Stagecoach East has put its new Plaxton Elite coaches 54201-18 into service over the past weekend on the X5 Cambridge-Oxford service. They have displaced 17 Plaxton Panther-bodied Volvo B9R coaches 53601-13/15-18. Six of the displaced coaches, 53612/13/15-18 will be retained at Bedford for service 99 Milton Keynes-Luton Airport. Look out for a further six moving to Stagecoach East Midlands at Hull to upgrade the MegabusPlus operation and a further three heading to Stagecoach West. Details of the plan for the remaining two and the four Volvo B7R/Plaxton Profile coaches currently used on the service 99 is not known at present.
Dave Russell & Deric Pemberton have advised that Dart SLF 34432 is still awaited at Stagecoach West from Stagecoach East at Bedford.
The remaining two Volvo B12M/Plaxton Paragon coaches in regular use with the Megabus unit at Stagecoach Midlands, 53028/29, are expected to be taken out of service shortly, whilst the Scania Irizar i6 80025 which has been operated from Rugby is expected to be returned to Scania shortly following a period on loan to Stagecoach.
Stagecoach South East is due to receive a number of cascaded Tridents from Stagecoach London. Details are still to be confirmed but it is understood the first of these, which are expected to replace Volvo Olympians, are already with the company.
The latest update from Dave Russell & Deric Pemberton covering the Stagecoach West fleet confirms that the recent intake of new and cascaded saloons has seen all but five non-DDA complaint single decks taken out of service including Dart SLFs 33948/50/53/56/57/58/60/61/66/70/73/77. Other changes have seen Trident 17626 transferred onto the Reserve Fleet from Gloucester and replaced with 18180 from Swindon. Swindon has also lost 18086 to Stroud but gained two Pointer-bodied Dart SLFs, 34839/41 from Cheltenham. All of the Enviro 200 and Enviro 300 saloons delivered in November/December 2014 are now in service with the exception of Enviro 300 28681.
There have also been major fleet changes at Stagecoach East Midlands where a wide scale cull of non-DDA Dart SLFs have taken place. Six MAN/ALX300 saloons have also been received from Stagecoach West Scotland The changes reported by the company over the last month are:
22263/64, 22380/81/84/85 Stagecoach West Scotland to Reserve (Hull)
22797-800/31 Mansfield-Reserve (Hull)
Four of the remaining Optare Excels in the Reserve Fleet at Hull (35010/11/14/15) are now in service at Hull whilst 35013 is now withdrawn for disposal
Dart SLFs withdrawn from service and awaiting disposal are:
Worksop: 33154, 34185
Worksop: 33436, 33947
Also now awaiting disposal is MAN/ALX300 22119, which has had various components removed after sustaining fire damage.
Finally, we are advised that Stagecoach UK Bus has dropped the local identity descriptors in fleetnames. The ‘in Devon’, ‘in Hartlepool’ and similar country-wide descriptors are apparently no longer being use and in some fleets the company name including ‘Midlands’, ‘West’, ‘South West’ are now being applied to vehicles.
New ADL E30D/Enviro 300 saloons 27189-91 are reported by Stagecoach South Wales as allocated to Cwmbran and have replaced MAN/Enviro 300s 22780/81/85 which are being prepared for transfer to Merthyr whilst similar 22789 is back in service at Cwmbran after engine replacement. Following accident damage to Optare Versa 25211, Dart SLF 35204 has been transferred from Blackwood to Porth as a replacement. To cover at Blackwood MAN/MCW 39619 is reinstated to service. Volvo B10M 52417 has been sold for scrap and is no longer part of the fleet. Newer Dart SLF 34490 is currently at Porth as a staff shuttle.