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  January 2016
Bus Review 2015
Part 1
New images and brands

Photo Facts (Top to Bottom)
  • National Express 220 (YX15OYO), a Dennis Enviro 200MMC and 6701 (YX15OXT), a Dennis Enviro400MMC in the new West Midlands liveries at Showbus in September 2015.
  • First 63263 (SN65OJM), a Streetlite in Royal Route livery for the 38 service from Edinburgh to Stirling, seen in Edinburgh in December 2015.
  • Stagecoach split the 700 Coastliner route from Brighton to Portsmouth into three distinct sections in 2014.   They have also revamped the route branding as  demonstrated in Littlehampton in June2015 by 15588 (GX10HAA), a Scania Enviro400 heading to Arundel and 27653 (GX10KZF), a Dennis Enviro200 heading to Chichester.
  • Transdev Yorkshire Coastliner 428 (BF62UXY), a Wright bodied Volvo in the updated livery in Whitby in January 2016.
  • First re-launched the X4/X5 service from Portsmouth/Gosport to Southampton via Fareham using a fleet of new Streetlites in dedicated Solent Rangers (sic) livery such as  63307 (SN65OLM) seen in January 2016 at the temporary stances at Portsmouth Hard while the bus station is being rebuilt.
  • Stagecoach has introduced the Kings City brand in Winchester with a fleet of new Enviro200MMC's such as this example seen in the outskirts in November 2015.
  • First in Southampton has rolled out several routes using red-liveried vehicles such as 69400 (HY09AZJ) a Wright bodied Volvo seen in the city centre in January 2015.   This is part of a more general campaign by First to re-introduce local liveries to key operating areas.


UK and Europe

Photo Facts (Top to Bottom)
  • Megabus has started running internal services in Germany and also Italy.   Their 56013 (M-EG4013), a Van Hool TX27 Astromega, is seen in Berlin ZOB heading for Dortmund and Koln in May 2015.   These vehicles are registered in three countries - 9 in Belgium, 11 in Germany, and 7 in Italy.
  • The big news from the deregulated German express coach market was the merging of the two major operators - Flixbus and Meinfernbus.   See here outside Dresden station (re-designed by Norman Foster) is HEF-TR204, a Setra S516HD, formerly of Flixbus heading for Saarbrucken in May 2015.
  • Deutche Bahn operate a small express network to complement their rail services.   Marketed as IC Bus their vehicles appear across the border in Holland and the Czech Republic and now England with their recently introduced service from Dusseldorf to London.   IC Bus 288 (14-BFL-2), a Setra from Arriva Touring in Groningen, is seen in London VCS in May 2015.
  • Bruce of Airdrie has started an express service from Edinburgh to Glasgow that competes with the well established Scottish Citylink route.   Registered as a stage carriage service it can senior citizen pass holders unlike its rival.   Their 357WMX (previously FJ57KHW), a Scania/Irizar tri-axle is seen in St Andrews Bus Station Edinburgh in December 2015.
  • Stagecoach continues to flirt with high floor coaches.   They have recently upgraded the X74 from Glasgow to Dumfries with Volvo B11R Interdecks such as 54259 (YY65SXW) seen at Dumfries depot in December 2015.


Seeing Red
London update

Photo Facts (Top to Bottom)
  • Uno has continued its expansionist policy by starting to operate a Green Line service - the 797 from London to Stevenage.   Its 315 (BF59NHX), a Mercedes Citaro, is seen at the university campus in Hatfield (Uno's original home) in October 2015.
  • Continuing its bid for world domination, Uno is now operating a red London bus route - the 383 from  Barnet to Woodside Park.  Seen in Barnet in December 2015 is their 603 (YY15NKD), an Enviro200.
  • Metroline has some two-door Streelites such as STL1470 (SL15ZGR) seen at the Brookfield Centre in Cheshunt in January 2016.
  • Arriva EMC2 (LK64DWJ), an electric Optare Metrocity, is seen at Croydon depot in January 2015.
  • Metroline has adopted a suburban version of its London livery for more rural services.  Their DEL855 (LK08DWJ), an Enviro200, is seen at the Brookfield Centre in Cheshunt in January 2016.
Arriva at its best
Photo Facts (Top to Bottom)
  • What is the difference between Sapphire and Max ?   Only Arriva knows.   Regardless both brands are on the rampage with more routes and vehicles in 2015.   Arriva 7531 (NK64EES), an Enviro400 is seen in Berwick-On-Tweed on Hogmanay 2015 on the X18 service to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.
  • There are two Max/Sapphire routes that serve Whitby - Arriva 7404 (NK64FSL), a Wright bodied Volvo, is seen on the scenic X93 to Middlesbrough in January 2016.
  • Also in Whitby in January 2016 is Arriva 1563 (NK14GFE), a Streetlite on the 4 to Loftus.
  • The 280 Oxford to Aylesbury service was upgraded to Sapphire in 2014 using refurbished Enviro400's.   These have been joined by a new batch of Enviro400's such as 5469 (SN15LPZ), seen in Thame in September 2015.



Small Change
Takeovers and Failures
Photo Facts (Top to Bottom)
  • Whippet the long established Cambridgeshire independent was bought by the Australian transport company Transit Holdings who own Tower Transit in London. Their H13WCL, a Wright/Scania formerly of Apcoa, is seen in Cambridge in September 2010.
  • The demise of major Cornish independent Western Greyhound was a sudden as it was unexpected in early 2015. Latterly it was being run by Michael Bishop formerly of Velvet. One of their former vehicles P936MKL, a Northern Counties bodied Volvo, is seen in Truro in February 2015 just before the end.
  • Whittle Coaches of Kidderminster have been sold by East Yorkshire to Johnson Brothers.   Their 24 (W466UAG), a Plaxton bodied Dart, is seen in Bewdley in September 2009.  All their local service registrations were cancelled in January 2015.

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