The London Bus Page In Exile

Thursday 22 November 2007

Last of the London buses

Filed under: Companies, Historical, Uncategorized, Vehicles — londonbuspageinexile @ 8:23 pm

London United MCW Metrobus M 1353 (C353 BUV) at Hammersmith, 29 October 2000Yes, the Metrobus is a London bus.

If it was new to London Transport, and that covers everything that was delivered up to 10th January 1995 (the date of the completion of South London’s sale to the Cowie group), it’s a London bus. (The Upton Park SLWs, delivered right across the cusp of their subsidiary’s privatisation, thus find themselves in two camps). Everything after is only half-valid – it’s a ‘bus in London’, in the way that Transport for London only obliquely counts as London Transport.

Found a picture of M 1353 (C353 BUV), that’s been talked about a fair bit; while Hammersmith Bridge was undergoing another protracted period of repair during 2000, a route numbered 509 was commissioned to take people from the station to the north side of the bridge. The fact that the route had to come seven miles from Hounslow just to take people a hundred and fifty yards was spectactularly wasteful, but it was worth photographing, so I have a few shots of the route. This one is at Hammersmith on 29th October 2000.

I remember M 1353 best as a Sidcup crew bus, allocated to convert the 21 from RM in November 1985 alongside the garage’s existing Ts (representing an extremely rare mixed-type operation that became more common as standards slipped). Once Ls came to replace the Ms, it was off to Stamford Brook and settled in what became London United territory, eventually working from Hounslow (as here), Fulwell and Hounslow Heath.



  1. Hi Matt,

    Is there any way you can do abit about Blue Triangle buses, They did use alot of secondhand metrobuses, they did use metrobuses when they first took over the 474 route and uses them mainly now on rail replacement, also could you tell us or if you know and have pictures if the former MD, Roger wright is storing his old fleet of RT / RM & other buses at the old Ongar station site.

    Kind regards


    Comment by Richard — Thursday 22 November 2007 @ 10:16 pm

  2. the reason why i asked was i came by today and saw a B.T. Nimbus (DN) and a routemaster.

    Could anybody else help on this, i be much greatful.


    Comment by Richard — Thursday 22 November 2007 @ 10:19 pm

  3. Am i right in thinking that LT were still having MkI Metrobuses built and delivered long after the MkII had entered service with the provincial operators?

    If so, does that not make it a London Bus built specially for London?

    PS Lots of Metros on Twickenham – Clapham rail replacement this weekend.



    Comment by Colin Janes — Friday 23 November 2007 @ 10:25 am

  4. colin 3

    yes LT had the mk1 built in the end just for them,we had M1353 at the bush (S) for a short while it was a bit of a mess i think i went for a re-spray into the nice london united livery,so i would say yes the mk 1 was in the end a london type.

    Comment by ollie — Friday 23 November 2007 @ 2:19 pm

  5. Oh yes, my favourite metrobus in all its glory. Thanks Matt.

    Comment by Andy Moore — Friday 23 November 2007 @ 10:04 pm

  6. Correct me if im wrong anyone, but didnt LT order 2 mark 2 Metrobuses for evaluation and then keep on ordering Mark 1’s. They never took favour for the Mark 2 variant.

    Then LT finally went for the Mark 2 on its Harrow Buses operations albeit leased, most of which ended up in Reading.

    Personally, i think the Mark 1 is the better looking of the two types. The asymetric windscreen being the one thing for me that makes these magnificent buses a change from the norm.

    Comment by Andy Moore — Friday 23 November 2007 @ 10:13 pm

  7. Just had a thought. Does anyone know of any interest group or preservation group dedicated to the Metrobus.

    Im surprised there isnt.

    Comment by Andy Moore — Friday 23 November 2007 @ 10:18 pm

  8. Hmmm… “The M is a London Bus”.

    I suppose this provocation is directed at me..!! But I’m afraid I’m not going to take the bite.. 🙂

    I still stick to my “purist” premise/definition that technically the M is definitely NOT a London Bus.

    That said, compared with the “dollops” that call themselves buses these days.. It does in fact look quite smart… And I have to say, it also looks rather “Germanic” or “Square” whereas today’s London buses look rather “Francophile” and rounded.. 😦

    What I also realised while looking at 1353 is, how pleasing it is to see evenly arranged windows on a bus.. Not like these days, where asthetics (especially the shape and size of windows) seem not to be important on “”Buses in London””.

    Comment by IsarSteve — Friday 23 November 2007 @ 10:55 pm

  9. **redface** I meant “Bait” not “Bite”..

    Shame that we can’t “edit” our own comments here..

    These days I seem to think “auf Deutsch” and write “In English”


    Comment by IsarSteve — Saturday 24 November 2007 @ 9:42 am

  10. no provocation realy,i think its because LT had the largest fleet and they had i believe some input,as for the mk 2 if the dash panel was not such a mess ie number plate in the centre which M1441.1442 had when new and the tender process i think LT might have got more,funny thing when i took my pcv test at london united the handbook they gave me on the metro said introdution to the mk 2 metro ? i passed my test on M30 a Mk 1 mmmm

    Comment by ollie metro — Saturday 24 November 2007 @ 4:26 pm

  11. M’s were the heart of my childhood with London General and London United having them on local routes in my area. I look forward to catching up on your work as you write on your progress. I did see you at the LOTs Sale (as ever so many people there and things to do!). Did you get a ride on M6? That was a nice bus to ride on Saturday.

    Comment by wongers — Monday 26 November 2007 @ 8:53 am

  12. Completely O/T, but does anyone know the identity of the East Thames Buses VP on the 185 that ran off the road last week, and nearly destroyed the Royal Vauxhall Tavern!??

    Comment by ejc — Tuesday 27 November 2007 @ 12:30 am

  13. Ah, two pleasing references: one of the crew (and later OPO) Ms at Sidcup; and the other of the LOTS Sale which reminds me that M67 was also there and interestingly carries the AFC equipment that the Fleetlines and Swifts had; however various people told me that it should not have the AFC as only the earliest Ms (and Ts) had this before LT took the decision to abandon AFC. I didn’t see M6 due to being chained to a sales stand all day but does that have the AFC cabinet fitted?

    Comment by Andrew Jeffreys — Tuesday 27 November 2007 @ 1:48 pm

  14. #13,Yes, she does with a mock up of the dividing rail down the middle.

    Many thanks to the bloke who drove her down and let me and the missus have a good look around.
    They have done a stirling job with M6, still some work to be done.
    I wished I had stayed long enough to get a ride, never mind.

    Comment by Gavin Cork — Tuesday 27 November 2007 @ 3:14 pm

  15. #12 The bus involved was reported to be VP 1

    Comment by Jon O — Tuesday 27 November 2007 @ 7:16 pm

  16. #15- Thanks for that. Shame, VP1 was my favourite!
    Maybe now East Thames Buses will have to repaint it (if it’s not written off). Though I’ll be surprised if they give it a full paint job, as they seem loathe to maintain any sort of standard- much of the VP class still carries poorly disguised London Easylink logos.

    Comment by ejc — Wednesday 28 November 2007 @ 5:27 pm

  17. Matt

    The Metrobox was not a “London” bus (except perhaps in the same way a Dart is London bus). It was a West Midlands bus that London also bought !

    A “London” bus is really a type that was hardly seen outside London (at least until London had had enough of them). There were always plenty of Metros to be seen outside London.

    Because of their long & continued service there, history will probably associate Metros far more with the West Midlands than London.

    Comment by Kevin Smith — Friday 30 November 2007 @ 12:36 pm

  18. #10 Having been a two legged driver (RTs @ K) I wondered if LU had an official position for placement of the drivers left leg when seated in a Mk1 Metrobus. I seem to remember placing mine either on the dome housing to the left of the steering wheel or tucking it under the seat.
    One morning at NB the output list for my 216 duty showed 65. After spending ages looking for LS65 without success I approached the runout inspector enquiring where the vehicle might be. He moved sideways revealing M65 plated up for Tolworth shorts!

    Comment by GB — Saturday 1 December 2007 @ 11:26 am

  19. I’m glad Matt’s doing the Metrobus book as this is a bus that is often overlooked. It was the bread and butter workhorse bus for London during the 80s and 90s.

    It’s bodywork was an advance on the Metropolitan – Metrobuses were less clunking looking, in the same way that the Titans looked smoother and much more modern than the Fleetlines. Together both Titan and Metrobus (and Routemaster) would have been welcome departures from the dark days of DMS unreliability that blighted bus operations in the 1970s.

    What i hope Matt Wharmby can uncover is the origins of Metrobus. Reading some old London Transport reports in the mid-1970s, the implication was that LT were going to buy the Titan and more Metropolitans, then suddenly at the end of 1977 up pops the prototype Metrobus almost unannounced. Did Metro Cammell-Weymann keep ‘quiet’ about the Metrobus to mislead Leyland into thinking the competition for orders was Titan vs. Metropolitan?

    Though Metrobus was not a London bus in the sense it wasn’t designed by London Transport, wouldn’t think also apply in part to the Titan, to which LT contributed some ideas but did not exclusively design in the same way as buses from Routemaster back the B bus in 1909? Metrobus was a Metro-Cammell-Weymann product, but it’s earliest career was in London, and it was the London Buses’ orders that launched it so successfully across the Uk. Perhaps we can consider it a naturalised immigrant of a bus?

    Isar Steve made some intriguing comments about new buses, being ‘Francophile’ and rounded rather than square and ‘Teutonic’.

    An interesting thought – swirling shapes and countours are Art Noveau and so ‘French’ whereas sharpness is Art Deco (hence ‘German’)

    But really it’s hard to square design with aspects of national stereotypes.

    French bus design is somewhat sterile and about twenty years’ behind Britain. Buses in Paris are as box-like (hence ‘Teutonic’) and bland as anywhere else (the Paris bus network is generally some way behind London’s).

    It’s hard to see how ‘Francophile’ London buses are when the French don’t even produce any double deckers, and haven’t done so in thirty years. In fact what double deckers they did have in Paris were very box-like
    Ditto ‘Teutonic’ bus design (unless you count German double decker coaches). Though German single deckers have a touch of external styling (eg Mercedes Citaros).

    The swirling streamlined look of new buses such as Wright Geminis and Enviro 400s are really an attempt to combine the low floor bus with a retro-look, particularly at the back, harking back to the days of London Transport in the 1930s. From such a context the new buses are more ‘London’ than anything since the Titan!

    And from an aesthetic stand point, whilst a Wright Gemini or Enviro 400 isn’t as nice as an RT (or RM), don’t they look much more interesting and stylish than a DMS or a Metrobus?

    I’d say that in recent times the look of trains and buses is more adventurous than the 1970s/1980s utilitarian style. Whilst this isn’t flawless, we should applaud British industrial design being at the cutting edge in this way. That said, low floor buses lack sufficient seating and are not comfortably driven

    Comment by Nick Biskinis — Monday 3 December 2007 @ 6:07 pm

  20. Nick B. wrote the French don’t even produce any double deckers …Ditto ‘Teutonic’ bus design (unless you count German double decker coaches). I enjoyed reading your comments.. but I think you are trying to wind me up..??

    Of course the Germans build D/Ds..!! Two cities in Germany run D/Ds in service: Lübeck & Berlin. Second hand Berlin D/Ds can be seen all over the world generally on Sightseeing services..

    and a last point, Nick B also wrote But really it’s hard to square design with aspects of national stereotypes.I disagree here too, you only have to look at the Autoroutes in France and their ancillary buildings and then compare then with the Autobahnen in Germany and the different approaches in architecture are clear to see. But I would also suggest that this goes much deeper than styling. “La” France is Feminine therefore Motherland. Germany is the Fatherland which is masculine.. and I think this influenced national identities in the past.

    Comment by IsarSteve — Monday 3 December 2007 @ 7:31 pm

  21. to nick 19

    its not just the low-floor bus its the drivers on the 9, i was on one and the driver was using as a battering ram,he missed a car and cut up a post van,sorry but at least the old LT the drivers were better,anyway back to the metrobus
    i saw the prototype in red with white upper windows and black skirt it looked a cracker

    Comment by jfk — Tuesday 4 December 2007 @ 6:07 pm

  22. Nick’s post is most interesting. While I may not have the space to really delve as fully into the Metrobus as I’d like, he raises an interesting point which I’ll do my best to research. MCW’s development of the Metrobus was much quicker than that of the Titan; they had prototypes ready almost as Leyland was still figuring out where to build their own model! In the end they complemented each other, LT shrewdly (or cynically) playing them off against each other so as to ensure a steady influx of buses.

    Comment by londonbuspageinexile — Tuesday 4 December 2007 @ 9:12 pm

  23. Hi everyone – enjoyed reading the responses!

    Isar Steve – certainly not trying to wind you up (Ich bin auch Deutschespruchig!)

    I think we might be going onto a tangent (albeit an interesting) one to do with architecture as opposed to transport design per se.

    Obviously Art Deco modernism/Bauhaus came from Germany (though there is also Modernism in Soviet Russia) influenced London Transport architecture of the 1930s. Paris is striking for its lack of Thirties Art Deco, so in that sense French architecture it is more ‘swirling’ (eg Paris Metro entrances) On the other hand, there is more Baroque architecture in Germany/Austria despite originating in France etc etc.

    If we take train and bus design, it is hard to find a parallel or influence from Europe that shaped British vehicles. Box-like coaches that predominated in the 1980s/1990s were certainly influenced by Scandanavia firms.

    With trains from Networker onwards the more ‘box-like’ trains began to adopt a more fluid look. If we compare even Networker with Turbostar and Electrostar. Now BREL was then Adtranz, a German company, so whether this kind of transformation was German ideas merging with British ones is an open question. When factories change ownership the ‘pedigree’ of a company design becomes less distinct, as opposed to the old days when we could see (say) the Park Royal AEC designs or BREL trains evolving. Is there a Bombardier pedigree, or is Bombardier just ‘the landlord’ who owns the factory for example?

    Here Alexander and Wright seemed to have emerged dominant from the process of consolidation of bus body builders that happened with Transbus. I think they are competing and influencing each other, so that the Enviro 400 was Alexander’s answer to the Wright Gemini. The Wright Gemini – visually a very impressive bus, really showed up the old ALX 400 as dated.

    Sorry, Matt went on tangent! On the Metrobus emerging quickly, i’m just saying that that was my impression. If you can unearth this it would be great. I think your book will get a lot of attention as we have only recently thought of the Metrobus as a ‘historical’ vehicle!

    Comment by Nick Biskinis — Thursday 6 December 2007 @ 5:17 pm

  24. Nick.. Let’s not get too deep into the square/round debate. My remark wasn’t said “off the cuff”. I really do think that new deliveries look rather french and although you are correct in saying that the french don’t build D/Ds, I would suggest you take a look at French designed LRT vehicles of the last decade, compare them with German (squarer) LRTs as well as London Buses. I’m sure you’ll be able to see the UK – France similarities.

    Going back to the Metrobus story. I don’t think it was LT who was playing off MCW against Leyland. In the end, it was LTs political masters who were responsible for the large Metrobus purchases, which lead to it being widely used in London.

    It’s hard these days to remember what pre-1979(Thatcherite), pre-New Labour Britain was like. In the early stages of the T/M planning and production, the GLC and therby LT was under “Socialist” control. The GLCs instincts therefore were to support the “Nationalised” Leyland company in the building of the B15/Titan.

    In the election of May 1977, the tories took control of County Hall and their rather “PR aware” leader Sir Horace Cutler used his influence to bring LT back from what he saw as the “Socialist abyss”.

    MCW was considered to incorporate all the new ideals of the Thatcherite Tory party. At around the same time, Leyland’s vehicle division sales and marketing manager, Trevor Webster also moved from Leyland to MCW.

    Cutler was keen to show his Thatcherite credentials and in July 1977 LT ordered five Ms. He was also responsible for the “costly” renaming of the Fleet Line to Jubilee Line.

    I would therefore suggest that the delays in production of the T and political intervention from County Hall are the real reasons LT ordered more Ms. It must be remebered that new buses were urgently needed to replace DMS vehicles, which were beginning to fall by the wayside.

    Comment by IsarSteve — Friday 7 December 2007 @ 8:05 pm

  25. #23, just a thought on your comments re; the competition between WrightBus and Alexander Dennis.
    Visually, I’d certainly agree that the Enviro400 was heavily influenced by the design of the Wright Gemini family. However, there is a major area in which they differ, namely the quality of the finished product.

    WrightBus have a high standard of visual design and this is replicated in the quality of the fit and finish in the saloons, as well as the superior materials used in construction. By contrast Alexander Dennis may lavish the same care on the visual appearance of the E400, by this is not matched inside. The interior finish is sloppy and the materials used look and feel a disticntly poor second to the WrightBus.

    IMHO the old ALX400 was quite resonable in this context, whereas its latterly sister vehicle, the Plaxton President was not. It seems that in the merger between the two companies it was decided to keep the somewhat ‘interesting’ design from the Alexander side, and to take the poor build quality from the Plaxton side! What should have happened of course is to take the decent build quality from Alexander, and the nice, simple,(some would say boring, I’d say workmanlike) design from the Plaxton side.

    It seems that in this ‘arms race’ to have the best looking bus on the market, that Alexander Dennis forgot what buses are meant to do: namely transport passengers about in resonable comfort, and in an as-pleasant-as-possible environment. I think I speak for most bus users when I say that I would rather have a comfort and durability over style.

    Personally I don’t think that Alexander Dennis do themselves any favours by putting their buses on Trident chassis, when the old Volvo B7TL is far superior in most respects, but I think that may be opening a whole new can of worms!

    Comment by ejc — Friday 14 December 2007 @ 11:53 am

  26. Post no. 19 [Nick] states that French bus design is 20yrs behind British design. What does he base this on?

    Well that’s not the impression I get when I ride some old rattling Dennis Dart ice cream van in the London suburbs.

    In Paris all the buses seem to be of a very high quality and finish [and that includes the driving].
    Also the Renaults in service aren’t really box-like as he suggests, they are quite curvy in fact.

    Comment by bill — Friday 14 December 2007 @ 11:34 pm

  27. Re no. 26 and others. The problem seems to be that in this country for anything less than 12m we seem to favour lightweight chassis. We also seem to be virtually unique in that most operators specify gasket mounted glazing rather than bonded. Bonded glazing increases the strength of the body and reduces flexing, as well as looking good.

    Give me a Citaro or MAN Lion’s City any day over a Dart.

    Comment by Steve23589 — Sunday 16 December 2007 @ 2:21 pm

  28. RE:- Post 25, I don’t if you knew about Volvo chassis, at the moment London’s bus operators can’t use volvo’s, this is due to the amount of noise it makes, because Arriva London wanted the Enviro400 body on a Volvo Chassis for there TfL route 102, but because of this problem they had to change to the ADL Trident Chassis, If you look on the latest news on Lots, Volvo and Wright bus is looking at a new way to reduce the noise.


    Comment by Richard — Sunday 16 December 2007 @ 8:27 pm

  29. Someone mention about Renault Buses? Does anybody know what as happen to RN1? This was a Renault Chassis with Northern Counties Body, this was with London Buses back in 1991-1993 with East London and was bases at AP (Seven Kings) this also had dot matrix destination blinds fitted.

    Anybody got any ideas?

    Sparky Marky (Ex. Stagecoach London engineer – SD)

    Comment by Mark — Sunday 16 December 2007 @ 8:38 pm

  30. #28, thankyou for that. I’d thought as much but wasn’t sure.

    I know the B7TL CAN get noisy, but judging by my local Volvo routes, it seems this can be remedied- certain buses run with the very noisy whining , but a week or so later seem to have been cured.

    I still don’t understand however, why London operators can’t use the new B9TL chassis- it is much quieter than the B7TL. The Arriva Sightseeing operation uses it with their new open-top Olympuses, why can’t regular operators use it?

    Besides, even with the noise issues, buses with Volvo chassis are far, far nicer to travel on than either the Dennis Trident, or the Scania N94/230.

    Comment by ejc — Monday 17 December 2007 @ 2:07 pm

  31. RE: EJC {Post 30}

    Arriva can use these (VOLVO B9TL’s) for there sightseeing toors as these are not regulated bus routes from TfL, Also it is TfL say on which buses you can & can’t have. The competition for buses is hotting up.

    Alexander Dennis as move the production of there Enviro200 body to the former plaxton factory in Scarborough,This means that the Scarborough factory will once again be bodying the Dart chassis, but interestingly will body the MAN 14.240 both with the Plaxton Centro and Enviro 200 bodies simultaneously.

    The two main companies for double deck at present now for buses produce for London is Alexander Dennis & East Lancs Coachworks and with Midi-Buses, You have got the Plaxton Centro / Primo, Enviro200 / 300, East Lancs Esteem & finally the MCV Evolution.

    take your pick of what bodies you like for London.

    Comment by Richard — Tuesday 18 December 2007 @ 10:56 am

  32. Hi Bill, (post 26),

    i confess i am quite biased to British transport design, having grown up with Metrobuses, Routemasters, experienced the classic 1938 Tube Stock (albeit briefly on the Northern Line) and i like the British Bombardier trains.

    On French buses, though you make a fair point about Dennis Darts not being as nice to ride as the Renaults in Paris, i’m taking a broader view. For a start, single deckers in Paris are (with the exception of the British East Lancs Sightseeing BuseS) the only buses Paris Transport (RATP) operate. So there’s no equivalent of Enviro 400 or Wright Gemini.

    Second, ok Dennis Darts may not be fun for ride quality, but aesthetically, buses like Enviro 200s, Wright Gemini single deckers are both more attractive visually and brighter internally than the Renaults in Paris. Paris buses are fairly dingy in livery and interior design (and the seats i find much less comfortable than a comparable London bus). I think French bus design is behind Britain by twenty years, because when you look at some of the new Midibuses coming from Wright they are taking external appearance to a more fluid, eccentric look.

    Paris buses by contrast look quite pedestrian and dull, indeed (ironically) the only single deckers that have some style are the German Mercedes Citaros and Scanias. Obviously these discussions are a matter of personal perspective and opinion, as opposed to advancing a right or wrong answer.

    But Paris does have generally speaking a much weaker bus network than London’s, if we compare range and scope and frequency (particularly comparing Greater London with ‘Ile de France’/Greater Paris).

    The exception, as Isar Steve alluded to, is n tram design where France does produce some more dynamic products. Perhaps they influence bus design here, so producing a more ‘French’ look to buses? Who knows!

    Comment by Nick Biskinis — Sunday 23 December 2007 @ 1:28 pm

  33. Re the discussions above about new Volvos in London, I was surprised to see London General’s B9 on the 11 today. This is a one-off B9TL/Wright, operated by LG earlier in the year which had disappeared some months ago. Perhaps its reappearance is another attempt by Volvo to persuade TFL that their buses are acceptable for London service?

    Comment by Ian Y — Friday 28 December 2007 @ 2:00 pm

  34. as a bus mechanic working in london and having worked for london central and now transdev there is quite a big difference between the volvo and the dennis for a start nearly everything pn a volvo chassis is made by volvo
    for a volvo unlike dennis who source parts then attempt to make a bus out of them sort of like a big meccano set. i prefer hte volvo’s for the reliablity but certan parts are more complicated than a dennis motor but having said that i do like the enviro’s in lon cen/gen trim because they look alot smarter than say a avl or pvl but give them 4 or 5 years then see how bad they get thats some of the problem with the early low floor volvo’s avl/pvl’s they have been abused by bus drivers. also another thing is because the enviro body is and chassis is made now by the same company i couldnt really see a volvo enviro hybrid being made its pointless in a way. the wright body does in ways have its advantages and has a better set up than the E bus i hate the dash on the E’s there pants and never work properly and who thought of putting that seat behind the driver ????? most of the chassis set up on an E is the sane as a trident e.g same brakes! and the abs sensors are pants because when you replace the pad’s you have to change this sensor tht comes in a kit witch dubbles up as the securing plate {thing that holds pads in place} on a volvo this aint the same and is easier and better anyway now am working for transdev and have got these new scannia’s to play with
    along with early va’s and ta/tla’s and who can forget the dart …… i come across a t reg euro 3 dart the other day that i had in for rota god what a mess it was a prototype for dennis but in the engine bay its a mess between 6 and 4 pot motors. london united must of got it on the cheap from dennis ! reminds me of then i was a apprentice for the mighty tgm !

    Comment by tazthe bus mechanic — Sunday 30 December 2007 @ 11:40 pm

  35. As far the Metrobus and Titan were concerned there would have been far more Titans than Metrobuses if the good old 70’s workers at Park Royal had been more able to build more than about 2 per month, rather than moaning about the company employing staff with ‘non-busbuilding’ skills.

    Trained pattern makers, chippies etc weren’t acceptable to the unions. Of course as we all remember they cut off their nose to spite their face and the plant closed. Off to Workington production went!

    Comment by Darren Saw — Thursday 3 January 2008 @ 1:37 pm

  36. With ref to the discussions on enviro over dart. I have the pleasure of driving both and from a drivers point of view the Enviro is the nicest. I also drive the Gemini and ALX 400 on DAF chassis. I have to be honest I am torn betwen these. The Gemini has very good build quility and handles very well but the ALX has more room.

    From a passenger point of view the Enviro is a bit nasty. Still a great bus to drive….

    Comment by Jasboi — Tuesday 22 January 2008 @ 4:42 pm

  37. I fond this topic interestin

    Comment by Default Layouts — Sunday 3 February 2008 @ 9:33 am

  38. the enviros are qiuck ! dont like them daf’s tho

    Comment by taz — Monday 11 February 2008 @ 9:30 pm

  39. As a footnote to the M story, Reading Buses are withdrawing their ex-London MkII Metrobuses that were new for the Harrow Buses operation in 1987. Reading Buses have been gradually revamping their network using brand-new low-floor buses with extensive use of route branding. From 25th February the last routes to be dealt with will be incorporated into the network, so Saturday 23rd will be the last day for Metrobus operation in Reading. Five vehicles (out of up to ten still available) will operate on regular diagrams on routes 12/20 (Reading Station-Lower Earley), 31/33(Reading Station-Purley/Turnham’s Farm) and 63/65 (Reading Station-Woodley) as well as making a guest appearance on Reading’s famous “Mainline” route 17. More details including timings are on the Reading Buses website:

    Reading is of course no stranger to ex-London buses, with Reading Transport having previously operated 21 ex-London MD-class Scania Metropolitans, and Reading Mainline operating Routemasters between 1996 and 2000.

    Comment by Julian — Friday 22 February 2008 @ 9:04 am

  40. As a footnote to my footnote (#39), Reading Metrobuses 463, 464, 468 & 469 did the honours on routes 63/65, 31/33 , 12/21 & 12/21 respectively, whilst 466 worked extras on route 17. The last Metrobus-operated journey in normal service was 463 which operated the 19.15 65 journey from Reading Station to Woodley loop, arriving back at Reading Station at 20.10 – apparently it carried a good compliment of enthusiasts!

    That wasn’t quite the end of the story. Reading FC played Aston Villa at home on Sunday 24th, and a number of the Metrbuses were used on Football Specials – 460, 461 and 464 were Private Hires, but 463, 468 & 469 appeared on routes available to the public. Reading
    FC-liveried 465 was also out; ironically this was nothing to do with the match, but was a Private Hire by the British Trolleybus
    Association! It was out from 2pm to around 5pm, thus becoming the very
    last Reading Metrobus to carry passengers – in Reading, at any rate.

    Comment by Julian — Tuesday 26 February 2008 @ 8:25 pm

  41. Jack…

    Ok, I’m not in complete agreement with this, but I see your point. Thanks for sharing….

    Trackback by Jack — Thursday 24 April 2008 @ 12:10 am

  42. i remember when we had the metros at uxbridge depot. we had m425 and it was weas taken away for a refurb and brought back with a white interior and continuos lighting instald. it was owesome . the last metro out of uxbridge was m1438.

    Comment by terry — Tuesday 9 September 2008 @ 8:30 pm

  43. does anyone know where or how i can find french bus blinds especially of paris. thanks, judy

    Comment by judy finch — Monday 6 October 2008 @ 3:34 am

  44. well am back ! them daf alx 400’s remind me of a old metro and sound like 1 lol there pants ! metroline has brought more enviro 400’s on the cheap and there on nearly every route out of cricklewood the ta’s on the 237 have vanished and been replced by old tp’s from pv.pb & w ….. Why??? and am now doing all the crap work 4 ncp challenger – transdev and god knows who else will bring their crap down. well at least the ncp buses are new …. at last no mpre drum brakes yippie ! o to the guy moaning about the tn’s try driving a x reg one slow as hell and falling apart it got stuck on the rolling road ! anyway take care

    Comment by taz the bus mechanic — Sunday 19 October 2008 @ 9:56 pm

  45. I am an I.T student at Preston Manor High School and I am requesting you for the permission to use your image in the Aida coursework I am doing. Please note that if I do not have a reply within 1 week commencing from 19.01.10 I will assume I have your permission.

    Comment by Nouzha Elthaferi — Monday 25 January 2010 @ 11:34 am

  46. nice just to “assume”…

    Comment by andy moore — Monday 1 March 2010 @ 7:29 am

  47. I am an I.T student at Preston Manor High School and I am requesting you for the permission to use your image in the Aida coursework I am doing. Please note that if I do not have a reply within 1 week commencing from 01.11.10 I will assume I have your permission.

    Comment by Nouzha — Monday 1 November 2010 @ 3:12 pm

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