Fleet Ramblings has now been configured to provide you with ‘info to go…’. The page will now show correctly on most mobile phones and tablets as well as on laptop and desktop computers. We have also removed most of the background images to speed up the page loading time.
We plan to post Fleet Ramblings information at least once a week and will generally do so on a more frequent basis. However, when we are busy with magazine and PR work there may be periods of up to 14 days when we are unable to update this page. If this is the case we will advise in advance. Check our update status below.
Finally a polite request. All images used on this site have implied copyright. The name of the photographer is shown under each image (where no name is shown the image is © Steven Knight Media or © Steven Knight Media Collection. Please do not copy images and post onto any other websites or use in any publications including print and digital without first seeking permission in writing.
Fleet Ramblings update status is GREEN: Regular updates at least once a week are planned
March 18th 2019 @ 17:45: London Enviro 200s for Stagecoach in Bedford and former Norfolk Green Optare Tempos sold
Now here from Stagecoach London are 9.4m single door ADL Enviro 200s 36301/02. They are being repainted and prepared for service at Bedford. Once they are in service training Dart SLFs 34421/22 will return to Peterborough and Cambridge.
Now sold are former Norfolk Green Optare Tempos 25123/27/28/29/30/31, whilst surplus Optare Solos 47351/52 are being transferred to Stagecoach South Wales.
Look out for six Scania/Enviro 400s being transferred to this fleet from Stagecoach West. We understand these will be 15637/39/40/41/42/43. 15638 is not included as it carries the Stagecoach West 25th Anniversary livery and branding.
Besides the transfer of the six Scania/Enviro 400s to Stagecoach East we also understand that 15450/51 and 15636 are being transferred to Stagecoach South East at Eastbourne.
Stagecoach UK Bus
The UK’s first full-sized autonomous bus is now being trialled by Stagecoach at Stagecoach Manchester's Sharston depot in Manchester.
The ground-breaking project involving an Enviro 200MMC single-deck vehicle is part of a programme being delivered by transport operator Stagecoach in partnership with bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) and technology company Fusion Processing.
The 11.5m ADL Enviro200, which is not part of the Stagecoach fleet, although it carries Stagecoach fleetnames, is now able to operate autonomously within the depot, and the technology being used could also provide future road safety benefits for vehicles operating in manual mode.
The ADL-manufactured bus has been fitted with the CAVstar® system provided by Fusion Processing Limited. The trial includes the bus being used in autonomous mode within the depot environment, to carry out movements such as parking and moving into the bus wash.
The CAVstar® control and sensing system was utilised successfully in the UK’s largest public trial of autonomous vehicles to date, in Greenwich last year, and a number of other projects.
The system uses multiple sensor types including radar, LIDAR, optical cameras and ultrasound, along with satellite navigation to detect and avoid objects, in all weathers, day and night, and plan an optimum path for the vehicle.
The software being used in the pilot vehicle also forms the basis for a significant autonomous vehicle trial due to get underway in 2020 when a fleet of five autonomous buses will operate carrying passengers between Fife and Edinburgh, across the Forth Road Bridge Corridor.
Funding of £4.35m from the UK Government’s Innovate UK fund was awarded last year to the CAVForth project team which includes Stagecoach along with partners Transport Scotland, Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), Fusion Processing Ltd, ESP Group, Edinburgh Napier University and University of West of England.
The vehicles in both trials will be used autonomously to Level 4 standard which means that a safety driver must remain on board in line with UK regulations.
The technology can also be used to help improve the safety of road users in manually driven vehicles. For example, the sensor system on the vehicle can be used to provide assistance to the driver by warning of cyclists or pedestrians that may be in the blind spot or arrive unexpectedly close to the vehicle.
Stagecoach Chief Executive Martin Griffiths said: “Stagecoach was the original transport disruptor, trying new things and breaking new ground, and that has never changed. This is an exciting project to trial autonomous technology on a full-sized bus for the first time in the UK.
“Our employees are the beating heart of our business and I believe that will remain the case, but the world is changing fast, particularly where new technology is involved, and it’s our job to lead the way in looking at ways to continually progress and improve our operations for the good of the many people who use our bus services every day.”
Jim Hutchinson, CEO of Fusion Processing Ltd said: “Our CAVstar® sensor and control system has now been successfully applied to vehicles ranging in size from two-seater electric vehicles right up to a 12m, 43 seat seater bus. Today offers a glimpse of how future bus depots can be automated for improved safety and efficiency.
“Our advanced driver-assistance systems such as CycleEye® already offer improved operational safety for buses and HGV’s today, and we anticipate further new ADAS products as spin offs from the AV bus project.
“Beyond this trial we look forward to continue our collaboration with Stagecoach and Alexander Dennis Limited delivering the world’s first large scale autonomous bus service in Edinburgh in 2020.”
Colin Robertson, ADL Chief Executive added: “Alexander Dennis is at the forefront of innovation in the bus industry. This trial allows us to evaluate potential benefits of autonomous technology in a real-world scenario, and feeds into our extensive work to further improve the safety of buses with the help of state-of-the-art technology.”
March 18th 2019 @ 14:30: Optare Versas move from Stagecoach West Scotland to Stagecoach Cumbria whilst three Dart SLFs get revised-style livery at Stagecoach Midlands
Reserve Fleet Dart SLFs 35182/84/85 have all been repainted in the revised Dart livery - the first for this operator and all are currently based at Rugby depot but will be used as required as engineering cover where required.
Stagecoach Merseyside & South Lancashire
Optare Solo 47674 has left this fleet and has been transferred to Stagecoach South West for component recovery. We believe it is currently at Torquay depot.
Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire
Transferred yesterday from Stagecoach West Scotland to this fleet were Optare Versas 25218 and 25220. It is not yet known where they will be allocated. A further four vehicles of the type are also due for transfer. Leaving this fleet for cascade within Stagecoach UK Bus will be six Optare Solo SRs which are expected to include 47949-53. 47949 has already left the fleet and is on loan to an external agency.
Due back today from ADL Anston after Euro6 engine conversion are MAN/Enviro 300s 22877/78/79. Their conversion was completed earlier than expected and as a result the transfer of 22880/82 from Kendal to Carlisle will not now take place and the two vehicles will return to Morecambe.
Stagecoach East Scotland
Enviro 200 36145 has transferred from Kilmarnock to Dumfries.
We understand that there are now three Volvo B9TLs at Bus & Coach World for ‘as new’ refurbishment.
March 16th 2019: Cheltenham Races - full list of Stagecoach West loans, fleet numbers for new East Yorkshire Enviro 200MMCs and Stagecoach Enviro 400MMC 11158 spotted
Stagecoach UK Bus
The 20th ADL Enviro 400MMC for Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire, 11158, which is on loan to Stagecoach UK Bus for IT systems development and trials and remains in Manchester and was pictured inside Stockport depot yesterday.
Go North East
Three Volvo B9TLs now carry silver and blue livery in the new style - 6101-03, whilst Wright StreetLite Max 5452 is the first vehicle to receive the red/blue generic style of the new livery.
Stagecoach South East
Optare Solo 47176 has been written off after catching fire near Polegate railway station just after 07:00 on March 14th 2019.
Volvo B9R coach 83 returned here on March 14th 2018 after being on loan to Go North East. It will return to the National Express fleet here allowing similar 82 to transfer over to the East Yorkshire Coaches fleet.
Managing Director Martijn Gilbert confirms that the first double deck here to receive the ‘as new’ refurbishment is Volvo B9TL 782. The work is being done at Bus & Coach World at Blackburn. Others vehicles for the ‘as new’ refurbishment are expected include vehicles from the same batch of Volvo B9TLs with Wright Eclipse Gemini bodywork which were new in 2014.
The East Yorkshire Facebook page reports that due next in the paintshop at Hull is Enviro 200 503 whilst the fleet numbers for the two new Enviro 200MMCs will be 515 (8.9m vehicle) and 396 (10.8m vehicle).
With thanks to Dave Russell and Deric Pemberton we are able to report that 57 vehicles were on loan for the Cheltenham Race Meeting specials. These vehicles were provided by:
Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire: (3)
15700, 15818, 15820
Stagecoach East Midlands: (4)
10734, 10735, 10736, 10737
Stagecoach London: (4)
10110, 10111, 10112, 19871
Stagecoach Manchester: (8)
10419, 10426, 10443, 10472, 10473, 10606, 10623, 10625
Stagecoach Merseyside & South Lancashire: (6)
15592, 15593, 15599, 15910, 15911, 15912
Stagecoach Midlands: (5)
10731, 10732, 15607, 15667, 15668
Stagecoach North East: (5)
10631, 10635, 10640, 10653, 10654
Stagecoach South: (4)
10894, 10953, 18443, 19034
Stagecoach South East: (10)
15438, 15489, 15496, 15771, 15774, 44013, 44014, 44028, 44029, 44030
Stagecoach South West: (4)
10500, 10695, 15669, 15799
Stagecoach Yorkshire: (4)
10662, 15692, 15696, 15709
On Friday 15th March Gold Cup Day, the evenings operations would have been the busiest, which in addition to the above there were at least a further 22 vehicles from the Stagecoach West allocation involved meaning that 79 buses were planned to be used!
The use of the five Mercedes Sprinters from South East was a first. They operated an evening only premium price shuttle from the taxi rank at the request of the Racecourse authorities.
March 14th 2019 @ 14:10: Second re-liveried double deck for East Yorkshire and Stagecoach South West Dart SLF disposal
East Yorkshire (EYMS)
The first vehicle to be repainted into the new livery at the Anlaby Road, Hull paint shop is Volvo B9BTL 762. which we understand will be transferred to Hull once the repaint and branding is completed.
The last vehicle repainted at Hull in to the old EYMS livery scheme was Pocklington-allocated Volvo B9TL 714.
Stagecoach South West
Accident damaged Dart SLF 34684, which we understand was sold some time ago, was finally removed from Torquay depot yesterday.
Vehicle tracking data suggests that ADL Enviro 400s 19010/85/91, which had been delicenced, are now back in service at Northampton.
March 13th 2019 @ 15:20: MAN/Enviro 300 22776 back with Stagecoach East Midlands at Hull after Euro6 engine mods and full list of Stagecoach East sales to Ensign Bus
Stagecoach East Midlands
Another MAN/Enviro 300 returned here after Euro6 engine conversion is 22776. It is now allocated to Hull.
Stagecoach South West
Trident 18394 is currently on loan from Plymouth to Exeter.
Vehicle tracking systems are showing that Tridents 18403/10, which have been for disposal here, are seeing limited use at Northampton. MAN/Enviro 200 39691 is currently showing on tracking systems as being operational at Rugby.
With thanks to Ross Newman at Ensign Bus, the full list of surplus vehicles that have been purchased by Ensign Bus is:
Trident Open Top: 17078/79/99, 17274/75/76
Trident/ALX400: 17452/84, 17500/04, 17743/44/85/86/87, 18109, 18342, 18417
Trident/East Lancs: 18280
MAN/ALX300: 22058/59/60, 22314/16/17/18/20/29/31/32/33/34/36/37/38/39/40
Optare Versa: 25268/70/71
Dart SLF/Pointer: 34419/20/27/29/30, 34526/32, 34826/79, 35103/06
Several vehicles have already been collected from depots.
March 12th 2019 @ 14:10: New livery for Go North East and Stagecoach South East gets former megasightseeing.com open top Trident
Go North East
Correcting our initial report, the company is introducing a new livery style livery. The silver and blue variant on Volvo B9TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 6103 (NL63XBT) is for the vehicles which carry the Colbolt Clipper branding (branding still to be applied). The Go North East generic red and blue livery will also be applied in the same style. The new look livery will feature on both new and repainted vehicles.
We understand that several vehicles which had been stood down for disposal here are being assessed for return to service. MAN/Enviro 200 39692 has already been allocated to Kettering and is in service whilst 39690/91 are expected to follow. We understand that Tridents 18150/53/57 may also be assessed for a return to service.
A number of the withdrawn vehicles here have now been sold and a start has been made on removing them. MAN/ALX300 22329 was collected from March depot this morning. All of the vehicles for disposal her, with the exception of the Optare Tempos, Optare Solos, Trident 18343 and Dart SLF 35104 have been sold to Ensign Bus. We understand that most will be for scrap although the Optare Versas, open top Tridents and some of the newer Tridents may be prepared for resale.
Stagecoach North East
Another ADL Enviro 300 to lose Stockton ‘Zone’ branding on repaint is 27176.
With the megasightseeing.com fleet being upgraded with converted open top Enviro 400s, open top Trident 18477 has been transferred to Stagecoach South East to provide an additional vehicle to the open top fleet there.
Stagecoach UK Bus
The company has not made any announcement to date on its new vehicle plans for the upcoming 2019/20 financial year and we understand that some bids from regional companies for new vehicle investment are still being considered by Stagecoach Group.
Deliveries of new vehicles are currently taking place and we understand that these are from the forthcoming 2019/20 order. ADL Enviro 400MMCs 11139-58 were delivered at the start of this year to Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire/UK Bus.
Smart Hybrid ADL Enviro 400MMCs 11176-91 (16 vehicles) are currently being delivered to Stagecoach East Scotland at Aberhill.
Stagecoach North Scotland is about to take delivery of 15 Smart Hybrid ADL Enviro 400MMC double decks (11161-75). They will be allocated to Macduff depot where they will replace Volvo B9R coaches on the 35 service which links Aberdeen with Elgin and increasing capacity by 45% as well as providing easy access low floor vehicles.
Stagecoach East Midlands has also confirmed that it will be putting ten ADL Enviro 400MMCs in service at Hull this Summer.
We do not expect fleet numbers 11159/60 will be used on future vehicle deliveries, and will remain spare.
Stagecoach West Scotland has recently put 20 10.8m ADL Enviro 200MMCs (37482-37500, 37601) into service at Kilmarnock.
The longer 11.8m ADL Enviro 200MMCs will also feature in the 2019/20 order with Stagecoach East Midlands having confirmed that it will be putting 21 vehicles of the type into Hull this Summer.
There have been two coaches delivered so far to Stagecoach West Scotland at Ayr - Volvo B11RT/Plaxton elite i 54364/65.
March 11th 2019 @ 16:30: Reserve Fleet status at Stagecoach South West and new E400MMCs for East Scotland
Stagecoach East Scotland
In the course of delivery and entry into service from Aberhill are 16 ADL Enviro 400MMCs, 11176-91. Observed in service so far are 11176/77/78.
It is now understood that withdrawn Trident 18343 is at an external location in Wisbech rather that in King’s Lynn. Thanks to members of the Anglia & Thames Valley Bus Forum for the confirmation.
Former Bedford Reserve Fleet Dart SLF 34425 is now at Peterborough and awaiting preparation for entry into service.
Stagecoach South West
W understand a start has been made on the Euro6 engine conversion for the MAN/Enviro 300 fleet here with 24140 being observed this morning heading north on the M5 (believed to be to ADL Anston for modification).
Optare Solo 47084 has returned to Plymouth after a period on loan at Barnstaple whilst similar 47692, from the Torquay allocation, has been reported parked up recently at Exeter.
Optare Solos 47094/95, 47102/04/05/08/09 are delicenced and parked up at Plymouth whilst also parked up at Plymouth is the Strategic Reserve Fleet - Dart SLFs 34406/07/08/09, 34609/14/86/89, 34821/22. Volvo B12B 54074 is a Reserve vehicle for the Falcon service.
Dart SLF Reserve Fleet vehicles on loan to depots are 34612 at Torquay, 34610/87 at Plymouth, 34725/29 at Exeter and 34613 at Barnstaple. Dart SLF 34607 is now in the main fleet at Barnstaple.
Stagecoach North Scotland
Volvo B7TLs transferred from Inverness are 16973/76/77 to Aberdeen, 16975 to Insch and 16974 to Stonehaven. They have been replaced at Inverness by Tridents 18018 from Insch, 18091 and 18449 from Stonehaven and 18346 following seat belt fitment at Ferrymill Motors. Reserve Fleet Volvo B12B 54069 at Inverness has returned to Stagecoach East Scotland and has been replaced by 54069.
Following repairs Volvo B9R 53622 is back in service at Caithness but now out of service for repairs are Optare Solo 47161 from Macduff and MAN/Enviro 300 22792 from Aberdeen. Also under repairs are Seasonal Reserve Fleet Volvo B7Rs 53226 and 53273.
Aberdeen’s Optare Solo 47487 is now out of service and for disposal whilst Enviro 200 36035 has returned to the main fleet at Elgin following repairs. Vehicles sold/scrapped are MAN/Enviro 300 22788 and Volvo B10M coaches 52524/30/36 and 52610/11.
Stagecoach Megabus/Joint Venture Operations
Stagecoach North Scotland has reported the sale of Volvo B12B 54047.