are for use at Norwich.
Above: One of the original First Ipswich Park and Ride buses; Volvo B7RLE 69430 is seen after repaint into standard livery. Caught on Norwich Road on 18/8/12, on the former ‘Superoute 88’ to Stowmarket. First initially ran Ipswich P and R between 2008 and 2012. (John Podgorski).
Above: The “new” Ipswich Park and Ride buses came from First Borders on the Scottish/English border, where they had been displaced by the sale of this operation to West Coast Motors. ADL/Enviro 300 67779 was seen at Carlisle on 15/5/17. This did not go south. (Murdoch Currie).
Above: 67760 in Ipswich depot on 9/7/17. (John Podgorski).
Further ex First Potteries Dennis Dart SLF/Caetanos are 41512/14/40, but for Basildon (BN).
Above: 41522 is one of the two ex First Potteries Dennis Dart SLF/Caetano Nimbuses now at Hadleigh. Spotted at Southend Travel Centre on 9/7/17 by Simon Austin.
Below: Ex Chelmsford Park and Ride Volvo B7RLE/Wright 69516 is now one of those at Hadleigh (HH), and branded for the 22 and 28 services. It was departing Southend Travel Centre on 25/7/17. (David Arnold).
Scania L94UB/Wright Solars 65690/91/92 (YS03 ZKK/L/M) have been branded for Clacton-Colchester routes 74 and 76. 69433 (AU58 FFW) has lost its Ipswich fleet names.
Scania L94UB/Wright Solar 65673/74/77 (SN51 UYG/H/L) now have led displays all round. 65688 (YS03 ZKH) now has a led display on its nearside only.
ECC routes 11 (Aveley-Basildon), 374 (Grays-Basildon) were gained from Ensignbus from 1/7/17. Ensign had run them as emergency contracts following the collapse of Amber Bus.
Volvo B10BLE/Wright 62139 (X618 NSS) is now in the new “chevron” driver training livery, ex Aberdeen heritage colours.
Volvo B12M/Plaxton Paragon coach 20515 (WV02 EUR) is on loan from First Eastern Counties for driver training.
Above: 20515 at St Johns Street, Colchester on 26/7/17. (James Pretty).
Above: B9TL/Wright 37134 at Head Street, Colchester on 4/7/17. (John Podgorski).
The first sighting of a 62 branded Volvo B9TL/Wright Gemini2 “off route” was on 3/7/17, when 37134 (SN57 HDJ) appeared on 65 (Highwoods-Tollgate) in the evening peak. 37135 (SN57 HCU) appeared on 24th July, again on the pm peak.
Not all of the ex First Borders Volvo B9TL/Wright Gemini2s were in service by July – 37138/39 outstanding, so a variety of buses continued on 62/A (Colchester-Brightlingsea) – including single deckers. The standard substitutes on 62/A are the ex Leicester 54 plate B7TL/Geminis.
Above: B9TL/Gemini2 37133 at Brightlingsea on 26/7/17. (Simon Austin).
On 2/7/17, youth orchestras performed in the old Queen Street bus garage in Colchester, which had closed in August 2015.
Above: Some of the ‘Green’ Volvo B7RLE/Wright Solars at Colchester (CR) depot have received leather seating. 66816 (MX05 CDY) was seen on the 88 in Halstead on 15/7/17. 66804/28 (MX05 CCO, CFE) also have this interior. (Simon Austin).
Dennis Trident/Plaxton President 33086 (LN51 GMG) is long term VOR at CR with and engine fault, and will eventually be repaired. 33184 (LR02 LZD) is back in use at CR after a replacement engine was fitted at an external location.
Further crew ferries for Colchester (CR) are Vauxhall Movano minibuses FA17 EYM, FM17 YNS – downseated to 8 from 14. These have replaced the Renault Trafics.
Plain white Ford Transit Custom hi cube van BT17 YUR has been noted at Hadleigh (HH). It was supplied via Lex Automotive.
Above: Ex Go-Ahead London/former East Thames Buses Volvo B7TL/Wright Gemini LB02 YXG.
Below: Ex RATP London United Volvo B7TL/EL Vyking PG04 WHF.
Both seen at Coggeshall on 5/7/17. (John Podgorski).
Leyland Olympian/Alexander RH H699 PTW is withdrawn.
66564 was on GE metals on 4/7/17 – seen Ipswich on 4L40 Doncaster-Felixstowe. On 13/7/17 is was on 4E22 Felixstowe-Leeds. 66591/419 also on Leeds-Felixstowes on 13/7.
Heavyhaul 66613 on Marks Tey-Barrow Hill 6M81 empty 4 wheel hoppers.
66597 was on 4L40 Doncaster-Felixstowe on 13/7/17.
66598 was ‘Thunderbird’ at Shefield on 14/7/17.
66420 at Bow Midland on 20/7/17; 66610 at Bow Midland on 21/7/17.
23/7/17: 66551 on 4E50 Felixstowe-Leeds FLT.
24/7/17 saw 6655 on 4E82 Felixstowe-Doncaster Freightliner. 66570 + 66598 + 66537 on 4E22 FLT – only 66570 on power. 66433 on 6L40 Daventry-Purfleet intermodal on same date.
66550 on 4E63 Felixstowe-Doncaster on 31/7/17.
Above: On Heavy Haul duty, 66553 at Stratford on 2/7/17. (S Austin).
Above: 66598 at Shenfield on 15/7/17. Greater Anglia 321345 is on the left, on a Southend Victoria to Liverpool Street service. (John Podgorski).
FJ12 FYA is a Volvo B9R/Caetano Levante from National Express, for continued use on NX work. It has fleet no 362. It has replaced accident damaged FN62 CAA.
On 4/7/17, 66705 was on North Walsham-Harwich tanks.
66706 was at Bow Midland on 5/7/17.
On 13/7/17, 66705 on North Walsham-Harwich tanks; 66712 was on 4M23 Felixstowe-Hams Hall; 66730 was on Harlow Mill-Bardon Hill aggregates.
66778 worked the Ipswich-Peterborough part of the ‘Charitable Chibble’ rail tour on 16/7/17.
19/7/17: 66755 on 4Z81 Masborough-Felixstowe. 66742 on this previously.
66720 on Chelmsford stone and 66753 on Harwich Carless Refinery to Long Marston on 20/7/17. 66755 on 4Z81 Masborough-Felixstowe. Metronet liveried 66721 on 4L21 at Felixstowe. 66723 at Bow Olympic. 66747 on N Walsham-Harwich Parkeston Quay tanks.
66723 at Bow on 20/7. 66720 at Chelmsford yard.
21/7/17: 66727 on 4M29 Felixstowe-Birch Coppice.
On 23/7/17, a convoy of light engines appeared at Ipswich from Peterborough; 66747 + 66755 + 66767 + 66769. 66702 on 4Z81 Masborough-Felixstowe on same date. 66756 on 4L22 Hams Hall-Felixstowe.
24/7/17: 66702 on 4Z80 Felixstowe-Rotherham intermodal.
25/7/17: 66720/54 at Bow. 66730 on 6A32 North Walsham-Parkeston Quay tanks.
26/7/17: 66721 at Bow Midland.
66769 on Masborough-Felixstowe.
Above: 321350 awaits departure from Braintree to London Liverpool Street, on a sunny morning on 2/7/17. (Simon Austin).
Below: Renatus 321321 at Clacton on 23/7/17. (Simon Austin).
The first of the Renatus refurbished + re-tractioned Class 321 EMUs have entered revenue service. They are 321303/04/21.
From 24/7/17, partial responsibility for maintenance of Anglia Bus vehicles was taken on. This is because Anglian Ellough site has been downgraded to an outstation and storage facility only. Most functions have transferred to New Rackheath and Konect at Dereham. From the same date, operation of 63/A (Berechurch-Colchester-Mason Road/North Station) was transferred wholly from Clacton (CN) to Sible Hedingham (HD). This was only for the six week summer school holiday however.
The Alec Hunter Academy-Silver End contract has not been renewed. This is due to diminished loadings for 2017/18.
Above: Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President 573 at Silver End Broadway on 4/1/17, having just arrived on the afternoon run from Alec Hunter Academy. (John Podgorski).
Dennis Trident/EL 723 (W823 NNJ) has been repaired for further service from HD.
Ford Transit 16 seater YT12 RBZ has been returned permanently to Robertson Van Hire off loan, as it is no longer required. The school contract on which it was used (Toppesfield), specifies a larger vehicle for 2017/18.
Clacton (CN) (Stephenson Road).
Kelvedon (KN) (High Street).
Sible Hedingham (HD) (Wethersfield Road).
Tollesbury depot (New Road) ceased 7/16.
Harwich outstation (Iconfield Park, Parkeston) ceased 7/14.
Little Tey outstation (Church Road) ceased 7/14.
Above; Trident 723 awaits attention at Sible Hedingham depot on 24/6/17. (John Podgorski).
Above: Seasider branded Hedingham Scania Omnidekka 1515 at Brightlingsea, Victoria Place on 26/7/17. The 87 interworks with X76. (Simon Austin).
Council contracted operation of the Ipswich Park and Ride ceased after 1/7/17, with First taking over commercially from 3/7/17.
As a result, the Optare Versas 145-152 (YK08 EPA/C/D/E/F/J/U/V) have replaced the ex Stagecoach London Dennis Dart SLF/Alexander ALX200s 138-144 (Y262/71/72/73/92/94/95 FJN) on normal bus work. The ALX200s are withdrawn and gone to store at Constantine Road depot.
DAF DB250LF/EL Vyking 54 (PF04 WML) is now in a livery of green/cream, with light blue front and no fleet names.
Above: In the new livery, IB Optare Versa on the Park and Ride at Princes Street on 3/6/17. (S Austin).
Below: DAF DB250LF/EL no 54 at Headgate, Colchester on 11/7/17. (John Podgorski).
KINGS TOURS, COLCHESTER.
Irizar i6 demonstrator YN63 ZHR has been on loan from Irizar at Worksop. It had previously been at Woods of Leicester.
New is ERJ170 PH-EXP.
LONDON GENERAL NORTH.
A Southend seafront service, numbered 68, was registered from 24/7/17, for the school holiday period. Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President PVL224 (Y824 TGH) is the regular bus, with B7TL/Wright Gemini WVL93 (LF52 ZNE) as reserve. These are both open toppers. There was an official launch at Southend on 19th July.
The illustration (by David Arnold), shows PVL224 passing Southend Pier on 25/7/17.
MAYHEM EVENTS, ABRIDGE.
Ford Transit HF03 JGU is withdrawn.
A verdict at Chelmsford on 17/7/17, concluded that the death of the lorry driver, whose truck crashed off Colemans Bridge at Witham in February, was accidental.
Mr G Johal, aged 30 – who was a technician at the local branch of Harris Truck and Bus, was taking the MAN articulated vehicle on a pre MOT test drive when the accident happened. The truck had a load which was a sealed ISO container. The vehicle’s owner had advised it contained a generator – when in fact it was an uninterruptible industrial power supply with many batteries. This resulted in an unusually high centre of gravity, which in turn caused loss of control on the right hand bend on the bridge. A “conventional” load, with a lower centre of gravity, would not have resulted in loss of control.
Colemans Bridge fully reopened in early July. There is once again access to the A12 southbound at Witham North junction.
MTR TfL RAIL.
Further new Class 345 EMUs are 345007/8.
Above: One of the soon to be replaced Class 315 EMUs. 315855 at the buffer stops at London Liverpool Street on 2/7/17. They have been a fixture on inner suburban routes in north east London since 1981. (S Austin).
315840/48 were damaged in a shunting accident at Gidea Park depot. 315848 was subsequently reformed with a DMS from 315840.
From 24/7/17, 350 (Liverpool-Southend) was revised to run as Liverpool-Stansted Airport. 370 (Runcorn-Clacton), became Birmingham-Clacton from the same date. The contractor has changed from Selwyns of Runcorn to Chalfont of Uxbridge.
Suppied through Ensign are ex RATP London United Volvo B7TL/EL Vykings PA04 CYK, PG04 WHU.
Acquired is ex CT Plus ADL Enviro 400/Optare Olympus PN08 SWJ. It is now led destination fitted and converted to single door. It was supplied via Ensign.
Above: Volvo B7TL/Alexander ALX400 BIG 7758 on a private charter to Jimmy’s Farm at Wherstead near Ipswich, on 13/7/17. (Steve Barham).
Due to the closure of the level crossing at Northumberland Park, a cross platform shuttle is being provided at this Greater Anglia (GA) railway station in north east London. The regular buses are Enterprise Primo SB07 PAN and Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Mini Pointer DC56 PAN. The latter was pictured (above), by Alex Hazell on the first day of operation – 1/7/17. They are outbased at the station and maintained from Matching Green. PVR is 1 bus with 1 as spare. Staff ferry in from various Panther depots/outstations. The contract is on behalf of both GA and Network Rail and is to do with improvement/redevelopment works at the station. The duration is from 1/7/17 until Autumn 2018. The project includes the replacement of the level crossing at Park Lane with an accessible footbridge and the addition of a third track through the station.
DAF DB250LF/EL Lolander AB02 PAN has received a replacement engine through Ensign, from ex Arriva Southend DB250LF/EL FD02 UKL. AB02 PAN has also been retrimmed by Duoflex and re-entered service by late July.
Volvo B10M/Plaxton Premiere BIG 9807 is still at Matching Green, while ex Enigma Travel, Colchester Volvo B10M/Plaxton Paramount SIL 6719 has moved there from the airfield for cannibalisation.
Harwich depot (HR) (c/o Mack Transportation, Iconfield Park, Parkeston).
Matching Green depot (WS) (Housham Hall Farm, Harlow Road, Matching Tye).
Colchester outstation (CR) (Sheepen Road).
Great Dunmow outstation (DW) (c/o Dons Coaches, Parsonage Down).
Northumberland Park outstation. (NP) (Temporary until autumn 2018). (c/o Greater Anglia, Marsh Lane, Tottenham, London N).
Witham outstation (WT) (Swanvale Industrial Estate).
OCs now closed:
Stansted depot (ST) (Eleventh Avenue) ceased 9/16.
Clacton outstation (CN) (c/o Canham, Telford Road) ceased 6/17.
Ipswich outstation (IP) (c/o Greater Anglia, Burrell Road) ceased 1/17.
The former goods shed at Bury St Edmunds has been demolished. Since 1984, it had been used for leisure purposes; the ‘Rollerbury’ roller skating rink/roller disco, then a young people’s indoor activity centre and finally a health club. It it’s ‘Rollerbury’ days, a prefabricated extension was erected housing a nightclub, which was originally called ‘Reflex’ and later ‘Club Brasilia’. This was relatively short lived compared to the main building.
Above: Panther Mini Pointer Dennis Dart SLF BIG 9856 is on loan to Regal again. It was seen at Rayleigh Station on 4/7/17, on route 3 (Chelmsford-Southend). (Tim Webb).
Below: BIG 9856 at Sudbury Bus Station on the 11/12/13 group of services to Gosfield, on 24/7/17. (Simon Austin).
These two pictures illustrate the geographical extremes of Regal’s operations.
Cooksmill Green depot (c/o Heavyhaul, off A414 Ongar Road West).
Braintree outstation (c/o London Hinge Company, Swinbourne Drive).
Rochford outstation (Millhead Way, Purdeys Industrial Estate).
New is Boeing 737-800 EI-GDD.
SCENIC TRAVEL, RETTENDON.
The plot formerly used by this long ceased operator is now used for car and van sales.
STANS, GREAT TOTHAM.
The Stanway School-St Michaels Estate contract (subbed from Hedingham) and the Thurstable School-Wickham Bishops contract – (subbed from Flagfinders) ceased after 21/7/17. Stan is to retain one contract for 2017/18 – for Great Totham Primary School.
Bova Futura VWH 836 has been offered for sale. It has reverted to its original R932 JYG registration.
STAGECOACH EAST LONDON.
Transferred to Selkent are ADL/Enviro 400s 19849-51 (LX12 CZC/D/E).
19794 (LX11 BHN) was briefly loaned to Stagecoach South for the Goodwood Festival of Speed event in late June/early July.
Volvo B12T/Plaxton Panthers 54051/53-55 (KX09 NCE/J/N/O) have gone to store at Plaxton, Anston.
Mb Sprinter 516/Mellor Strata accessible demonstrator DF66 AEC was on loan from Mellor at Rochford depot in mid July, and appeared on 61 (Southend-Fossetts Park). From 24/7/17, the 61 became off peak M-F and ceased to operate at weekends. This was due to the end of subsidy by the Fossetts Park developers.
Above: Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Mini Pointer no 411 on the 61 in central Southend in June 2007 – not long after the service started. (John Podgorski).
Boreham depot (Waltham Road). Outstations at Braintree (Benfield Close), Clacton (c/o Canham, Telford Road).
Haverhill depot (Duddery Hill). Outstations at Bury St Edmunds (c/o Wash UK, Greyfriars Road, Moreton Hall), Great Dunmow (c/o Dons Coaches, Parsonage Down).
Maldon depot (Bates Road). Outstation at Fourways Coaches, Pools Lane, Highwood.
Rochford depot (Riverside).
The old Witham site is used for storage.
Above: One of the ADL/Enviro 40D MMCs for the new TfL217 contract. E76 at the Alton Rally on 16/7/17. (Simon Austin).
new is LY0VEP, an Airbus A320-233.
G-EUNB is a new Airbus A318-112.
From 1/7/17, TfL28 (Kensal Rise-Wandsworth), 31 (White City-Camden Town), 266 (Brent Cross-Hammersmith), 328 (Golders Green-Chelsea) from Atlas Road (AT) to Westbourne Park (X). This was to do with TfL contract changes, including the loss of TfL70 (Chiswick-South Kensington) to RATP London United – who has a depot virtually next door to Atlas Road.
The yard at Parkway is now For Sale/To Let. Still there are Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Mini Pointers V197 ERG (security post), Y161NLK; Volvo B12B/Plaxton Panther CN05 DZF. At the former Burnt Mills site, the old workshop building has been demolished, and the new occupier (Herts Recycling), uses the land as a scrapyard. The former car garage has also closed. Townlink still owns the Burnt Mills premises as landlord.
Acquired via Ensign are ex Stagecoach Merseyside Scania Omnicities YN05 WKH/J/K.
The Scania Omnicities are now normally used on route 424 (Waltham Cross-Hertford), with the Volvo B10BLE/Wrights being mostly on more local runs.
Above: Still basically in its old Go-North East livery, Trustybus Volvo B10BLE/Wright WNZ 2353 at Harlow on 15/7/17. (John Podgorski).
Service revisions from 22/7/17 affected 418/B (Harlow-Loughton), 419 (Harlow-Epping), 420 (Harlow-Ongar), 505 (Harlow-Chingford).
TURNERS OF ESSEX, WICKHAM ST PAUL.
Operation of the Hedingham School contract has ceased. It has passed to Hedingham Omnibuses. Coach activities continue, along with two other school runs.
Withdrawn is Volvo B6/Plaxton Pointer M832 CVG.
Accident damaged MAN24.350/Jonckheere Monaco T616 DWL has passed to Lloyd, Hixon (dealer) as salvage.
New are ADL/Enviro 400 Cities 250-255 (YK17 NPY/Z, NRE/F/J/K), for 614/644 (Hatfield-Barnet-Queensbury). This route has been rebranded as ‘Comet’.
Also new (at Northampton) are ADL/Enviro 200 MMCs 527-29 (YX67 UYA-C).
VICEROY OF ESSEX, SAFFRON WALDEN.
Sold is long ADL/Enviro 200 SN56 AXF.
With thanks to: M Allen, Anglia Gen, D Arnold, S Austin, S Barham, J Benee, M Currie, East Norfolk Bus Blog, EBN, Essex Buses Yahoo, A Hazell, J Lidstone, LOTS, C Nixon/Ipswich Bus Blog, J Pretty, PSVC, J Sadd, R Sycamore, T Webb, R West.