Double Deck Vehicles - Low Floor

Double Deck Vehicle Overview

Double deck vehicles have never really featured in any great numbers in either the Midland Red West or First Midland Red/Wyvern fleets. On formation in 1981 Midland Red West was the only one of the four new bus companies formed out of Midland Red not to have any double deck vehicles. Within months three ten year old Daimler Fleetlines joined the Midland Red West fleet from Trent. They were used at Evesham and Hereford garages but had all gone by 1984. Whilst Redditch Garage did not have an allocation of its own double deck buses it did operate a Midland Red South vehicle each day on the then joint 229 service from Redditch to Stratford. The vehicle was required for Alcester schools and for operational reasons a Redditch driver drove it - To balance the working a Redditch Leyland National was parked at Stratford on Avon Garage each night. This arrangement ended in April 1986 when each National Bus Company had to operate as an independent unit ready for deregulation in October 1986. With the purchase of Midland Red Coaches in December 1986 Midland Red West ended up with seven MCW Expressliner double deck coaches. These unpopular and unreliable vehicles were used on National Express contract work with last being withdrawn in October 1990. To combat the competition from first of all Redline and then Kingfisher in Redditch Midland Red West operated a total of 4 (though not at the same time) Bristol VR double deck buses from Redditch Garage between 24th October 1987 and August 1990. Between 1990 and 2002 the company did not operate any double deck vehicles being one of the largest bus operators in the country without such vehicles until the arrival of K123URP from First Northampton in August 2002.

 32066/7 KP51VZO/R 

In 2002 First Leicester took delivery of 34 new Alexander ALX400 bodied Volvo B7L double deckers for use on their City services. The vehicles continued to operate in the City until 2015 when following the arrival of new vehicles some of the existing buses were cascaded to other First Group companies. Two surprisingly ended up at Worcester 32066 and 32067 numerically the fist of the batch. The vehicles are the first Volvo based low floor double deckers to be operated at Worcester and have not proved to be the most reliable of vehicles.

Registration Number

Fleet Number

Vehicle Type

Body type

Seating Capacity

Date into Service

Current Allocation

Livery

KP51VZO

32066

Volvo B7L

ALX400

H47/27F

September 2015

 Worcester

First Urban

KP51VZR

32067

Volvo B7L

ALX400

H47/27F

June 2015

Worcester

Barbie3

 32627/44/46 KP54KAO/AZG/L

KP54KAO arrived at Worcester from Leicester in September 2011 in exchange for single deck KX05MGY that went in the opposite direction. With changes to school bus requirements at both Redditch and Worcester garages from September 2011 33404 and 33405 moved from Worcester back Redditch and KP54KAO was moved to Worcester to maintain 3 low floor double decker at Worcester. KP54KAO is part of a batch of 24 split initially between Northampton, Bath and Leicester garages with 9 at Northampton, 3 at Bath and the remainder at Leicester. Currently other than the one at Worcester 2 are still at Northampton, the 3 that were at Bath are at Western super Mare and the remainder are at Leicester. Since arrival at Worcester KP54KAO has spent most of it's time on the service 144. With the requirement for two double deckers at Hereford for the start of the School year in September 2013 32644 and 32646 were loaned to Worcester from Leicester. This was to cover for 33042 and 33043 which were loaned to Hereford Garage whilst the evenual vehicles 32852 and 32854 were prepared for service

Registration Number

Fleet Number

Vehicle Type

Body type

Seating Capacity

Date into Service

Current Allocation

Livery

KP54KAO

32627

Volvo B7R

Wrights

H47/27F

September 2011

 Sold to First PMT 9/12.

Barbie3

KP54AZG

32644

Volvo B7R

Wrights

H47/27F

September 2013

Worcester (only on loan fro Leicester)

Barbie3

KP54AZL

32646

Volvo B7R

Wrights

H47/27F

September 2013

Worcester (only on loan fro Leicester)

Barbie3

Various For London Dennis Tridents 

A pair of Dennis Tridents LN51GOC and LN51GOE appeared at Redditch in late July 2012. The vehicles are numerically the first 2 of a batch of 28 vehicles built in 2002 for Transport for London contracts. The vehicles were built with a dual door arrangement and had been operated by First Capital Ltd Rainham depot and were used on the service 607 from Uxbridge to White City. The vehicles were originally used on the service 207 but when this was converted to articulated buses in 1995 these Dennis Tridents were transferred to the 607. On re-tendering of the service in 2012 First retained the route and from 7th April 2012 brand new Wrights bodied double deckers were introduced. In a quest to improve the quality of vehicles  used by many of their subsidiary companies the displaced double deckers have under gone an extensive refurbishment including painting in the latest corporate livery and the removal of the centre doors. The temporary entry into service with First Midland Red will allow the withdrawal of a number of step entrance vehicles. In August 2013 32852 and 32854 were acquired for use on a school contract at Hereford, the first double deckers in the allocation since the early 1980's. Both vehicles required work on them before they entered service 33042 and 33043 were loaned to Hereford Garage and 32644 and 32646 were loaned to Worcester garage from Leicester.

Registration Number

Fleet Number

Vehicle Type

Body type

Seating Capacity

Date into Service

Current Allocation

Livery

T852KLF 32852

Dennis Trident

Plaxton

H42/27F 20th September 2013 Worcester Barbie3
T854KLF 32854

Dennis Trident

Plaxton

H42/27F September 2013 Withdrawn November 2015 now moved to Taunton Barbie3
V857HBY 32857

Dennis Trident

Plaxton

H42/27F October 2012 Withdrawn 2/3/03 and Sold to Diamond Bus Barbie3
V860HBY 32860

Dennis Trident

Plaxton

H42/27F 20th August 2012  Withdrawn 2/3/03 and Sold to Diamond Bus Barbie3
V862HBY 32862

Dennis Trident

Plaxton

H42/27F September 2012  Withdrawn 2/3/03 and Sold to Diamond Bus Barbie3
V877HBY 32877

Dennis Trident

Plaxton

H42/27F August 2012  Withdrawn 2/3/03 and Sold to Diamond Bus Barbie3
T881KLF 32881

Dennis Trident

Plaxton

H42/27F October 2012  Withdrawn 2/3/03 and Sold to Diamond Bus Barbie3
V882HBY 32882

Dennis Trident

Plaxton

H42/27F October 2012  Withdrawn 2/3/03 and Sold to Diamond Bus Barbie3
T884KLF 32884

Dennis Trident

Plaxton

H42/27F October 2012  Withdrawn 2/3/03 and Sold to Diamond Bus Barbie3
T885KLF 32885

Dennis Trident

Plaxton

H42/27F October 2012  Withdrawn 2/3/03 and Sold to Diamond Bus Barbie3
V886HBY 32886

Dennis Trident

Plaxton

H42/27F September 2012  Withdrawn 2/3/03 and Sold to Diamond Bus Barbie3
V894HHL 32894

Dennis Trident

Plaxton

H42/27F September 2012  Withdrawn 2/3/03 and Sold to Diamond Bus Barbie3

LN51DWD

33039

Dennis Trident

Plaxton

H39/24F

June 2013

Worcester

First Urban

LN51DWG 

33042

Dennis Trident

Plaxton

H39/24F

June 2013

Sold for Scrap 13th December 2016

First Urban

LN51DVG 

 

33043

Dennis Trident

Plaxton

H39/24F

June 2013

Worcester

First Urban 

LN51GOC

33072

Dennis Trident

Plaxton

H42/27F

6th August 2012

Was temporarily Redditch - withdrawn 17th August 2012

First Urban

LN51GOE

33073

Dennis Trident

Plaxton

H42/27F

August 2012 Was temporarily Redditch - withdrawn 17th August 2012

First Urban

 

Livery :  Barbie 3 - was the last version of the original corporate Firstgroup livery for all vehicles which is a modified version of the original Barbie livery   First Urban is the latest corporate livery (The dates in brackets are when the vehicle was last repainted).

 33401-5 VX54MTV/Y/Z/UA/B

In November 2004 Firstgroup announced a major vehicle order for a total of 125 new low floor buses from Alexander Dennis at a total cost of £15M. As part of the order First Wyvern are to receive a total of 46 new vehicles which include five 10.7-metre Dennis Trident double deckers out of a total of ten ordered. The other five are for First Devon and Cornwall and will be bodied by East Lancs. As a result of this First Wyvern took delivery of it's first new double deck vehicles on Friday 26th November 2004. Double deck vehicles have never figured very much in the fleet but to allow both the conversion of normal bus routes in Redditch to low floor operation and the flexibility of higher capacities on one vehicle for school services a number of these Alexander Dennis have joined the fleet. Initially the vehicles were put into store at Worcester Garage awaiting preparation for service together with staff training for both drivers and engineers. The vehicles are built to the standard First Group vehicle specification both inside and external livery. The first three vehicles were joined on 3rd December 2004 by a further two vehicles 33404 and 33405. Currently the Redditch Union will not allow type training to start on the vehicles because they are not fitted with periscopes and FMR policy on the alternative CCTV equipment is not to switched on. The company would rather to wait until there are problems and then use the CCTV equipment. As the vehicles to be used on school services such as S57 and S58 the union are understandably not happy! To cover a need for extra vehicles at First Leicester 33401-5 were placed on loan from 8th December 2004 pending their introduction at Redditch and they are being used mainly on their services 14 and 14A. All five vehicles were licensed at Worcester before being sent on loan to First Leicester. Non of the vehicles currently carry any legal lettering though each has a type written notice in the front near side window saying on hire to First Leicester. 33405 to Redditch on Friday 28th January 2005 where together with sister Enviro 67643 it was used for the launch of the new vehicles in Redditch. 33405 returned back to Redditch on Thursday 10th February 2005 for promotional use during the visit of the Minister for Transport. After a period at First Leicester the vehicles have moved to First Northampton during March and April 2005. During December 2005 the vehicles gradually started to enter service at Redditch. Due to continued problems with trees the vehicles are only allowed to operate on services 57 and 58. Drivers are under instruction not to deviate off of the registered routes without specific permission. By 8th February 2006 all five vehicles were operating from Redditch Garage. On 25th June 2006 route branding for the redline services 57/8  was added to all five vehicles. It was decided during the Summer of 2008 that 33401 and 33405 would be re-allocated to Worcester Garage and so the route branding was removed. During July 2009 33402 and 33404 moved to Worcester in exchange for 67601 and 67602.

Registration Number

Fleet Number

Vehicle Type

Body type

Seating Capacity

Date into Service

Current Allocation

Livery

VX54MTV

33401

Dennis Trident

ALX400 4410/1

H47/27F

Dec-05

Worcester

Barbie 3 7/08

VX54MTY

33402

Dennis Trident

ALX400 4410/2

H47/27F

Dec-05

Worcester

Barbie3

VX54MTZ

33403

Dennis Trident

ALX400 4410/3

H47/27F

Dec-05

Worcester

Barbie3

VX54MUA

33404

Dennis Trident

ALX400 4410/4

H47/27F

Dec-05

Worcester

Barbie 38/08

VX54MUB

33405

Dennis Trident

ALX400 4410/5

H47/27F

Dec-05

Worcester

OldRed (10/14)

Livery : All 5 vehicles arrived in Barbie livery. Red Line Branding for the  Services 57/58 was added on 25th June 2006. The branding on vehicles 33404 and 33405 were removed in July 2008. Livery Key :  Barbie 3 - is the new corporate Firstgroup livery for all vehicles which is a modified version of the original Barbie livery, OldRed - 1930's BMMO Livery  (The dates in brackets are when the vehicle was last repainted).

 35156-9 SN65OKH/J/K/L

On Friday 29th May 2015 First announced it had ordered 385 new vehicles for 2015 of which 65 are Wrightbus StreetDeck and 183 are Wrightbus StreetLite. Of the order Worcester was due to have 13 of the StreetLite single deckers for the service 44 from Worcester to Great Malvern. However following a review of the route and usage it was decided to divert 4 of the single deckers to First Leicester in exchange for 4 of their double deckers from their pat of the order. This meant Worcester would get itís first new double deckers since November 1967 where DD12 Daimler Double Decker fleet numbers 6092-6096 were delivered new and allocated to the garage . Much has been said on other internet sites that the Tridents 30401-5 were in fact the last new double deckers This was not the case as whilst they were used on a Worcester Park and Ride they were purchased for Redditch but did enter service there because of union dispute and in fact there first temporary home until the dispute was resolved was First Leicester (see section on 33401-5 for details).  35156 arrived at Worcester on 11th September 2015 and the other soon followed and the work to prepare them for service started including fitting of branding for the 44 route. 35158 was the first to be completed and one of the first uses was to represent Firstgroup at an pre awards event at the Wythall Transport Museum on the 8th October 2015 for the UK Bus Awards. After a period of testing, driver training and cutting of trees in the Malvern area the vehicles all entered service on Monday 16th November 2015.

Registration Number

Fleet Number

Vehicle Type

Body type

Seating Capacity

Date into Service

Current Allocation

Livery

SN65OKH

35156

Wrightbus StreetDeck

Wrights AL571

H45/28F

16th November 2015 Worcester

First Urban

SN65OKJ

35157

Wrightbus StreetDeck

Wrights AL572

H45/28F

16th November 2015 Worcester

First Urban

SN65OKK

35158

Wrightbus StreetDeck

Wrights AL573

H45/28F

16th November 2015 Worcester

First Urban

SN65OKL

  35159

Wrightbus StreetDeck

Wrights AL574

H45/28F

16th November 2015 Worcester

First Urban

Livery : All 4 vehicles arrived in the new First urban livery with a purple front and are branded for the service 44 from Worcester to Great Malvern.