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xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx March 2010
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxixxxxx Review 2009 A look back at events in the UK bus industry during the year


xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx LONDONNotes
  The major event on the London bus scene in 2009 was the beginning of the end of the artic routes (above left).   They will all be gone by 2011 so get your skates on to see them.   A couple of operating companies changed hands - East Thames Buses was sold by London Buses to Go-Ahead (lower left) and National Express sold its Travel London and Travel Surrey subsiduary (lower right) to NedRail.   There were plenty of new vehicles to report including more unusual purchases such as Optare Versas and MCV bodied Darts (above right).


  Photo Facts
  • London General MAL6 (BX02YZL), a Mercedes Citaro artic, at London Bridge station on the (521) Red Arrow service to Waterloo.   This was seen in June just before the route was converted to conventional buses.
  • Transdev OV2 (YJ58VBB), an Optare Versa and Metroline DM961 (LK58CRF), an MCV bodied Dart bask in unfamiliar August sunshine at Richmond bus station.
  • East Thames Buses R378DJN, an Optare Excel, at the Millennium Dome on a very wet day in January 2002.   This was the only government owned bus operator of London Buses and was sold to London General last year.
  • Travel Surrey 8068 (SK02TZR), a Plaxton bodied Dart, at Kingston bus station in August.  Both Travel London and Travel Surrey were sold by National Express to NedRail who has subsequently renamed the operations Abellio.



xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx BrandNEW
  Although Britain was in the midst of a recession, the impact on new bus and coach sales was not significant.   Norfolk Green continued to expand its business and bought this smart Solo (above left).   Go Ahead furthered its investment in its Brighton & Hove business with its first OmniCity doubledeckers (above right).   MacEwan surprisingly won the tender for Jedburgh to Kelso service and bought new Plaxton Primos for the route (lower left).   After a lengthy wait, Swansea finally welcomed ftr vehicles on First's third city rollout of this concept (lower right).


  Photo Facts
  • Norfolk Green YJ09LBG, an Optare Solo, seen in King's Lynn bus station in April.   It operates on the branded Coast Hopper service along the Norfolk coast to Cromer.
  • Brighton & Hove 712 (YP58UGM), a Scania Omnicity decker, in Brighton in May.   Brighton & Hove have a large fleet of East Lancs bodied Scanias but this is their first purchase of the Polish built vehicles.
  • MacEwan PX09APU, a Plaxton Primo bodied Dart, arriving in Jedburgh bus station from Kelso in October.   Formerly a significant operator of tendered services in Southern Scotland, MacEwan now only run a handful of routes.   It was therefore a surprise when they gained this service from Munro.
  • First Cymru 19033 (S80FTR), one of the long awaited Wright bodied streetcars, in Swansea in February 2010.   They have been placed on a new service formed from two shorter routes that links the University to the Morriston Hospital.   The streetcar is neither a bus nor a tram because "in the future people will travel in a very different way" according to First.



xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx RoundUP
  2009 was notable for a resurgence in competition between major operators.   First and Transdev both now operate a York to Leeds service and Go-Ahead and Arriva have started to compete around Newcastle (above left).   Equally the OFT has told Stagecoach they cannot keep Preston Bus which they bought last year.   Repaints into corporate livery have stopped (lower left).   It was the end of the road for Warrington's Dominators and Wilts & Dorset VRs (lower right).  And after a brief spell on the trunk X95, First Edinburgh's accessible Volvo coaches now do schools runs (above right).


  Photo Facts
  • Go North East 4866 (S866ONL), a Plaxton bodied DAF SB220, in Blyth bus station heading for Newcastle in April.   These Bargain Bus services compete with routes operated by Arriva, who have introduced brand new Wright bodied DAFs.
  • First Edinburgh 20371 (CV55AMX), a Plaxton bodied B7R, in Galashiels bus station in April on the X95 service from Carlisle to Edinburgh.   It now only operates school services.   This was one of 21 accessible vehicles delivered new to First Cymru, many of which have found new homes elsewhere in the group.
  • Stagecoach 28514 (PO56JDJ), an East Lancs Esteem bodied Scania, in Preston bus station in April.   Stagecoach started painting the former Preston Bus vehicles until the Competition Commission ruled (after OFT referral) that they had to dispose of some of the the company.
  • Wilts & Dorset 4430 (GEL680V), an ECW bodied Bristol VRT, in Bournemouth in April 2007.   The last of these VRs were withdrawn in 2009.



xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx MoreNEW
  Oxford, city of spires and colleges, always seems to have the best.   This year the Brookesbus university services passed from Stagecoach to Go-Ahead who invested in new Dennis Enviro400's (above left).   Stagecoach for their part refreshed their Oxford Tube London fleet with stylish Van Hool deckers (above right).   They also converted the S1/S2 routes serving Witney to their up-market Gold brand with new Scania/Enviro400's (lower left).   Finally not to be outdone Arriva who serve the city with one route placed new Dennis/Enviro400's in service (lower right).


  Photo Facts
  • Oxford 207 (GX09OXF), a Dennis Enviro 400 at the university on Brookesbus service in Oxford in September.   Stagecoach had operated these routes for many years but lost out to Go-Ahead in 2009.
  • Stagecoach Oxford 50206 (OU09FMY), a Van Hool decker, on the Oxford Tube service to London at the recently redeveloped Thornhill Park and Ride site on the outskirts of Oxford in September.   Other members of this impressive batch are used on Scottish cross-border Megabus duties.
  • Stagecoach Oxford 15536 (VX59JDF), a Scania Enviro400, in Witney in September.   These vehicles are Gold branded and have leather seats.  Stagecoach operate similar services in Perth, Cheltenham and Aldershot.
  • Arriva The Shires 5440 (SN58EOO), a Dennis Enviro400, in Oxford in August arriving from High Wycombe.


xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx All photos taken in 2009 unless stated.   Click to enlarge.


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