During the early 1990s London Buses Limited experimented with the full-size single-decker now that these vehicles were coming back into fashion. 59 Dennis Lances were taken, to the following combinations:
- LA 1-16 (J101-110, 411, 112-116 WSC) – Alexander PS bodywork, for the 36B at Catford (Selkent).
- LN 1-31 (K301-331 YJA) – Northern Counties Paladin bodywork, for the 113 at Cricklewood and the 302 at Willesden (Metroline).
- LV 1-12 (L201-212 YAG) – Plaxton Verde bodywork, for the southern half of the 208 at Catford (Selkent).
It’s the third of these classes that I’m picturing today in the form of LV 12. After spending three years on the Catford to Orpington section of the 208 with its eleven siblings, it was transferred to Bromley on 8th November 1997 and took over the 227, a far better route for these ungainly but surprisingly amenable buses. All-red repaints replaced the superb Selkent livery not long after privatisation under Stagecoach, and withdrawal occurred in 2000 after just six years. Stagecoach South took on the class, soon cascading them to what is better known as Ribble – but then disaster struck! On 8th January 2005 flooding of the River Eden inundated the Stagecoach garage at Carlisle, submerging all twelve former LVs up to seat level. Early reports were saying that over eighty buses would have to be scrapped, including some brand-new Darts, but as it turned out all that was required was a thorough hosing down and refurbishment and they were good as new. Having already been subjected to two changes of registration (from L212 YAG to WLT 461 soon after delivery, and thence to L942 RJN in March 2000) LV 12 pitched up with Diamond Bus, becoming its 368. It is seen in Birmingham on 16th November 2005; other examples of the LV class can be sighted in Walsall, working for A2Z.