inherited Nationals from Northern in Dundee and Midland in Perth
such as SN2 (DMS21V) seen in its home town on a
murky day in December 1985.
333 (YSX933W) on a town service in St Andrews in April
AL777 (MDS859V) at Stranraer Academy in
September 1994. This was one of a batch of 20 National 2's
that had been bought from Kelvin in 1988 to replace Seddon
Y-Types. Western went on to buy a further 29 National 1's from
Kelvin the following year as part of the Routemaster replacement
program. At that point they became the largest operator of
Nationals in Scotland even though they had never bought any new.
NPN12 (MSO12W) in Banff in July 1985.
- A filthy
N2 (EGB79T) from Central in Anderston X bus
station in Glasgow in March 1979. The first Eastern and Central
National 1's were delivered in this basic livery with a single
cream band. All subsequent National deliveries to the SBG had
more cream (such as Midland's MPN10 - next shot)
batch of Leyland National 1's were a mix of standard types and
B-types such as MPN10 (OLS810T) seen on a
Stirling local service in April 1979. All of Midland's
National 1's were originally allocated to adjacent Bannockburn
and Stirling depots.
- Highland took
two batches of National 2's as represented by N11
(AST153W) in Inverness bus station in May 1985.
- On formation in 1985 Kelvin received Nationals from Midland
and former Eastern ones at Baillieston. After deregulation in
the following year they started assembling a large fleet of
second hand examples from other SBG fleets. One such example
was N55 (AST159W), a former Highland vehicle,
seen leaving Glasgow's Buchanan Bus station on service to
Cumbernauld in July 1986.
- Eastern N585 (RFS585V) in Buchanan Bus
Station when new in July 1980.
- All of Eastern's National 1's started life in Airdrie but
several had migrated to the borders by the time that Lowland was
established in 1985. Lowland's 163 (GSX863T)
is seen in Galashiels bus station in December 1987.
- After deregulation, several operators in
the West of Scotland made a concerted challenge to the former
SBG companies. To visit Greenock was to step into the Wild
West - small operators by the dozen with minibuses having a
crack at Clydeside. Other operators such as
Inverclyde Transport preferred Nationals, even if according to
the traffic commissioner they were somewhat smokey.
Their KBU898P, a former Greater Manchester
vehicle, is seen at Port Glasgow in March 1990. They
eventually sold out to Clydeside and a handful of their
Nationals made it into Clydeside livery.
- John Morrow caused concern for Kelvin
around Clydebank and in the Vale of Leven until they sold out to
them. They too had a sizeable fleet of Nationals
such as LPB188P, a former Green Line example,
seen speeding down Great Western Rd on a route from Glasgow to
Drumchapel in January 1991.
- On the East side of Glasgow, Green of
Kirkintilloch established a network of routes that mirrored
those of Kelvin. Their WPT716R, a
former United Automobiles vehicle, is seen at Kirkintilloch
Cross heading for Glasgow from Campsie Glen in January 1990.
Not surprisingly they also sold out to Kelvin.
- Some SBG Nationals found new homes south of
border such as SNS823W of Sheaf Line, a former
Central vehicle, seen in Sheffield in July 1992.
- One of the earliest adopters of Nationals
in Scotland was AA Buses of Ayr. Their smart green
and cream livery could be seen adorning Nationals since 1972,
but C112GSJ seen here in Ayr bus station in May
1986, was one of the last ever delivered. AA
continued to operate the successor to the National, the Leyland
- McGill were another independent operator
who favoured the National. They regularly bought pairs of
Nationals, such as UGE388W, seen in an
unusually sunny Paisley in June 1983. They operated
on Paisley locals and an express to Glasgow until the company
sold out to Clydeside.
- In the late 1980's Stagecoach had
established itself as one of the major players in the UK bus
market. However they did not operate routes in their
home town of Perth. To see off the incumbent namely
Strathtay they established Perth Panther and drafted in
Nationals to compete on local services, such as GFX976N
seen in Perth in December 1989. The ploy worked and
Strathtay soon abandoned Perth. The irony is that
Stagecoach eventually bought Strathtay.
- Many Nationals, particularly from Fife,
were repainted into corporate stripes. Their
321 (RSG821V) is seen arriving in Dunfermline bus
station in December 1991 on the 19 from Ballingry. This
batch had been allocated to Cowdenbeath from new to operate this
- Stagecoach Ribble 398 (SNS822W)
in Lancaster bus station in December 1992.
This was a former SBG vehicle that had migrated south in
the Stagecoach empire. It was being used in
Lancaster as the dust settled after the bruising battle that had
seen Lancaster City Transport go under.
- Greater Glasgow PTE had a fleet of 20
National 1's such as LN8 (GGE163T) seen at
Parkhead depot in July 1983. These vehicles
were notoriously difficult to see as they were used on routes
that didn't serve the city centre, until in the twilight
of their career they appeared on the inter-station service.
Many of this batch continued in service with Southend Transport
but this example went to Green of Kirkintilloch.
- Grampian also bought 20 National 1's such
as 75 (KSO75P) seen in Aberdeen in July 1982.
These were dual-door versions, unusual for Scotland.
- Kelvin and Central were merged in 1990 to
form the originally named Kelvin Central Buses (or KCB or
<insert other name where appropriate>). Although there had
been an exodus of Nationals to Western, KCB still had some
original specimens such as 1130 (DMS27V) which
had started life at Midland's Stepps depot and was still there
10 years later in December 1990.
- Lothian had several small batches of
dual-door National 2's.
Their 143 (B143KSF) is seen in Edinburgh in