Helping Hands……………………… contributed by Will Hughes

With deliveries of the batch of 30 new Volvo B11RT/Sunsundegui SC5 “Goldline” coaches running late, Volvo loaned Ulsterbus seven Volvo and two Scania coaches from their dealer hire fleet to assist Ulsterbus provide sufficient cover during the 148th Open Golf Championships held at Royal Portrush Golf Club between the 10th and 21st July 2019. Temporary fleet numbers 5011 – 7 were allocated to the Volvos and 5018 to one of the Scanias. The second Scania although sent to Northern Ireland was not used after it developed a fault with its entrance door and was not allocated a fleet number.

5011 (SD 15 UWG) was a Volvo B11R/Sunsundegui SC7 C53FT new in 4/15 to Doigs, Glasgow. It entered service on 4/7/19 based at Glengall Street and was returned to Volvo on 23/7/19.

Volvo B11R/Sunsundegui SC7 5011 (SD 15 UWG) seen here at the temporary Portrush transport hub located in the car park behind Portrush fire station. Will Hughes

5012 (SH 15 WYS, ex 151-KK-2308, LSK 495), 5013 (SA 16 RRL, ex LSK 824), 5014 (SA 16 RRM, ex 2 WR), 5015 (SH 15 WYW, ex LSK 501), 5016 (SA 16 RRJ, ex LSK 820) and 5017 (SA 16 RRK, ex LSK 821) were all Volvo B11R/Jonckheere C53FT new in 3/15 (5012/5) or 3/16 (5013/4/6/7) to Parks, Hamilton. The 2016 examples were straight from Parks but 5012 had more recently been with Irish operator Bernard Kavanagh of Urlingford and 5015 had been with Welsh operator Williams of Brecon. 5012-4 entered service at Coleraine on 4/7/19 and 5015-7 at Ballymena on 9/7/19. All returned to Volvo on 23/7/19 with the exception of 5016 which was returned the following day. All of the Volvos proved to be popular albeit temporary additions to the fleet and were well liked by the drivers. Despite being second-hand vehicles, all were immaculate both internally and externally.

Volvo B11R/Jonckheere 5012 (SH 15 WYS, ex 151-KK-2308, LSK 495) seen here at the temporary transport hub in Coleraine which was located close to Coleraine Rugby Club. Paul Savage

Volvo B11R/Jonckheere 5013 (SA 16 RRL, ex LSK 824) seen here approaching the Portrush transport hub located in the car park behind Portrush fire station. Will Hughes

Volvo B11R/Jonckheere 5014 (SA 16 RRM, ex 2 WR) seen here at the temporary transport hub at Coleraine adjacent to the local rugby club. Will Hughes

Volvo B11R/Jonckheere 5015 (SH 15 WYW, ex LSK 501) seen here at the temporary transport hub in Portrush which was located in the car park behind the local fire station. Will Hughes

Volvo B11R/Jonckheere 5016 (SA 16 RRJ, ex LSK 820) seen here approaching Portrush from Coleraine. Paul Savage

Volvo B11R/Jonckheere 5017 (SA 16 RRK, ex LSK 821) seen here at the temporary Coleraine transport hub located close to the towns rugby club. Will Hughes

5018 (YP 12 NUH) was a Scania K360IB4 with an Irizar I6 C53FL body new to Griffin, Gravesend in 6/12 but had more recently been with Reays,Wigton although it is not thought to have been used there. It entered service at Londonderry on 9/7/19, returning to Volvo on 23/7/19. Sister vehicle YP 12 NUV was the other Scania received but not used, having developed a door fault. In the event neither of the Scania’s returned to England, both being sold on to Rooney Coach Hire, Hilltown. Again 5018 was immaculate both internally and externally but only saw limited use, the Volvo’s being the vehicle of choice with drivers.

Scania K360IB4/Irizar I6 5018 (YP 12 NUH) seen here in the coach park at Portrush which formed part of the temporary transport hub during the Open Golf Championships. Will Hughes

Three much smaller temporary additions to the fleet were Ford Transit 13 seat minibuses 5019 (ERZ 8206), 5020 (OFZ 3597) and 5021 (RFZ 2088) which were hired from Trust Ford, Belfast for use on VIP shuttles. New in 6/12, 6/13 and 12/13 respectively, all entered service at Londonderry on 13/7/19 being returned to their owner on 22/7/19. Unlike the larger loan vehicles, no fleet numbers were carried by these vehicles.

Ford Transit minibuses 5019 (ERZ 6206) and 5020 (OFZ 3597), seen here parked up at the rear of the former Ulsterbus outstation in Portrush Will Hughes

Ford Transit minibus 5021 (RFZ 2088), seen here at the temporary media hub situated on the West Strand at Portrush Will Hughes

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