Mercedes 709D

Mercedes 709D Minibus Overview

 New Mercedes 709D based minibuses were never purchased new by either Midland Red West or First Midland Red even though for many years Plaxton bodied examples were the standard purchases of Badgerline and latter Firstgroup companies. In the standard form the vehicle was purchased as a 23-seaters with a small luggage pen on the near side by the entrance door. The odd ones being examples for the City of Bristol services where to comply with the same union agreement as the one with first Midland Red that a minibus is defined as anything under 22 seats their examples had one less seat to comply with this. The first Mercedes 709D to be operated by Midland Red West was a Firstgroup demonstrator which was owned by Plaxtonís. The vehicle a 27-seater N491FDT was in full Bristol Cityline red, blue and yellow livery and ran from Worcester garage between 20th August and 4th November 1996.

51264-70/5/6 N264-70/5/6JUG

These vehicles were part of a batch of 30 vehicles (N264-93JUG) which were new to Yorkshire Rider in 1995. They took the fleet numbers 2264-2293. In the summer of 1990 with the delivery of new low floor Optare Solo minibuses in Bradford the company reduced itís requirement for these Mercedes Minibuses. Eight were transferred to First Midland Red. All except N2xxJUG arrived in the two tone blue livery of First Bradford. All eight were repainted into the then fleet livery of Red and Cream. N2xxJUB arrived in an advertising livery for xxxx. To comply with the Company 22-seat rule on minibuses (Drivers of vehicles of 22 seats or less can be paid at minibus pay and conditions) the vehicles were down seated to 22 from 23. This was done by the swapping of one of the double seats on the off side with a single seat salvaged from withdrawn Mercedes 608D minibuses. All eight are in service at Kidderminster Garage. For the record N271/2JUG are in service with First Mainline and N285-93JUB are in service with First Calderline. The remainder of the batch have been scraped. With service changes in Kidderminster in September 2005 all of the vehicles from this batch were finally taken out of service ending Mercedes 709D operation by First Wyvern in passenger service L812LAE is still in use as a driver trainer.

Registration Number

Fleet Number

Old Fleet Number

Body Type

Seating Capacity

Date into Service

Current Allocation

Livery

N264JUG

51264

1264

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-00

Withdrawn 7/05 - Sold to James Tamworth 3/07

Red & Cream (8/00)

N265JUG

51265

1265

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-00

Withdrawn 7/05 - Sold to James Tamworth 12/06

Red & Cream (8/00)

N266JUG

51266

1266

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-00

Withdrawn 9/05 - Sold to James Tamworth 11/06

Red & Cream (8/00)

N267JUG

51267

1267

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-00

Withdrawn 9/05 - Sold to James Tamworth 11/06

Red & Cream (8/00)

N268JUG

51268

1268

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-00

Withdrawn 7/05 - Sold to James Tamworth 12/06

Red & Cream (8/00)

N269JUG

51269

1269

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-00

Withdrawn 9/05 - Sold to James Tamworth 11/06 - Scrapped 4/09

Red & Cream (8/00)

N270JUG

51270

1270

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-00

Withdrawn 9/05 - Sold to James Tamworth 11/06

Red & Cream (8/00)

N275JUG

51275

1275

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-00

Withdrawn 6/05 - Sold to James Tamworth 3/07

Red & Cream (8/00)

N276JUG

51276

1276

Plaxton

B22F

Aug-00

Withdrawn 9/05 - Sold to James Tamworth 11/06

Red & Cream (8/00)

L805/10-9/21/2/4SAE, M840/64/73ATC

Bristol Omnibus purchased 79 Mercedes 709D minibuses all with Plaxton bodies (though some have Reeves Burges body plates). This minibus type had become the standard minibus for the Badgerline Group. In the standard form these vehicles were built as 23-seaters with a luggage pen on the nearside next to the entrance door. However in Bristol like with Midland Red West they have the same driver agreement with minibuses which means a vehicle of 22-seaters or less is defined as a minibus - hence the driver can be paid less. To conform with this requirement all Bristol Omnibus Mercedes 709D minibuses were built to 22 seats. This means the seating layout is slightly different in that the vehicle has an offside luggage pen with a single seat instead of a double seat next to it. The vehicles have automatic gearboxes. To allow the withdrawal of the "E" registration Mercedes 609D's at Kidderminster Garage 17 vehicles were acquired in the latter part of 2001. All were repainted into the Barbie2 livery before entry into service. With the transfer of Mercedes Vario's from Worcester Garage a number have either been withdrawn or transferred to Hereford Garage. Vehicles 1815 (L815SAE) and 1840 (M840ATC) were sold to First Eastern Counties in March 2003 to replace vehicles destroyed in a fire at Kings Lynn depot and have been numbered 973/6 respectively in their fleet. During March 2003 three more of the Mercedes 709D's left the First Midland Red fleet to return back to Bristol area to join the First Avon and Somerset fleet at Weston-super-Mare these are L817/9SAE,M864ATC. They took up their former First Bristol fleet numbers of 7817/9/64 respectively. Both 1805 and 1811 were reinstated during the week beginning 1st September 2003 at Hereford to cover for minibus shortages ahead of the introduction of a third batch of new low floor Optare Solo minibuses. A development in November 2003 was that a number of the Mercedes 709D vehicles were sold to the vehicle dealer Houston Ramm for conversion to mini-coaches. This gets round the Firstgroup policy of not selling buses for commercial use outside of the group whist allowing the sale of coaches.

Registration Number

Fleet Number

Old Fleet Number

Body type

Seating Capacity

Date into Service

Current Status

Livery

L805SAE

1805

N/A

Reeves Burges

B22F

Oct-01

Withdrawn 27/9/03 - Sold to Houston Ramm 11/03 then Downes by October 2006

Barbie2 (9/01)

L810SAE

1810

N/A

Reeves Burges

B22F

Oct-01

Withdrawn 5/03 - Sold to First West Yorkshire 1/04

Barbie2 (9/01)

L811SAE

1811

N/A

Reeves Burges

B22F

Oct-01

Withdrawn 27/9/03 - Sold to Houston Ramm 11/03

Barbie2 (9/01)

L812SAE

51012

1812

Reeves Burges

B22F

Nov-01

Reinstated at Worcester as a driver trainer 10/04 - withdrawn sold to James Tamworth 7/07

Barbie2 (10/01)

L813SAE

1813

N/A

Reeves Burges

B22F

Oct-01

Withdrawn 2/03 - Sold to Houston Ramm 11/03

Barbie2 (10/01)

L814SAE

51014

1814

Plaxton

B22F

Oct-01

Sold to James, Tamworth 10/05 - now with One Call Peterborough 12/06

Barbie2 (9/01)

L815SAE

1815

N/A

Plaxton

B22F

Nov-01

Withdrawn 1/03 - sold to Eastern Counties 3/03 as 973

Barbie2 (10/01)

L816SAE

1816

N/A

Plaxton

B22F

Oct-01

Withdrawn - Sold to Houston Ramm 11/03

Barbie2 (9/01)

L817SAE

1817

N/A

Plaxton

B22F

Oct-01

Withdrawn - sold to Badgerline 3/03 as 7817

Barbie2 (9/01)

L818SAE

1818

N/A

Plaxton

B22F

Nov-01

Withdrawn - Sold to Houston Ramm 11/03

Barbie2 (10/01)

L819SAE

1819

N/A

Plaxton

B22F

Oct-01

Withdrawn 2/03 - sold to Badgerline 3/03 as 7819

Barbie2 (9/01)

L821SAE

51021

1821

Plaxton

B22F

Oct-01

Withdrawn 2/5/03 - Sold to James, Tamworth 6/05

Barbie2 (9/01)

L822SAE

1822

N/A

Plaxton

B22F

Jan-02

Withdrawn 2/5/03 - Sold to First West Yorkshire 1/04 - has since been converted to a driver trainer at Halifax garage

Barbie2 (12/01)

L824SAE

51024

1824

Plaxton

B22F

Jan-02

Withdrawn 2/5/03 - sold to Emmanuel London SE9 in 12/04

Barbie2 (12/01)

M840MTC

1840

N/A

Plaxton

B22F

Nov-01

Withdrawn 1/03 - sold to Eastern Counties 3/03 as 976 now renumbered 51540

Barbie2 (9/01)

M864ATC

1864

N/A

Plaxton

B22F

Feb-02

Withdrawn - sold to Badgerline 3/03 as 7864

Barbie2 (12/01)

M873ATC

1873

N/A

Plaxton

B22F

Dec-01

Withdrawn 27/9/03 - Sold to Houston Ramm 11/03

Barbie2 (11/01)

Livery Key :  Barbie 2 - Non low floor corporate Firstgroup livery known as "Barbie2" (The dates in brackets are when the vehicle was last repainted)

1830/89/90/1 - L830WHY,L909/10/1VHT

Badgerline purchased a number of Mercedes 709D minibuses all with Plaxton bodies as replacements for earlier Transit minibuses mainly for their local services in and around the City of Bath. These vehicles were built to the standard Badgerline Group standard specification as 23-seaters. During 2002 First Midland Red acquired 4 Badgerline minibuses  to help allow the withdrawal of the "E" registration Mercedes 609D's at Kidderminster Garage. All were repainted into the Barbie2 livery  and to comply with the First Midland Red minibus driving agreement the vehicles were like the examples from Yorkshire Rider down seated to 22 seat before entry into service. With the transfer of Mercedes Vario's from Worcester Garage a number have either been withdrawn or transferred to Hereford Garage. Vehicles 1889 (L909VHT) and 1890 (L910VHT) were sold to First Eastern Counties in March 2003 to replace vehicles destroyed in a fire at Kings Lynn depot and have been numbered 974/5 respectively in their fleet. In a development in November 2003 L830WHY was sold to the vehicle dealer Houston Ramm for conversion to a mini-coach. This gets round the Firstgroup policy of not selling buses for commercial use outside of the group whist allowing the sale of coaches.

Registration Number

Fleet Number

Old Fleet Number

Body type

Seating Capacity

Date into Service

Current Allocation

Livery

L830WHY

1830

N/A

Plaxton

B22F

July-02

Withdrawn 27/9/03 - Sold to Houston Ramm 11/03

Barbie2 (6/02)

L909VHT

1889

N/A

Plaxton

B22F

Oct-01

Withdrawn - sold to First Eastern Counties as 974 - 3/03 now renumbered 51109

Barbie2 (9/01)

L910VHT

1890

N/A

Plaxton

B22F

Oct-01

Withdrawn - sold to First Eastern Counties as 975 - 3/03 now renumbered 51110

Barbie2 (9/01)

L911VHT

51111

1891

Plaxton

B22F

Dec-01

Withdrawn - Sold to Willenhall Commercials for scrap 3/05

Barbie2 (11/01)

Livery Key :  Barbie 2 - Non low floor corporate Firstgroup livery known as "Barbie2" (The dates in brackets are when the vehicle was last repainted)