The London Bus Page In Exile

Tuesday 27 February 2007

Chased Away

Filed under: Announcements, Companies, Travels, Vehicles — londonbuspageinexile @ 8:34 pm

Chase Coaches Leyland National BPL 478T at Walsall, 16th November 2006 Chase Coaches of Walsall have been bought by Arriva.
This company was fascinating for its large fleet of unaltered Leyland Nationals, 24 of which were London Transport LSs and three London Country SNBs with a handful from Hampshire Bus and Ribble rounding off the set. The decent presentation of former London Country B-series National SNB 478 (BPL 478T) entering Walsall bus station last 16th November begs the question as to why operators spent so much money on getting Greenway conversions done when the original would have lasted them thirty years?

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10 Comments »

  1. I REMEMBER WHEN THE MOBILITY BUS ROUTES FIRST CAME TO LONDON, I CALL THEM THE 900 ROUTES, WHEN LONDON TRANSPORT CONVERTES THE LEYLAND NATIONALS WITH WHEELCHAIR LIFTS ON THE FRONT DOORS, BUT I REMEMBER WHEN NORTH STREET {NS} GARAGE HAD SOME MOBILITY ROUTES THE LIFTS WERE ON THE REAR DOORS.

    THEN THE ROUTES STARTED WITH LOW FLOOR MARSHALL DARTS WITH FIRST ESSEX {THAMESWAY} AND THAT WHEN ALSO HACKNEY COMMUNITY TRANSPORT CAME ONTO THE SCENE TAKING OVER FROM LEA-VALLEY BUSES {NOW ARRIVA}.

    CAN ANYBODY ELSE ADD TO THIS………….?

    Comment by Richard — Tuesday 27 February 2007 @ 9:50 pm

  2. #1 For what it’s worth, at some date in the early 80s Ash Grove had an example of the Quest 80 on line to trial for a possible LS type replacement on the Mobility Bus routes. Awful vehicle, with poor steering and even worse brakes and that was when running empty – needless to say the trial did not come to anything.
    Bit tenuous linking mob. buses with an article about Chase, though.

    Comment by Doug Ely — Wednesday 28 February 2007 @ 6:47 pm

  3. Shame chase is going – but on the link – it look like Arriva’s Guildford depot may get a go with the hybrid!

    Comment by Arriva436 — Wednesday 28 February 2007 @ 7:15 pm

  4. Trying to bring the subject back to Leyland Nationals….

    Although the Leyland National was pretty basic (e.g. the inward facing seats over the front wheels was not filled in underneath as on some of the contemporaries which made it look basic), and it was noisier than others, the big plus for me (at least on the LT examples) was the amount of legroom it offered. I am of above average height, and find most buses offer inadequate legroom. Even for those of an average height, more legroom would help accessing seats and leave room for bags etc. The other buses with good legroom were the Volvo Alexanders on route 24. I know that fewer seats may mean more people standing, but what is the point of any seats if people are not comfortable?

    Comment by MT — Wednesday 28 February 2007 @ 11:42 pm

  5. I drove LS’s from 1978, when they were new on the 236’s until 1983 when I Left Leyton Garage and I always enjoyed working on them. Maybe by today’s standards, they were noisy, but at the time I think most of the drivers were proud of them. I notice ex-LS 274 is/was at Chase coaches… I remember this particular bus as being slower than some of the others.
    I hope they won’t all be scrapped.

    Comment by IsarSteve — Thursday 1 March 2007 @ 1:26 am

  6. I was at Leyton the same time as the above correspondent(who used to give the Nationals names inside the cab – don’t deny it!!)
    I was involved in the Mobility Bus Services using an ex Red Arrow vehicle at the very early stages.
    Also, who else remembers ‘The Forester’ X99 from Basildon to Harlow? Once the service had failed, the red/green/white painted Nationals were spread around the Forest area.
    I remember chosing one for my duties on the 500 when Leyton ran that service for a while!
    And yes, LS274 was slow…but I liked them despite their faults, the worst being the tendancy for them to change gear with a kick – many a sore back was reported.

    Comment by PVC — Friday 2 March 2007 @ 12:28 pm

  7. #6 wrote: (who used to give the Nationals names inside the cab – don’t deny it!!)

    who me guv?

    Comment by IsarSteve — Friday 2 March 2007 @ 12:58 pm

  8. #6, surely the rough gear change was the driver forcing the “pause” change too quickly?

    I actually learned to drive in one of these,(outside of London), and drove them for some time afterwards and loved the control the gearbox gave.

    I stated as much here to much derision, 😦 but I still stand by my statement.

    Comment by Dave. (Admits to being a Bus Driver in London) — Friday 2 March 2007 @ 6:52 pm

  9. I admit you could control the change by using the pause method, but most drivers left it in auto…
    In fact LTB instructors frowned upon the use of any gearbox if there was an auto option. I tended to ‘stir the box’ as it gave a much better ride. (What a rebel!)

    Comment by PVC — Saturday 3 March 2007 @ 9:39 am

  10. I used to regularly use Leyland Nationals. They were not as quiet as had been claimed but were real workhorses.The former DMS examples were popular and the loadings that went with them meant in some cases it was better to run a double decker.The B36D+27 configuration was used by London Transport.Hounslow (AV) had at one point 57 examples,this included the first 6 from Dalston.I believe LS57 was the last one to run from there.
    Also Fulwell (FW) had a good size fleet of them.Alas with The Dennis Dart and new vehicles almost being mandatory on any tendered route it is almost impossible to ride on them!The Leyland National book is worth the money,but it might not be
    in print!LT took 506 examples and LCBS took 543,not a bad figure!Just over 7000 were made!

    Comment by mark marten — Sunday 24 August 2008 @ 9:14 am


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