Busmopolitan – Essex and District Bus and Rail Newspage. March 2021.

Edited by John Podgorski BA Hons, MSc, CMILT.

Welcome to the March 2021 edition of Busmopolitan.

AJK, ILFORD. Ex Dan’s of Waltham Abbey Yutong Tc9 YC15 WCT is here. School contracts resumed from 8/3/21.

Above: YC15 WCT at Colchester on 10/3/21. (John Podgorski).

ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE COLCHESTER. Loaned to Arriva Guildford were Dart SLF/MPDs 1558/59 (KX56 HCP, EU56 GVG) and short Dart SLF/Caetanos 1562/63 (RX07 KPG/J). Odd sightings: 19/3/21: P&R ADL/E200 4071 (SK15 GXR) on Staff Shuttle. 26/3/21: P&R ADL/E200 4074 (SK 15 GXU) on Staff Shuttle. 31/3/21: 4075 (SK15 GXV) on Staff Shuttle.

ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE HARLOW. From 1/3/21, new LEZ regulations in Greater London meant that non compliant buses could no longer serve Heathrow Airport on route 724. As a result, Mb Citaros 3891-97 (BU06 HSD-G/L), 3909 (BD12DHV) were transferred to Arriva Guildford. 3897 was the last Citaro used on 724 on 14/2/21. To replace them, ADL/Enviro 200 MMCs 4093/95-99 (YX17 NYG/K-O) came from Arriva Maidstone, and 4101/02 (YX17 NYS/T) from Arriva Gillingham. 4102 was subsequently destroyed by fire while on route 724 at Harlow on 31/3/21..

ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE SOUTHEND. Heritage liveried Volvo B7TLE/Wright 3816 re-entered passenger service in mid March. Subsequent histories: Ex TfL contract ADL/Enviro 200s ENL91/92 (orig 4011/12) – GN58 BUP/U; have been loaned by Ensign to Go-Ahead London for meal relief use at Bexleyheath and Stockwell.

ARRIVA LONDON NORTH. Sold to Ensign for scrap are ex Grays depot Volvo B7TL/ALX400s LJ05 BLZ, BKF/L/U.

CHAMBERS. From 8/3/21, normal school day timetables resumed. Scania N230UD/Olympus 873 (PN09 EMV), which had been long term VOR, had a replacement engine fitted by mid March. Sister 877 (PN09 ENO), collided with a fallen tree on the A134 near Sudbury and was subsequently VOR’d for repairs.


Above: 37254 approaches Harwich Town on 31/3/21. (James Cole).

4/3/21: 37175 tnt 37099 on NR test train along GEML. 10-11/3/21: 66849/50 on 6C64 Upminster/Barking-Whitemoor engineers. 13/3/21: DR73906 ‘Panther’ in Marks Tey engineers siding. 14/3/21: 66850 on 6C60 Ripple Lane-Whitemoor engineers. 15/3/21: 37421 + 975025 Caroline on 5Z1 Derby-Grantham via Temple Mills. 29/3/21: 37610 tnt 37254 on 1Q90 Derby-Welwyn via Cambridge, Broxbourne, Liv St.

Above: 37610 at Harwich Town station on 31/3/21. (James Cole).

DAN’S COACH TRAVEL, NEEDHAM MARKET. Ex UNO, Hatfield DAF DB250LF/Optare Spectra YJ53 VBN, has passed to MP Travel, Warrington, where it became W10 MPT.

DBS. 2/3/21: 66050 failed at Felixstowe on 4L45 and replaced by FL 66515. 3/3/21: FL66515 + 66177 on 4L45. 17/3/21: 66088 on 6L07 Hoo Junct-Ipswich Griffin Wharf VSTP.

DOCKLANDS BUSES. Subsequent history: Volvo B7TL/Wright Gemini WVL413, latterly with Metrobus at Orpington, is now a meal relief bus with London General at Morden Wharf.

Above: WVL413 at Vanbrugh Hill, Greenwich on 27/3/21. (John Podgorski).


Above: New Mercedes Tourismo DH21 DON arrived on 1/3/21. Pictured at Birchanger Services. (Shaun Kinsella Ilott).


Above: The last Leyland Olympian active at Don’s is H816 CBP, seen on 4/3/21. Alexander RL bodied and new to Stagecoach South. Probably the last Leyland Olympian in regular pcv use in Essex. (Laurence Kinsella Ilott).

DBS. 22/3/21: 37424/424 on 6P01 Whitemoor-Thorpe le Soken engineers.


Above: Volvo B7TL/Ayatt 370 on Western Esplanade, Southend on 30/3/21. (David Hewitt).

The Southend seafront service 68 (Leigh on Sea-Pier West) resumed from 29/3/21. Initially running daily until 11/4/21 – the Easter school holiday period, there will be a further resumption from May to September. The three former City Sightseeing Volvo B7TL/Ayatt open toppers – 369-371 (EU05 BZM, VBL/O), were reacquired from Bath Bus Company, and are being used as the main vehicles. Into stock are ex Tower TransitVolvo B9TL/Wright Geminis BJ11 DTK, DVR.Sold are: Volvo B7TL/ALX400 109 (LJ54 BDO)- to Barway Services, Ely; ADL/E200s 719-721 (SK15 HBB, YX09 FLD, YX11 HNT) – to East Yorkshire. Fire damaged BCI Excellence 145 (LX17 DZF) has been written off.

(David Hewitt).

New are Wright StreetDecks 161-167 (LX21 CHH/J/K/L/N/O/V). They are part of a cancelled Arriva Yorkshire order. They entered traffic on 1/3/21. 163 is depicted at Grays on 3/3/21.


SK65PXS 63335 FE 65 (LEXDEN RD CR) 11-20 (W JESNEY)

Above: Wright StreetLite 63335 (SK65 PXS) on Lexden Road, Colchester – eastbound, in November 2020. On a Highwoods bound 65 working, it is passing the Gainsborough Business Centre – formerly Lexden Court. (Will Jesney).

There is a new fleet livery of 3 tone green with ‘Essex Bus’ fleet names in yellow. Volvo B7RLE/Wright 69421 (AU58 FFH) was the first recipient. ADL/Enviro 200MMC 66170 (YY66 PCF) was destroyed by fire at Danbury on 19/3/21, while on route 31B. Volvo B7TL/ALX400 30564 (WU02 KVE), was back in service at the start of March. Sister 32476 (AU53 HJK) returned to traffic in mid March. Volvo B7RLE/Wright 66873 has gone to PVS, Barnsley for scrap. Odd sightings: 1/3/21: 37006 on 75 – usually saloon at present – back to regular ‘decker from 10/3/21. 2/3/21: 32477 on 64A; 32673 on 175/174. 3/3/21: 37062 on 64A. 4/3/21: 37007 on 67; 37020 on 64; 37037 on 66; 37062/140 on 64A. 5/3/21: 37004 on 64; 37016/35 on 67. 8/3/21: 37005 on 64. 9/3/21: R62 37133 on 65. 10/3/21: 37027 on 67. 11/3/21: 32485 on 175/174; R62 37133 on 70; R62 37134 on 75A. 12/3/21: 32087 on 67; 37020 on 175/174; R62 37139 on 70. 13/3/21: R62 37133 on 88. 15/3/21: R62 37135 on 70 + 75. 16/3/21: R62 37133 on 175. 17/3/21: 37005 on 175/174. 18/3/21: R62 37138 on 175. 19/3/21: 32477 on 174 pm;R62 37135 on 75; R62 37138 on 175 am; R62 37139 on 75; 67741 on CR Staff Shuttle. 20/3/21: R62 37133 on 88. R62 37135/38 on 1A. 23/3/21: 63333/39 on 75. 24/3/21: R62 37139 on 174. 25/3/21: 37006 on 67C; 37036 on 174. 26/3/21: 37016 on 102. 27/3/21: 37053 on 67; R62 37135 on 61; 67739 on 75A. 28/3/21: 32673 on 66; R62 37133 on 61; R62 37134/36/39 on 65; StreetLite 47656 on X10. 29/3/21: 32547 on 64A; 37016 on 102; 37042 on 64A; R62 37138 on 74B; Dart SLF/Pointer 42945 (WA56 OAV) on 71A, Airlink 67161 on 8A; X10 67164 on 5. 30/3/21: 32087 on 64; 32477 on 104; 37004 on 102; 37053 on 64A; R62 37134 on 174; R62 37138 on 68; Airlink 67163 on 100; X10 67164 on 8A. 31/3/21: 32477 on 64; 32547 on 102; 32673 on 104; 37034 on 66; R62 37134 on 66; Dart SLF/Pointer 42934 (SN05 DZP) on 71A; Airlink 67163 on 100; X10 67164 on 5.

In mid March, it was announced in the local press, that the old bus garage in Queen Street, Colchester (closed August 2015), was to be redeveloped into “12 creative spaces” by 2022.

FREIGHTLINER. 90008 currently retains its ‘The East Anglian’ name plates. 1/3/21: 90044 on Ipswich-Norwich crew trainer and return. 2/3/21: 66523 on Ipswich-Lindsay tanks. 3/3/21: 90044 on Ipswich-Norwich crew trainer and return. 8/3/21: 90048/046 on 4M87 FLX-Trafford. 9/3/21: Pink 66587 on 4L87 Leeds-FLX. 90014/009 on 4L98 Coatbridge-FLX. 90046/048 on 4L91 Trafford-FLX. 10/3/21: 90013/045 on 4797 Trafford-FLX. 90043/042 on 4L89 Coatbridge-FLX. 90046/048 on 4L91 Trafford-FLX. 11/3/21: 90014 (orange)/009 on 4L89 Coatbridge-FLX. 12/3/21: Pink 66587 on 4L41. 13/3/21: 90010/012 on 4L91 Trafford-Ipswich. 900013/045 on 4L97 Trafford-FLX. 16/3/21: 66542 + 90008/007 on 4L89. 90013/045on 4L91. 90042/043on 4M45 FLX-Garston. 17/3/21: 90007/008 on 4L91/4M87 FLX-Trafford. 90010/012 on 4L89 Coatbridge-FLX. 18/3/21: 90007/008 on 4L91 Trafford-FLX. 22/3/21: 90008 on Ipswich-Norwich route learner and return. 24/3/21: 90049/014 on 4L89. 25/3/21: 90012/009 on 4L89. 90014/049 on 4M87 FLX-Trafford and 4L91 return. 26/3/21: 66537 on 4M87 FLX-Trafford. 90004/006 on 4L89 Coatbridge-FLX. 90049/047 on 4L91 Trafford-FLX. 29/3/21: 90012/019 on 4L91.

GBRf. 3/3/21: 66777/83/67 on 4L04 Hams Hall-FLX. 4/3/21: 66751 on 6P41 Harwich-N Walsham tanks. 8/3/21: 66773 + Colas 66850/49 on 6L37 Hoo Junct-Whitemoor. 66788 on 4E21 FLX-Wakefield. 9/3/21: 66773/705 + FL 66544 on 6L37 Hoo Junct-Whitemoor. 10/3/21: 66773 on Harwich-N Walsham tanks. 13/3/21: Biffa liveried 66783 on 4L29. 15/3/21: 66750 on 6X37 Hoo Junct-Whitemoor. 24/3/21: 66764 on Harwich-N Walsham tanks.


Above: Warm stored ‘321s lined up at Parkeston on 31/3/21. 321444 is nearest the camera. (John Podgorski).

The Clacton resignalling was completed 21/3/21. A number of warm stored Class 321s are stabled end to end along the siding parallel to the running line east of Harwich International. Several more warm stored Class 317s and ‘321s are in Parkeston Quay Yard. 317659/671 to Eastleigh Works for scrap. 321325/49/64/66 to Sims Metals, Newport for scrap. 4/3/21: 317346/652 towed by ROG 57312 Ilford-Ely for storage. 5/3/21: 317??? dragged by ROG 57312 Ilford-Ely for storage. 13/3/21: 317515 on Ilford depot. 745005/006 on Stansted Express. 19/3/21: 321349/366 on Clacton-Newport scrap run behind ROG 57312. 20/3/21: 745103 on Norwich-Liverpool Streets. 24/3/21: 720553/56 on 1Y33 Ipswich-Liv St. 25/3/21: 317659/671 on 5Q86 Ely Papworth-Eastleigh Arlington scrap move behind ROG 37884. 26/3/21: 321364/325 on 5Q76 Clacton-Newport scrap move behind ROG 57312.

Above: Bombardier Aventra 720553 at Clacton on 24/3/21. (Steve Barham).


Above: A newly repainted 262 at Mason Road, Colchester on 9/3/21. (Alex Law).

Ex Carousel short ADL/Enviro 200 OU57 FGV has received the new fleet livery and been numbered 283. ADL/Enviro 200s 262 (EU58 JCJ), 264 (EU59 AYM), 265 (EU10 AOX) are in the new livery. Short ADL/Enviro 200 296 (SN10 CCY) entered service at Clacton (CN) in mid March. As a result, Dart SLF/Mini Pointer 286 (HW54 BTY) was withdrawn, and sold for preservation. Sisters 285 (SN03 EBV), 288 (HW54 BUF) have been stripped for parts at CN. Omnilink 457 (AU61 HVK) was on loan to CN from Sible Hedingham (HD) during March. ADL/Enviro 400 616 (SN10 CCV), suffered rear end accident damage and has gone to Clacton for repairs. Following accident damage, Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President 586 (X584 EGK) had the plain window in the former centre exit bay replaced by an opening one. Sister 568 (W458 WGH) is now being stripped for parts at CN. Normal school day timetables resumed from 8/3/21. Omnidekka movements: 1/3/21: 810 – Chambers-KN. 2/3/21: 813 – KN-Chambers. 16/3/21: 800 – KN-Chambers; 801- Chambers-KN. 17/3/21: 812 – KN-CN. Odd sightings: 4/3/21: B7TL/President 586 on D1/D2 following failure of ADL/E200 293 at Maldon Tesco. 8/3/21: Solo 910 on 19B pm + 63/A. 11/3/21: B7TL/President 580 on 15 pm. 15/3/21: Omnidekka 814 on PL3 am. 16/3/21: B7TL/President 571 on 19B pm + 63/A. 17/3/21: Dart SLF/Pointer 260 on 19B pm + 63/A; Omnidekka 812 on 95A pm; Solo 911 on 50, 69 etc. 18/3/21: Omnilink 457 CN-KN then on 903 pm. 19/3/21: B7TL/Gemini 521 on TLA B pm; 810 on TLA A pm, then D1. 22/3/21: Omnilink 457 on 88 duplicate am, then KN-HD; 580 on TLA C am. 23/3/21: 812 on TLA C pm.

Above: Freshly repainted 283 at Clacton depot on 30/3/21. (Alex Law).

The old Tollesbury depot (closed July 2016), was completely demolished during March. The site on New Road, is to be redeveloped as housing.

Above: Demolition in progress at Tollesbury on 11/3/21. (John Podgorski).



Above: YX21 RPO on Queen Street, Colchester on 26/3/21. (Will Jesney).

On loan from ADL was E200 MMC demonstrator YN21 RPO, with temp fleet no 501. Ex Arriva Medway Towns (via Ensign) is Scania Omnidekka 63 (YN06 TFZ). 84 (MX09 HHS) is an ex Faresaver, Chippenham ADL/Enviro 200. Ex Lothian Volvo B7RLE/Wright SN57 DDF is on loan from Ensign with temp fleet no 2. The DAF DB250LF/ELs 55-59 have returned to service – mostly on schools. Optare Versa 145 was sold in mid March. Odd sightings: 3/3/21: Versas 145, 149 on 4 + 11. 11/3/21: Versa 152 on 4 + 11. 12/3/21: Versa 150 on 4 + 11.

Above: Ipswich Buses 2 (SN57 DDF) at Pinewood, Ipswich on 27/3/21. It is on route 13. (Gary Trotter).

L&R TRANSPORT, WICKFORD. Has ceased trading following revocation of its O Licence. The closing fleet was Neoplan Tourliner A20 LNR; Volvo B10M/Plaxton Excalibur K20 LNR; Neoplan Skyliner N66 SUN and Volvo B11RT/Jonckherre T9 LNR. All these were quickly sold. The depot was shared with Kevendy’s Coaches.

LONDON GENERAL NORTH. From 13/3/21, new TfL route 456 (Crews Hill-North Middlesex Hospital) replaced W10 (Crews Hill-Enfield). Wright StreetLites WS49, 50, 61-64 were used in this conversion. WS61-64 came from Metrobus.

LONDON OVERGROUND. Soon to sign Romford to Upminster also for Stratford drivers the handover is just delayed due to covid. Also all Stratford/Euston drivers sign Gospel Oak – Barking. Stratford: 710 & 378 East Ham depot – Upney Jct; Barking – Gospel Oak; Stratford-Richmond; Willesden Junction-Clapham Junction. Some Euston drivers also sign GPO-BKG.

MARC1 TRAVEL, BILLERICAY. Ex Connexions Buses Scania L94UB/Wright Solar M14 TVL has been repainted white; ex green/red/white as acquired.

MTR ELIZABETH LINE. By w/e 13/3/21: 345054 – OC-IL. On 14/3/21, 345067 was used on a test run from Stratford to Abbey Wood. The Stratford tunnel portal is now officially open.

NATIONAL EXPRESS. Services resumed from 29/3/21. These were those serving Stansted Airport – A6 (Stansted-London), A9 (Stansted-Stratford), 491 (Gt Yarmouth-London). Frequencies will increase as lockdown restrictions are further lifted. London Victoria Coach Station reopened from the same date. Paper timetables are no longer available, and the only remaining customer service point is at the main entrance. Several retail outlets remain closed.

PANTHER TRAVEL. Ex Arriva London short ADL/Enviro 200 LJ09 KPR, has appeared in temporary use on rail, but will eventually join the main fleet after single door conversion and repaint. Acquired via Ensign for spares only is ADL/E200 LJ07 ECZ. Ex Flagfinders Leyland Olympian/Alexander tri-axle J590 CEV has been sold, unused to a private buyer for conversion to a caravan. Weeley site has closed and the A Barham & Sons engineering arm has ceased. All ops are now focussed at Parkeston and the outstation at Colchester.

Above: Sales stock ADL/Enviro 200 YX10 BFL at Parkeston on 20/3/21. New to Metroline, latterly with Warrington’s Own Buses, and acquired from Ensign. It is on the extra land at Parkeston depot used for vehicle storage. (Daniel Pretty).

RAILWAY MISCELLANEOUS: Yeoman JHA bogie hopper 19155, in the siding at Bow, in mid March.


Above: This MKIII ex HST rake carriage was seen in Halstead on 11/3/21. En route to the Colne Valley Railway at Castle Hedingham. (Simon Austin).

ROG. The Class 47s – 47812/13/15/48 have been sold to WCR; being replaced by Class 57/3s hired from DRS. 11/3/21: 37608 on Ely Papworth-Orient Way light loco.

SBC LEISURE, WICKFORD. Has ex Go North East/National Express contract Volvo B11RT/Caetano Levante BV17 GVD – via Ensign.

STAGECOACH EAST LONDON. TfL173 (Beckton-Goodmayes) began receiving its new BYD/ADL/Enviro 400 evs from 1/3/21, to replace the borrowed and temporary ADL/Enviro 40Ds. In practice there is some intermixing on TfL174 (Harold Hill-Dagenham) also. 173 BYD/ADL obs: 1/3/21: 14114/16 (LF70 YUK/N), 14118/19 (LF70 YUR/S), 14122 (LF70 YUW), 14125/28 (LF70 LF70 YVA/D) on 173. 3/3/21: 14111 (LF70 YUG) on 174; 14113 (LF70 YUJ)on 173. 5/3/21: 14133 (LF70 YVK). 11/3/21: 14121 (LF70 YUV) on 173. 12/3/21: 14117 (LF70 YUO) on 173. 13/3/21: 14112 (LF70 YUH) on 174. 15/3/21: 14123 (LF70 YUX0 on 173. 16/3/21: 14115 (LF70 YUL) on 173. 17/3/21: 14124 (LF70 YUY) on 173. 18/3/21: 14120 (LF70 YUU on 173; 14126 (LF70 YVB) on 173. 20/3/21: 14129 (LG21 HZP) on 173. As a result, the temporary ADL/Enviro 400s were replaced. Those borrowed from RATP were returned, with ADE40458 being the last in use with East London. 80417/18/56/60/61 (YX12 FNZ, FOA, YX62 BJF, BKO, BLZ) were returned to RATP London United in March. Transferred to Selkent were ADL/E400 19744 (LX11 BBO), ADL/Enviro 200s 36572/73 (LX13 CZP/R). Internal transfers were of Scania Omnicity ‘deckers 15024/73 to Barking; 15025/26/30/33/48 to West Ham; ADL/E40 19847 to Leyton; ADL/E200s 36345/66 to Barking; ADL/E200 MMC 48025 to North Street; 48025/31 to Barking. Delicensed were Optare Versas 25303-05. ADL/Enviro 400 19000 (LX55 HGC) ‘Spirit of London’ has passed for preservation, to the London Transport Museum, having previously been “semi preserved” by Stagecoach.

STEPHENSONS. ADL/Enviro 200 no 467 (SN66 WKF) still has the old fleet names. Odd sightings: 9/3/21: Scania N230UD/Olympus 509 (YN07 LHP) on 39.



Above: Swift Travel Essex is what was Roman Coaches. Neoplan Tourliner PJ12 ATN was seen in Halstead on 22/3/21. Swift occupies the old Roman Coaches depot at Commerce Way, Colchester. (Simon Austin).

THORNS OF RAYLEIGH. The depot has moved from Benfleet to Rayleigh.

TRUSTYBUS, ROYDON. Via Ensign are ex Arriva London ADL/E200s LJ09 KPG, KRE; ex Metrobus Dart SLF/EL Esteem PO56 JFE. Ex Midland Red South (for spares only) is Optare Solo KN04 XKL.

Above: Optare Tempo YJ11 EHH at Ongar, Two Brewers on 2/3/21. Saloons have been used rather than ‘deckers on the 420 during the latest Covid lockdown. (Robert Downton).

VECTARE, CHELMSFORD. On loan from Optare is Versa demonstrator OP07 ARE. From 8/3/21, new commercial service 14 (Waltham Cross-Upshire) started.

WEST MIDLANDS TRAINS: 20/3/21: 172006 + 217 at Ilford depot for tyre turning.

With thanks to: Anglia gen, S Austin, J Cole, S Barham, R Downton, Ensign, D Hewitt, W Jesney, L Kinsella Ilott, S Kinsella Ilott, A Law, London’s Transport, D Pretty, G Trotter, R West.