Ulsterbus Fleet News 2006
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Ulsterbus News 2004
Ulsterbus News 2003
Ulsterbus News 2002
Ulsterbus News 2001
Ulsterbus News 2000
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22/12/06 - Four former Mark IV Goldliners have been acquired by Olympus, Harlow - 1558/76/80/88, with at least one other and possibly more to go. Of the Plaxtons remaining with Ulsterbus, 1569 was reseated to B69F back in 1/06. This was initially seat belt fitted but these were later removed. It has since been joined by 1551/83/91 all of which are also non seat belt fitted. The first seat belt fitted example to return to service was 1610 on 6/12 which has since been joined by 1613. All of the remaining Mark IV's are to be converted and 1582/9/99, 1602/4/6/12/5/7/28 are currently in the factory under conversion. Of these 1582 is likely to be non seat belt fitted.
20/12/06 - Scanias 2475/6 (KEZ 7475/6) entered service at Larne today, leaving just four of the order for 110 to be delivered. B10M/Van Hool Artic 3110 has also been transfered from GVS to Larne. 324 (LEZ 1826, ex BXI 324) has been sold to Hamill, Ahoghill for scrap and 401 (JEZ 4092, ex FXI 401) has gone to Coulter, Ballymena as non psv. Five of the six Mark IV Goldliners which have gone to Highland Country have now been identified, 1566/8/71 (DAZ 1566/8/71) and 1587/90 (EAZ 2587/90). 1587 is the first to be converted to C70F. Leopard 336 (GEZ 4737, ex BXI 336) has turned up with South Yorkshire operator, Goodridge of Rawmarsh. This was the vehicle sold to Pegg, Liverpool and subsequently advertised on E Bay.
18/12/06 - New vehicles to enter service are 2469/70 Coleraine 08/12/06; 2471 Coleraine 11/12/06; 2472 Larne 11/12/06; 2473/4 Larne 13/12/06; 2020 Omagh 15/12/06 and 2019 Dungannon 16/12/06. More Tigers returned to service are 381 at Dungannon on 04/12 and 390 at Downpatrick on 07/12. Also returned to service ex Flexibus Reserve is 648 at Dungannon. The final three Mark IV Goldliners to go to Plaxtons, 1594/8 & 1600, have now gone.
16/12/06 -The latest Scanias entering service are 2464/6 (KEZ 7464) at Bangor and 2467/8 at Coleraine all on 4th December. Tiger 477 has returned to service at Newry and B10M 1551 at Coleraine after an absence of more than a year. Againts these additions the following are now in Reserve: 344 Enniskillen, 347/443 Londonderry, 354/73/482 Gt. Victoria St., 356/79/97 Newtownards, 366/7 Londonderry, 371/81/98 Armagh, 390 Newcastle, 395 Dungannon, 415 Downpatrick, 432 Coleraine and 680 from the Driving School whilst has been withdrawn with accident damage from Newry. Moves see the following: 1161 Coleraine - Newtownards, 1591 Craigavon - Antrim, 391 Newcastle - Coleraine, 1583 Dungannon - Lisburn, 1765 Newtownabbey - Enniskillen, 478 Newry -Ballymena, 1109 Ballymena - Newry, 450/1 Enniskillen - Dungannon, 510 Londonderry - Ballymena, 1895 Coleraine - Enniskillen, 690/2 Glengall St - Londonderry, 1659/60 Glengall St - Lisburn, 2667 Ulsterbus NAbbey Metro (NAbbey), 1030 Bangor - Dungannon, 434 Dungannon - Coleraine, 440 Armagh - Coleraine, 402 Magherafelt Ballymena, 1003 Bangor - Magherafelt, 1034 Bangor - Armagh, 1035 Bangor - Craigavon, 1001 Lisburn - Armagh, 1002 Bangor - Gt Victoria St, 1026 Newtownards - Londonderry, 1054 Newtownards - Londonderry,1055 Newtownards - Newcastle, 1061 Enniskillen - Gt Victoria St, 1113 Newtownards - Armagh, 2833 Bangor -Newtownards, 343 Craigavon - Driving School. The latest re-registrations are:
1322 BXI 322 to RXI 3322
324 BXI 324 to LEZ 1826
330 BXI 325 to LEZ 1827
10/12/06 - Plaxtons 1551/91/1603 are all now reseated and painted in the blue/gray house style livery; also repainted in this is Scania 786.
25/11/06 - Further Scania's to enter service are 2452/3 (Enniskillen), 2454/5 (Lisburn), 2456/7 (Newtownards) 2458-60 (Bangor) on 17/11, 2462 (Bangor) on 22/11 and 2461/3/5 (Bangor) on 24/11. More Mark IV Goldliners away to Plaxtons are 1565/70/4/6 leaving only 1594/8 and 1600 to go.
19/11/06 - Sadly RELL 4431 (WOI 2431) has been removed from GVS for scrapping.
18/11/06 - Monday 20th November sees implementation of the latest stage of the Ulsterbus Strategic review - this time covering Dungannon, Omagh and Enniskillen. The changes are less radical than those seen in Derry, but as usual all 3 areas gain enhanced Town Services running on regular headways:
Service 377A: Dungannon Town Service - Cunninghams Lane & Killyman Road
Service 377B: Dungannon Town Service - Fairfield Estate
Service 377C: Dungannon Town Service - White City
Service 377D: Dungannon Town Service - Lisnahull & Ballygawley Road Estate
Service 377E: Dungannon Town Service - Killymeal Road & Altmore Drive
Service 377F: Dungannon Chapel - Dungannon (1 journey Sunday only)
Service 384A: Omagh Town Service - Strathroy
Service 384B: Omagh Town Service - Killyclogher
Service 384C: Omagh Town Service - Tamlaght Road
Service 384D: Omagh Town Service - Culmore Park and O'Kane Park (infrequent)
Service 384E: Omagh Town Service - Tyrone and Fermanagh Hospital
Service 384F: Omagh Town Service - Mullaghmore - Lisanelly
Service 384G: Omagh Town Service - Dergmoney Estate & Coolnagard Estate
Service 397A: Enniskillen Town Service - Drumcor, Derrin Road & Drumbeg
Service 397B: Enniskillen Town Service - Windmill Heights & Coleshill Road
Service 397C: Enniskillen Town Service - Chanterhill Road & Cavanaleck
Key country routes are also slightly enhanced, most notably between Dungannon - Coalisland - Cookstown (80A/B/C - hourly to Cookstown, half hourly to Coalisland), Dungannon - Portadown (2 hourly) and Dungannon - Pomeroy - Omagh (86 - 2 hourly). Goldline service 261 also is enhanced, with further direct Enniskillen - Ballygawley Belfast journeys giving a combined service of every half hour - is this really justified by the traffic on offer? The Review now moves on to Craigavon and Armagh, for implemtation early in 2007.
16/11/06 - Further Goldliner Mark IV's away to Plaxton's this week are 1557/9/73/86/93. Additional reregistrations are:-
388 to KEZ 8989
449 to KEZ 8988
450 to KEZ 8990
1321 back to RXI 3321.
15/11/06 - The new vehicles ordered recently are apparently the 110 'school bus' vehicles announced in September. They will be Volvo B7R/Wright School Bus to a new design based on the Eclipse body style, with either 66 seats or 62 seats plus wheelchair. From the Wrightbus website:
"In addition to the detailed changes across the range, Wrightbus has announced that it will also be developing a new product, based on the internationally proven Volvo B7R chassis, following an important order placed by Northern Ireland operator, Translink.
Based on the well established Wrightbus Eclipse bodystyle, the new and as yet unnamed 12m single deck vehicle has been developed as a high floor bus for niche applications. In the case of Translink, the vehicle will be specified for school bus and rural service operation, with 66 fully belted seats or 62 seats plus 1 wheelchair based on a 3+2 seating configuration. Access is by steps at the front of the bus, allowing all seating to be on one level, enhancing safety for young children.
With the benefit of the Wrightbus Aluminique body, the Translink school bus specification also will include bonded glazing, a powered side lift for wheelchair passengers and interior overhead luggage racks. A total of 110 Wrightbus School buses have been ordered by Translink for deployment throughout the province. Product development will commence immediately, with deliveries to be completed prior to September 2007, in time for the new school year.
Commenting on the Translink school bus order, Vice President of Business Development Mark Nodder said, This is a very significant order for us and shows that in partnership with Volvo, safe, modern and well engineered school buses can be made economically viable. Importantly, the vehicle also has great potential for adaptation to suit a variety of other applications, such as rural or inter-urban services.
14/11/06 - Volvo B12M/Plaxton Panther coaches 120-3 (KEZ 9120-3) entered service at Stranraer on 10/11/06 (note that the registrations have changed from those originally booked as the DVLNI managed to issue them twice). Displaced B10M/Plaxton coaches 687-9 were allocated to Bangor, Craigavon and Dungannon respectively. Another Tiger returned to service is 437 at MF on 10/11/06. The latest Mark IV Goldliners dispatched to Plaxtons are 1553/8/60. Accident damaged DAF/Plaxton 678 (SXI 1678) which was sold to Wealden and then passed on to Naughton, Spiddal must have been repaired as it has been noted re-registered 90-G-8285. Further re-registrations are as follows:- 439 KEZ 6394 6/11/06 440 KEZ 6388 6/11/06 441 KEZ 6387 6/11/06 442 KEZ 6357 6/11/06 443 KEZ 6356 9/11/06 384 KEZ 8396 10/11/06 391 KEZ 8395 10/11/06 446 SKZ 4094 10/11/06 447 KEZ 8397 10/11/06.
13/11/06 - LOT3 of the current tender for PSV's ( DDA compliant single deckers ) has been awarded to Volvo/Wrightbus.
12/11/06 - Tigers returing to service during October are 341 (Driving School), 391 (Newcastle) and 447/9 (Derry). Similar vehicles now in Reserve are : 401 (Magherafelt), 418 (Antrim), 421 (Lisburn), 431 (GVS) 436/7 (Dungannon), whilst 1216 (Larne) is now detaxed for accident repair and Atlantean/ECW 4908 is seasonally detaxed from Coleraine. Another glut of vehicles moving sees the following: 372 (Magherafelt - Coleraine), 1022/3 (Ballymena - Dungannon, Enniskillen), 518 (Coleraine - Driving School), 1075 (Armagh - Coleraine and on to Derry), 496 (Newry - Enniskillen), 1028/56 (Newry - Armagh), 1128 (Coleraine - GVS), 423 (Ballymena - Larne), 1018/9 (Dungannon - Magherafelt, Newtownards), 1031 (Armagh - Derry), 1109 (larne - Ballymena), 1105 (Armagh - Dungannon), 2821-3 (Bangor - Lisburn), 426 (Omagh - Larne), 1615 (Omagh - Lisburn), 371 (Coleraine - Armagh), 383 (Dungannon - Antrim), 386/99 (Enniskillen, Armagh - Driving School), 747-9 (Derry - Bangor), 1058/69/1186 (Bangor - Derry), 1065/1102 (Omagh - Enniskillen, Dungannon), 2834/6 (Bangor - Ards), 429 (Enniskillen - Active Reserve) and finally 679 (Active Reserve - Driving School).
11/11/06 - 1591 is the second Plaxton to be reseated and repainted; Scania 787 is another to be repainted out of the old green livery. Excaliburs 1559/60 have now returned to Belfast, having operated from Stranraer since new.
10/11/06 - Leopards 198 & 290 have now gone to Hamill for scrap. Volvo B10M 1583 is now reseated as a service bus, and also smartly repainted in the blue/stone 'house style' livery. At least one other is also done this way.
01/11/06 - More Leopards to go to Hamill are: 179, 271/3/91/6/7/8. Better news is that similar 299 (AXI 299) has been secured by Paul Harkin, Londonderry for preservation. This was the very last Leopard to operate in revenue earning service on 30 June 2006 and will probably be the only operational Leopard used on the various farewell tours to survive. 1566/79/85/90/6 are the latest Mark IV Goldliners to be dispatched to Plaxtons.
26/10/06 - Recent deliveries to enter service are Ayats 2021/2 at Armagh on 13/10, 2024 at Omagh on 17th and 2025 at Dungannon on 20th along with Scanias 2440 at Coleraine on 6th, 2441 at Coleraine on 9th, 2442-4 at Omagh on 12th, 2445-7 at Bangor on 13th and 2448-51 at Bangor on 20th. Tigers returned to service are 391 at Newcastle on 17th, 449 at Derry on 11th and 447 also at Derry 17th. Tiger 518 was trasferred to the Driving School on the 5th of the month with Volvos 2809-11 goint back to Metro GVS on the 16th. Further reregistrations are:-
395 FXI 395 to KEZ 5807 16/10 397 FXI 397 to KEZ 3552 16/10 400 FXI 400 to KEZ 3555 16/10 428 GXI 428 to KEZ 3554 16/10 429 GXI 429 to KEZ 3554 16/10 433 GXI 433 to KEZ 5805 16/10 434 GXI 434 to KEZ 5806 16/10 436 GXI 436 to KEZ 6407 23/10 437 GXI 437 to KEZ 6408 23/10 438 GXI 438 to KEZ 6409 23/10 Disposals are Leopards 211 to Curry, Pinxton for preservation and 302/16 to Hamill, Ahoghill for scrap. In addition Volvo/Plaxtons 1561/3/72/8/88 have gone to Plaxton, Anston.
25/10/06 - Scania deliveries have now reached 2457. Of these, 2451-80 will now enter service with registrations KEZ 7451-80, and will gain their cherished numbers once the donor vehicle has been re-registered; seemingly this is to prevent the situation whereby two vehicles are on the road with the same registration number. 904 (JAZ 3904) is the latest minibus to go to McGonagle, Buncrana. 856 (NXI 6856) and 875 (TXI 7875) have also been sold to as yet unknown buyers. Disposals are now available for the five minibuses which went to Carryduff Auctions:- 895 (JAZ 3895) - Seawright, Carryduff (dealer). 897 (JAZ 3897) - Mulhern, Monaghan (status unknown). 898 (JAZ 3898) - Temple Golf & Country Club, Boardmills as non PSV. 899 (JAZ 3899) - Fleming & Cuthbert, Ballyclare (probably non PSV). 903 (JAZ 3903) - Farell, Dundalk (status unknown). More Leopards are being gathered up for dispatch to Hamill. 179 and 273 have arrived in Belfast from store at Craigavon so must be prime candidates.
17/10/06 - Leopards 214/23/37/47/79 have gone to Hamill, Ahoghill for scrap with 244/82 going there this afternoon. Mark IV Goldliners 1603/28 have been stripped of their seats for reseating as school buses. Tiger 1181 now carries a rear advert for the Lagan Valley Island Centre.
10/10/06 - New Volvo B12M/Plaxton coach 120 has arrived and is in Eurolines livery. Dates of entry in to service for recent deliveries are as follows:
Scania L94/Wright B44F+27
2417 FXI 417 Newcastle 11/09
2423 GXI 423 Dungannon 08/09
2424 GXI 423 Craigavon 07/09
2425 FXI 385 Craigavon 11/09
2426 GXI 426 Craigavon 11/09
2427 FXI 397 Craigavon 19/09
2428 GXI 428 Newry 19/09
2429 GXI 429 Newry 19/09
2430 FXI 400 Newry 19/09
2431 GXI 431 Newry 20/09
2432 GXI 432 Newry 20/09
2433 GXI 433 Ballymena 22/09
2434 GXI 434 Ballymena 22/09
2435 FXI 385 Ballymena 22/09
2436 GXI 436 Ballymena 25/09
2437 GXI 437 Ballymena 25/09
2438 GXI 438 Coleraine 01/10
2438 GXI 439 Coleraine 01/10
Scania K94IB/Irizar C53F
1762 - EEZ 6762 - Newtownabbey - 11/09
1763 - EEZ 6763 - Newtownabbey - 11/09
1764 - EEZ 6764 - Newtownabbey - 11/09
1765 - EEZ 6765 - Newtownabbey - 11/09
1766 - EEZ 6766 - Newtownabbey - 11/09
Strangely, long withdrawn RELL 2431 which is a store at GVS, has been renumbered 4431 to make way for a new Scania. Further Tigers returning to service in September were 415 (Downpatrick), 384 (Larne), 354/414/31/82 (GVS), 385 (Driving School) and 393 (Newtownabbey); 414 was retired again at the end of the month, along with 341/2/70 (Coleraine), 363/470 (Armagh), 391/447/9 (Ballymena) and 393/477 (Newry). More re-registrations are:
385 - FXI 285 - KEZ 2859
423 - GXI 423 - KEZ 2615
426 - GXI 426 - KEZ 2680
179 - VOI 179 to KEZ 4386
431 - GXI 431 to KEZ 1841
432 - GXI 432 to KEZ 1840
1317 - AXI 317 (ex PXI 1317) to PXI 1317
1318 - AXI 318 (ex PXI 1318) to PXI 1318
1319 - AXI 319 (ex PXI 1319) to PXI 1319
Mark IV Goldliners 1562 (DAZ 1562), 1580/4/7/95 (EAZ 2580/4/7/95) passed to Plaxton, Anston last week with 1563 (DAZ 1563), 1575/88 (EAZ 2575/88) going this week. 1584 (EAZ 2584) has already been reported with GHA Coaches, Wrexham. Leopards 240/50, 301/13 all went to Hamill, Ahoghill for scrap this week. As usual lately, there has been a glut of moves between depots: 411 (Craigavon - Newcastle), 1128 (Newcastle - Coleraine), 418 (Craigavon - Antrim), 363 (Craigavon - Armagh), 1374 (Antrim - Craigavon), 1544 (Craigavon - Amtrim), 1589/99 (Newtownabbey - GVS), 1099/1109 (Ballymena - Larne), 1607/11 (Larne - Ballymena), 2324 (Ballymena - GVS), 1364 (Ballymena - Lisburn), 1557 (Armagh - Magherafelt), 1022 (Ballymena - Dungannon), 1023 (Ballymena - Enniskillen), 705/6/2751-60 (Derry City - Derry) and finally 1846 (Derry - Derry City).
01/10/06 - Leopards 253/4 passed to Hamill, Ahoghill for scrap earlier in the week. Tomorrow sees some interesting service changes, with Chambers starting to operate on the 200/212 and 273 routes. Airbus service 300 becomes Northern Ireland's first 24 hour route, with additional journeys operating between midnight and 05.00, 7 days a week. These depart from Glengall Street rather than the Buscentre. Less welcome news is another reduction to the operating hours of Laganside Buscentre seeing it closing after 18.30 daily with services transferring to the Europa Buscentre after that time.
22/09/06 - More re-registrations are as follows:
386 - FXI 386 - KEZ 1271
417 - FXI 417 - KEZ 1272
420 - GXI 420 - KEZ 1269
421 - GXI 421 - KEZ 1268
422 - GXI 422 - KEZ 1270
424 - GXI 424 - KEZ 1014
20/09/06 - Volvo B10BLE 2847, Scanias 764/5/7 and Solo 1863, all at Derry, are now repainted to the blue & stone corporate livery. Not previously mentioned are a number of Tigers and a solitary B10BLE all carrying overall adverts for Spar: 1355 (Omagh), 1370 (Magherafelt), 2640 (Coleraine), 2650 (Bangor), 2657 (Armagh) 2660 (Newcastle), 2663 (Newry) and 2838 (Derry).
13/09/06 - Short Volvo/Caetano 512 (JAZ 5512) has been withdrawn and sold to McGonagle, Buncrana, whilst Mercedes Benz 711D/Alexander 895/7/8/9, 903 (JAZ 3895/7/8/9, 3903) have been auctioned by Carryduff Auctions. Three more Tigers have been returned to service, 408/42 at Newtownabbey and 454 at Newry.Further vehicles reregistered are:-
316 AXI 316 - JEZ 6821
387 FXI 387 - JEZ 8981
392 FXI 392 - JEZ 8983
406 FXI 406 - JEZ 8980
408 FXI 408 - JEZ 8979
409 FXI 409 - JEZ 8978
410 FXI 410 - JEZ 8976
411 FXI 411 - JEZ 8977
413 FXI 413 - JEZ 8982
414 FXI 414 - JEZ 9340
415 FXI 415 - JEZ 9341
418 FXI 418 - JEZ 9338
419 FXI 419 - JEZ 9339
1311 AXI 311, ex PXI 1311 - PXI 1311
1312 AXI 312, ex PXI 1312 - PXI 1312
1313 AXI 313, ex PXI 1313 - PXI 1313
1315 AXI 315, ex PXI 1315 - PXI 1315
1814 AXI 314, ex HAZ 5814 - HAZ 5814
13/09/06 - A glut of new vehicles have entered service recently, as follows: MAN ND363F/Ayats Bravo 2002 (AXI 282, Derry), 2014 (AXI 314, Coleraine), 2015/6 (AXI 315/6, Derry); Scania K94IB/Irizar 1760/1 (EEZ 6760, Newry), Volvo B7TL 2301 (IEZ 2301, Derry City), 2302-7 (Derry), 2308-10 (Coleraine), 2311/2 (Antrim), 2313-5 (Magherafelt), 2316/7 (Armagh) , 2318/9 (Craigavon), 2320/1 (Dungannon), 2322/3 (Omagh), 2324/9 (Ballymena), 2325 (GVS), 2326/7 (Ards), 2328 (Lisburn); Scania L94UB/Wright 2406-11 (FXI 406/387/407-11, Derry City), 2412-4 (FXI 392/413/4, Downpatrick), 2415-6 (FXI 415/386, Newcastle), 2418-20 (FXI 418/9 GXI 420, Armagh) and 2421/2 (GXI 421/2, Dungannon). All of these entered service on 1st September, bar 2002 (11th August), 2014 (29th August) and 2324/9 on 5th September.Tigers 392/424/9/46 also returned to service at the start of September at Downpatrick (392), Ballymena (424/46) and Enniskillen (429). Bizarrely this meant Downpatrick was operating two separate buses carrying the registration FXI 392 at the same time!! Against these additions a large number of Tigers were also retired: 352/414/5/31 (Armagh), 354/78 (Ards), 417 (Downpatrick), 454 (Newry), 476 (Newcastle), 385/438/82 (Coleraine), 384 (Enniskillen), 419/42 (Derry), together with Mercedes/Alexander 904 from Larne. As may be expected the new additions also generated a large number of moves around the countryside: 1681 (Magherafelt - Coleraine), 1353 (Larne - Newry), 1047 (Derry - Newcastle), 1091 (Coleraine - Newcastle), 411/8/1226/48 (Derry - Craigavon), 1172 (Derry - Active Reserve - at Craigavon), 1196 (Derry - Newry), 1012 (Antrim - Coleraine), 470 (Downpatrick - Armagh), 707-9 (Derry City - Antrim), 710/1/1489 (Derry City - Coleraine), 720 (Derry City - Ards), 747 (Bangor - Derry), 1004 (Downpatrick - Omagh), 1009 (Downpatrick - GVS), 1016 (Magherafelt - Downpatrick), 1046/1275 (Derry - GVS), 1066/1249 (Derry - Dungannon), 1067 (Derry - Ards), 1068 (Derry - Lisburn), 1069 (Derry - Bangor), 1086 (Magherafelt - Larne), 1099/1364 (Derry - Ballymena), 1106 (Lisburn - Newry), 1118 (Craigavon - Newry), 1123 (Dungannon - Newcastle), 1171/1225/76 (Derry - Newry), 1177 (GVS - Ards), 1258 (Antrim - Newcastle), 1259/68 (Antrim - Armagh), 1269 (Antrim - Ards), 1576 (Antrim - Lisburn), 1589/99 (Coleraine - Newtownabbey), 1594/5 (Newry - Lisburn), 1605 (Coleraine - Newry), 1609 (Magherafelt - Newry), 1610 (Ards - Bangor), 1611 (Dungannon - Larne), 1612 (Derry - Enniskillen), 1615 (Omagh - Newry), 1622 (Craigavon - Enniskillen), 1673 (Coleraine - Armagh) and finally Solo 1898 from Newcastle - Bangor. Leopard 336 has been sold to Glynn Pegg, Liverpool. Tigers 403/5 are now registered JEZ 4094/6, previously FXI 403/5 whilst Leopard AXI 290 has become JEZ 7369.
07/09/06 - Two more Leopards have gone to Hamill today, 174 (VOI 174) and 213 (WOI 2213).
06/09/06 - 1568/71 (DAZ 1568/71) are two more Mark IV Goldliners which are on their way to Plaxton, Anston. Sister vehicle 1591 (EAZ 2591) is currently in the factory being reseated to a school bus.
05/09/06 - Today the Northern Ireland Children's Minister, Marie Eagle, has announced measures to improve safety on school buses in Northern Ireland. The minister said funding has been made available for 110 new buses which will have seat belts fitted, to be delivered over a two year period up to 2009 and eliminating the need for standing passengers and the '3 for 2 rule'. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/5314882.stm and http://www.translink.co.uk/20060905newschoolbus.asp for the full story and Translink's response.On the day to day front a number of Leopards have gone to Hamill for scrap over the last week or so:- 139 (EEZ 6838, ex ROI 139), 145 (FEZ 8164, ex ROI 145), 166 (UOI 9166), 206 (GEZ 1252, ex VOI 206), 210/7/8/20/6/39 (WOI 2210, IEZ 8825 ex WOI 2217, WOI 2218/20/6/39), 278 (YOI 2278), 281 (GEZ 1425, ex AXI 281) and 4109 (WAZ 5652, ex ROI 139). This eliminates both the ROI and UOI batches from the fleet. 170 (UOI 9170) is back with Ulsterbus ex Haughey, Forkhill, who has taken 334 (BXI 334) in its place for preservation. A second Leopard has also gone to Bell, Ballymena for non PSV use, 331 (JEZ 2956, ex BXI 331). Two Volvo B10M/Plaxton Mark IV Goldliners have left the fleet. 1555/6 (DAZ 1555/6) are the first of a number to be sold to Plaxton, Anston (dealer). Sadly, the final Bedford towbus in the fleet, Armagh's 4878 (LOI 1878) has now been withdrawn. It is not being replaced. Several route changes not previously mentioned as part of the 'Ulsterbus Foyle' revisions are the expansion of the Strabane and Limavady town services, together with the introduction of a further Rural Transport Funded route, 102B (Donnemana - Plumbridge), twice daily Monday - Friday. The Strabane town service now consists of 4 routes ( 398A Carlton Drive, 398B Altiskane, 398C Springhill Park and 398D Lisnafin Park); both these and the existing Limavady rout now run on a half hourly frequency. The Derry - Dublin Goldline service (274) has also been upgraded to every 2 hours.
22/08/06 - Volvo B7s 2990-3 have returned to GVS and are now branded for the new Sprucefield Park & Ride service, 651.
13/08/06 - 5 more MAN ND363/Ayats Bravo C71F entered service during July: 2009, AXI 299, Derry, 06/07; 2012, AXI 312, Derry, 11/07; 2013, AXI 313, Coleraine, 11/07; 2003/8, AXI 283/98, Derry, both 19/07. These were followed by a large number of Scanias at the start of August with the following entering service on the 1st: 831-4, GEZ 7831 etc, Coleraine; 835-40 at Antrim, followed on the 2nd by 829/30/41-7 (GEZ 7829 etc at Derry City), 2401-5 (FXI 401-5), Bangor. A number of vehicles which were detaxed for the school holidays have been retaxed: Volvo B10Ms 1515 Dungannon and 1523 (Larne), B10MA 3001 at Larne together with Tigers 1355 (Omagh), 433/1183 (Larne) and 1258/68/1432 at Antrim. Tigers 374/420 are both now in Reserve, previously at GVS, whilst similar 355 has been withdrawn from Newtownards due to engine failure. Moves see B10M 1578 go from Omagh to Antrim and then on to Newry; 1090 (Coleraine - Newcastle); 1118 (GVS - Craigavon); 1013 (Antrim - Omagh); 489 (Antrim - Dungannon); 490 (Antrim - Magherafelt); 1106 (Antrim - Lisburn); 1160 (Antrim - Coleraine); 1214 (Antrim - Newcastle); 748/9 (Bangor - Derry) and finally 2824 (Bangor - Ards). Leopard 260 has been sold to Cusick, Armoy and 275 to Lawson, Kircubbin. The Tiger/Duple passing to Plan-it Travel, Otford ex Autocar, Five Oak Green was 532 (OXI 532), not 530 as previously mentioned.
10/08/06 - The first Tigers to be re-registered after losing their numbers to new Scanias are 401/2/4 which have become JEZ 4092/3/5, previously FXI 401 etc. New Goldline services to be introduced at the start of December are 213 (Derry - Letterkenny twice daily), 214 (Derry - Buncrana Fridays/Sundays) and 261B (Dungannon - Sprucefield twice daily on Wednesdays and Fridays, sponsored by the Rural transport Fund). From the start of October Chambers, Moneymore will operate a number of Goldline services on a franchise basis, with 2 journeys on the 212 (15.45 and 17.45 ex Belfast) as well as a number of journeys between Belfast and Omagh on the 273. Deliveries of MAN/Ayats have reached 2021 (BXI 321), leaving a further 5 to arrive. Sad news is that prototype Leyland B21 3000 (WOI 607) has finally reached the end of the road. Latterly rebuilt to B52F and registered YBJ 159X , its last operator was Ellie Rose of Hull. It finally passed to Wigley, Carlton for scrap in 6/06.
09/08/06 - News of some of the vehicles sold to mainland operators:- Tiger/Duple 530 (OXI 530) passed to Plan-it Travel, Otford 5/06 ex Autocar, Five Oak Green. It then returned to Wealden, Tonbridge in 7/06; Dart/Wright 619 (CAZ 6619) passed to Chalkwell, Sittingbourne 5/06 ex Autocar, Five Oak Green; Mercedes/Wright 823 (NXI 6823) passed to Wealden, Tonbridge 1/06 ex Staff Pay, Chatham and 860 (NXI 6860) passed to Clegg & Brooking, Middle Wallop 6/05 ex Wealden, Tonbridge. Deliveries of Scania/Wright have now reached 2413.
08/08/06 - Further vehicles making the one way trip to Hamill, Ahoghill are Leopards Leopards 227/45/83, Bristol RE 2454, Leyland Tiger 365 and Volvo B10M 1567. Further Leopards to gain new registrations are 217 (IEZ 8825), 296 (JEZ 2953), 297 (JEZ 3347), 298 (JEZ 3348), 299 (JEZ 2954) and 331 (JEZ 2956). Former Ulsterbus Leyland Tiger/Plaxton coach 503 is one of the vehicles earmarked for the Demolition Derby at Nutts Corner tomorrow night. It had latterly been used by a driving school.
19/07/06 - Vehicles entering service recently are MAN ND363F / Ayats Bravos 2004/5 (AXI 294/5) at Larne on 7th June and 2006/7/10/1 (AXI 296/7/90/311) at Derry on 21 st June (2006/10), 22nd June (2007) and 28th June (2011). Further Scanias are 825 ( GEZ 7825 Magherafelt - 5th June - it's first low floor bus, finally), followed by 826/7/8 also at Magherafelt on 4th July. Scania deliveries have now reached 2404; the 24xx batch will take registration numbers from the FXI/GXI and HXI groups of Tigers; 2401-4 are FXI 401-4. Scania/Irizar 111 returned to service on 8th June, after fire damage repair, and loaned coach 2030 was returned to Scania the following day. Also returning to service are Tiger 1064 (Omagh following accident damage repair) and 3 former Flexibus Mercedes: 900 (Newtownabbey), 904 (Larne) and 5 (Coleraine). 5 is the charabanc replica based on the former chassis of Mercedes 840, and is now repained in a maroon and white livery. Sadly 2 Leopards met premature ends shortly before the end of June with 283 and 227 being withdrawn on 28th and 29th June following accident damage; all the remaining Leopards were detaxed to Reserve on 30th June, togerther with the first largwe tranch of Tigers to go: 340 (Newcastle), 348 (Derry), 380/92 (Newcastle), 396 (Dungannon), 408/9 (Derry), 424 (Ballymena), 428/9 (Omagh), 446 (Ballymena) and 473 (Newcastle). Moves see the final Leopard to change depots (330 - Newcastle - Magherafelt on 8th June); also 1342 (Larne - Newcastle), 1379 (GVS - Newtownabbey), 2666 (Newtownabbey - GVS), 1681 (Omagh - Magherafelt) and 1898 (Bangor - Newcastle). Leopard 129 has been sold to Thomson, Newtownards for preservation along with 320 to Harkin, Londonderry and finally 275 to J. Lawson, Newtownards for preservation. As usual a large number of vehicles has been detaxed for the summer months, the full list being as follows:
Derry City 1862/3/78/2752/3/4/5/6/7/8/9
Act Reserve 679
08/07/06 - New vehicles deliveries have reached 847 (Scania/Wright), 2317 (Volvo/Alexander) and 2017 (Ayats Bravo). September 4th sees the implementation of the next stage of the Ulsterbus Strategic Review, with Derry City services being rebranded 'Ulsterbus Foyle'. As with the previous scheme, routes will be simplified, clockface intervals enhanced and low floor vehicles introduced. The new routes see the service expanded to Newbuildings and Strathfoyle, with the full route list being: FY1 Strathfoyle, FY2 Newson Drive, FY3 Knightsbridge, FY4 Altnagelvin/Curryneirin, FY5Altnagelvin/Gobnascale, FY6 Newbuildings, FY7 Lone Moor, FY8 Creggan, FY9 Hazlebank, FY10 Ballymagroarty, FY11 Woodbrook, FY12 Slievemore, FY13 Sandbank and EB1 Drumahoe Easibus. Another new route introduced for the summer period is 305A (Newtownards - Comber - Downpatrick - Newcastle) which runs 3 times daily, Monday - Friday.
23/06/06 - Five more Leopards have made the final trip to Ahoghill, 133, 141, 171, 204 and 219. 189 has been sold to McCall, Lockerbie for use as a spare vehicle for his school bus fleet. 258 has gone to Roulston, Glasgow for preservation.
16/06/06 - Volvo B7/Alexander 2301/3/4 have now been delivered and are in store at Newtownabbey.
10/06/06 - Ayats Bravos 2004/5 (AXI 294/5) are both now in use at Larne depot.
09/06/06 - Further Leopards dispatched to Hamill, Ahoghill for scrap are 194, 225/9/51/62/5. Better news is that Wrights bodied 258 is going to Scotland for preservation, and indeed has already shipped there. Scania deliveries have reached 834; many of these will not enter service immediately, but are being kept for the Special Olympics during 21st to 25th June.
31/05/06 - Leopards 129, 223/36/62 and 4109 were withdrawn in May. Others will fall in early June as their PSV expires but most are likely to survive until the end of the month if only to cover for other vehicles that will be required for the Special Olympics.
25/05/06 - Two more sales to McGonagle, Buncrana are 671 (AAZ 1671) and 893 (JAZ 3893). Six vehicles on their way to Hamill, Ahoghill for scrap are 127 (WOI 2011, ex ROI 127), 236 (WOI 2236), 287 (EEZ 6840, ex AXI 287), 303 (XOI 2303), 323 (GEZ 8122, ex BXI 323) and 597 (RXI 5597, ex B309 UNB). 236 went from Magherafelt, literally straight out of service. Scanias 819-24 (GEZ 7819 etc) are now all in use from GVS on the relaunched Airbus service, whilst similar 755 is a repaint to the blue/stone scheme.
23/05/06 - Leopard 204 (VOI 204) has now been reregistered IEZ 1230.
22/05/06 - Scania 790 has now been repainted in the Metro style blue/stone livery and like 791/2 is branded for Airlink service 300; new deliveries 819-24 will also be in this scheme and to the B40F+29+luggage layout.
21/05/06 - Delivery has recommenced of Scania/Wright with 819-21/3 at least present in Laganside yard. Of these 820/1/3 are to B40F layout and branded for Airlink service 300; Provisional allocations for the batch of 29 Volvo B7TLs on delivery are: 2301-6 Derry, 2307/8 Coleraine, 2309-11 Antrim, 2312/3 Magherafelt, 2314/5 Larne, 2316/7 Armagh, 2381/9 Craigavon, 2320/1 Dungannon, 2322/3 Omagh, 2324/5 GVS, 2326/7 Ards and 2328/9 Lisburn.
19/05/06 - Mercedes 864/80 were being prepared at Newtownabbey on Friday last for dispatch to Mid Ulster Auctions, Castledawson. Leopard 139 (EEZ 6838) has been reinstated at Dungannon whilst B10M 1508 is back in service in Omagh after accident repairs. A bumper crop of reregistrations has taken place recently, as follows:
198 (VOI 198) to IEZ 1150
282 (AXI 282) to IEZ 2529
283 (AXI 283) to IEZ 2530
294 (AXI 294) to IEZ 3179
295 (AXI 295) to IEZ 3180
325 (BXI 325) to GEZ 5605
330 (GXI 5605, ex BXI 330) to BXI 325.
Notable is 330's second change of number from GEZ 5605 to BXI 325 (!). The reason for this is to keep the BXI 325 number alive for Ayats 2025. A lot more re-registrations are expected as the Ayats continue to arrive. Former RE 2599 (BXI 2599), latterly preserved by Clarke, Cullybackey has now gone to Nash, Weybridge for either preservation or resale. Volvo B7TLs 2994/5 (EEZ 2994/5) have been lettered for the 300 service to Belfast International Airport. The frequency on this service is to be increased to 10 minutes from Monday and several of the new Wrights bodied Scanias are also due enter traffic on Monday on this service. Already entered service are Volvo B12Ms 117-9 (HEZ 9117-9) at Glengall Street. They are 48 seaters. Glengall Street is also to receive Mercedes/Plaxon Cheetahs 3 and 4 (OCZ 8003/4) from the 22nd. Finally, 25 of the Leopards which went to Mid Ulster Auctions, Castledawson have now gone to Hamill, Ahoghill for scrap: 131 (FEZ 5575, ex ROI 131) 134 (FEZ 8165, ex ROI 134) 167 (UOI 9167) 200 (EEZ 6782, ex VOI 200) 203 (EEZ 7853, ex VOI 203) 205 (EEZ 6785, ex VOI 205) 224/30/8/56 (WOI 2224/30/8/56) 272/6 (YOI 2272/6) 289 (FEZ 5365, ex AXI 289) 304/6-9 (XOI 2304/6-9) 311 (GEZ 8111, ex AXI 311) 312 (GEZ 8112, ex AXI 312) 315 (GEZ 8115, ex AXI 315) 317 (GEZ 8116, ex AXI 317) 318 (GEZ 8117, ex AXI 318) 321 (GEZ 8119, ex BXI 321) 322 (GEZ 8121, ex BXI 322) Only three now remain at Castledawson, their fate presently unknown.
11/05/06 - Solo SL850 1933 (BXI 333) entered service at Newcastle on 12th April, displacing longer 1883 to Craigavon, with SL920 1907 entering service at Craigavon the next day. Demonstrators 2031 (BMC) and 2032 (Optare) were returned to their respective manufacturers on 4th May and 25th April respectively. Vehicles on the move include Volvo 2993 from Bangor to Coleraine, similar 2990 from Derry to Coleraine, whilst 2992 went from Craigavon to Derry, swapped with Tiger 348. Also swapping depots were 818 and 1109, with the Scania going to Coleraine and the Tiger to Ballymena. Leopard 333 has been sold to Montgomery, Ballymena for preservation. New coaches 116-9 were present at Dennisons in Ballyclare today, with a number of the new Volvo double deckers also. A launch was held at the Waterfront Hall today for the new Ayats goldline coaches, with 2002 (AXI 282) present, accompanied by Solo 1915, Scania 818 and Metro Volvo 2974.
09/05/06 - Good news is that Leopard 198 has been reinstated at Newry. Former Ulsterbus Leyland Tiger/Duple 532 (OXI 532) and Dennis Dart/Wright 619 (CAZ 6619) are now with Autocar, Five Oak Green (the operating arm of Wealdon, Tonbridge). Scania 791 is the second to gain the ocean blue Metro style livery, again branded for 300 Airbus Express.
07/05/06 - Delivery of the batch of 29 Volvo B7TL/Alexander-Dennis ALX400 is imminent, with registrations IEZ 4301-29 being reserved for the group. Also expected shortly are the 8 coaches (116-23) , which this year will be Volvo B12M/Plaxton to the longer length of 12.8 metres, the first of this chassis/body/length in the fleet.
04/05/06 - April was another quiet month in terms of Leopard withdrawals, with only 265 (YOI 2265 - Newry) and 285 (AXI 285 - Coleraine) going at the end of the month. 129 (FEZ 8267 - Dungannon) has also gone now, meaning the oldest one left (4109) has survived (again !). This is likely to be replaced when it's PSV expires later on in the month by another reinstated Leopard.
26/04/06 - 792 is now repainted and branded for Airport Express 300. 791 has gone to Falls for similar treatment, along with Flexibus 1837 which will be done for Metro Airlink.
24/04/06 - Scania 792 (GVS) has gone to Duncrue Street for repaint to the ocean blue 'Metro' style livery, the first of the green low floors to be done.
23/04/06 - Ayats 2004/5 have have arrived in England for PDI. Mercedes 848 (NXI 6848) which was sold to McGloin, Stranorlar in 1/04 has been converted to a caravan and is now registered 89-DL-6635. 890 (AAZ 8890) is now registered 93-DL-5181 with McGonagle, Buncrana. All five Bristol RE's which passed from Wealden to Noctor, Camborne in 12/04 have now been identified. They are 2367/8/85 (UOI 2367/8/85) and 2450/2 (WOI 2450/2). Former Darts 613/5/6/21 are now Lough Swilly 494/5/1/6.
11/04/06 - Monday 24th April sees major changes to Ulsterbus services in the Coleraine area following the completion of the first Ulsterbus Strategic Area Review. Improvements follow the pattern adopted for 'Metro' with simplified routes, low floor buses departing at regular intervals, improved connections with other Ulsterbus, Goldline and Rail Services and clock face timetables. Routes are revised as follows:
116 Coleraine - Maghera - Magherafelt irregular 116A Coleraine - Garvagh - Magherafelt irregular 117 Colearine - Kilrea irregular 132 Portrush - Bushmills - Ballymoney irregular 134 Coleraine - Castlerock - Limavady irregular 139 Coleraine - Gateside - Portrush irregular 140a Coleraine - Portstewart - Portrush - Coleraine 30 mins 140b Coleraine - Portrush - Portstewart - Coleraine 30 mins 140c Coleraine - Portstewart - Coleraine 30 mins 140d Coleraine - University - Portstewart 30 mins 140e University - Portrush 30 mins 171 Coleraine - Dervock - Ballycastle 120 mins 172 Coleraine - Bushmills - Ballycastle 120 mins 172a Coleraine - Portballintrae - Bushmills
(combines with 172 to give hourly service Coleraine - Bushmills)
120 mins 173 Coleraine - Ballymoney - Ballymena irregular 178 Coleraine - Ballymoney - Ballycastle 120 mins 319a Town Service (Ballysally & Harpurs Hill) 30 mins 319b Town Service (Hospital & Windy Hall) 30 mins 319c Town Service (Sainsbury's & Greenmount) 30 mins 218 Coleraine - Belfast (Express) no longer serves Portrush 60 mins
Sadly, Saturday and Sunday frequencies outside of the 'Triangle' and town service are limited, to say the least, and will do little to encourage casual use of public transport at the weekend. The same day Goldline services 210 (Belfast Magherafelt Cookstown), 218/7 (Belfast Coleraine, Ballymena - Ballycastle), 219 (Belfast Ballymena), 252 (Antrim Coaster) and 256 (Belfast Larne) are diverted away from the Laganside Bus Centre to the Europa Buscentre. In addition services 220 (Belfast - Antrim) and 253 (Belfast - Ballyclare) will no longer serve the Laganside Buscentre and will depart from High Street, all of which changes must surely leave a question mark over the future of Laganside. Following on from these changes, the Derry area will be the next to receive the same treatment.
11/04/06 - Scania 818 (GEZ 7818) is the first of the batch of 110 to enter service, at Ballymena on 21st March. The first 30 of this group will be numbered 818-847, with the remaining 80 taking former RELL numbers 2401-80. Numbers for other forthcoming batches of vehicles are 2301-29 for Volvo B7TL/Alexander Dennis and 116-23 for this years Volvo/Plaxton touring coaches. BMC demonstrator 2031 entered service at Ballymena on 23/3 and is a 55 seater. Tiger 1402 has returned to service at Dungannon following accident damage repair; 1064 and B10M 1508 (both Omagh) have been detaxed with accident damage, along with former Citybus 2607 formerly in Active Reserve. Moves see B10M 1561 go from GVS to Bangor, Solo 1932 from Enniskillen to Newcastle, Scania 720, Solos 1878/96/9 and Ultra 2759 from Derry to Derry City, Tigers 1200/1/2/3 and Solos 1845/64 from Derry City to Derry and finally unique Volvo B7RLE/Wright Commuter 2201 continuing it's travels going from Newry to Derry.
08/04/06 - The Optare Tempo has arrived as 2032 (YJ 55 BLX). Also finally arrived is the first of the Ayats, 2003 (AXI 283), seen here at the MAN dealer, RK Trucks.
05/04/06 - Three more Ulsterbus Darts to surface are 602-4 (CAZ 6602-4), all passing to Chalkwell, Sittingbourne in 1/06.
04/04/06 - Dart 616 was collected by Lough Swilly at the weekend; it is thought that all the remaining step entrance Darts will pass to the Swilly over the next few weeks. A further 4 Leopards withdrawn during March, 211 (Coleraine), 278 (Newry), 305 (Newcastle) and 338 (Enniskillen). 305 is the last of the small batch of 10 XOI registration 53 seaters. Also due to go were 265 and 4109 but both survived at least another month. Mercedes 1813 (AAZ 6813) is back in service at Coleraine on the Giants Causeway service with 901 (JAZ 3901) is being retained as a spare vehicle. It seems the necessary modifications have not been made at the Giants Causeway to allow the Optare Solos to operate. Leopards 147 (HEZ 1012, ex ROI 147) passed to the PSNI for training purposes during March and 248 (WOI 2248) went to Dumfries & Galloway Regional Council. 249 (WOI 2249) went to McDaid, Londonderry for scrap in 3/06. Mertcedes/Wright 888 (GEZ 4686, ex AAZ 8888) passed to McGonagle, Buncrana in 3/06. Former Ulsterbus Darts 601/17 (CAZ 6641/17) are now fleet numbers 1016 and 1015 in the fleet of Midland Rider, Oldbury.
31/03/06 - Still no sign of any Ayats coaches, but interesting news is that an Optare Tempo demonstrator is expected at Newtownabbey depot.
22/03/06 - BMC demonstrator 2031 (BX55 OFR) has returned and should go to Ballymena shortly. Also expected by Friday is the first of the Ayats coaches which will initially be used for route trials.
15/03/06 - The BMC school bus demonstrator arrived at Duncrue Street for fitment of ticket equipment today, but has been returned to the dealer because of a defect. Tiger 1348 (Lisburn) has lost it's coach seats and been fitted with a set of Leopard stype dual purpose bench type seats.
09/03/06 - Ex Metro Cityliners 1458/63/4/6/2676/7 transferred to Ulsterbus during February and are at Newry, Armagh, Coleraine, Newry, Downpatrick and Dungannon respectively. Other moves see Tiger 458 go from Downpatrick to Newry, along with 454 from Larne, whilst 455 has moved from Larne to Coleraine. MAN/Ayats coaches 2002/3 are currently at the dealer in Clevedon, Bristol for PDI.
04/03/06 - Good news is that Leopard 283 is reinstated at Ballymena, whilst only 3 are withdrawn at the end of the month (245 at Newry, 274 at Bangor and 286 at Coleraine). A couple of other vehicles reinstated are Mercedes 901 at Coleraine (replacing 899) and Volvo B10M 1534 at GVS, after being off the road for 4 years with fire damage. Leopard 170 has been sold to Paul Haughey, Newry for preservation and minibus 845 has gone to Co. Donegal operator McLaughlin, Convoy. Leopards 167, 203/5/56 were additional vehicles offered for sale at Mid Ulster Auctions last weekend in addition to Metrorider 1816 which had failed to sell at a previous auction. Of the 9 minibuses sold at auction, there are disposals for 8 of them. Flexibus 1818 and Ulsterbus 879 passed to TLR Construction, Portadown presumably for non-psv use. Flexibus 861, 865 and 1806 went to McLaughlin, Convoy in Co. Donegal and 873 was acquired by Wray, Londonderry who operates one of the open top tours in Derry. 863 went to Johnston, Ballymena although it is not certain if this is a psv or non-psv operator. The last Cityliner to transfer from Citybus to Ulsterbus, 1465 (YXI 1465), should have entered service at Newcastle last week. Very interesting news is that expressions of interest have been invited for contractors to operate a limited number of journeys on some Goldline routes, commencing September 2006: Route 200 (Belfast - Dublin : 2 return journeys); Route 273 (Belfast - Omagh : 6 return journeys); Route 218A (Belfast - Coleraine - University : 5 return journeys); Route 212 (Belfast - Derry : 2 return journeys).
01/03/06 - Volvo B7TL 2993 has moved to Newtownards from Lisburn. In order to circulate these vehicles around depots 2990 should go to Omagh, 2992 to Dungannon and 2993 to Ballymena. Leopard 274 has is now out of service at Bangor whilst 338 has gone to Enniskillen. Interesting news is that a BMC school bus demonstrator is expected.
22/02/06 - Good news it that Leopard 285 is in fact to be repaired and is not withdrawn.
21/02/06 - Another Leopard to bite the dust is 285 at Coleraine after engine failure, leaving just 37 in service (for full details see Leopard page here ). The first of the Ayats Goldliners is now in Northern Ireland, althought not yet delivered to Translink. New vehicles entering service during January were Scania K114/Irizar 1749/50 (EEZ 6749 Downpatrick 06/01); 1752 (Enniskillen 06/01); 1753/5/7 (Enniskillen, Omagh, Larne all 13/01); 1756 (Enniskillen 18/01); 1759 (Ballymena 20/01) and 1754 (Omagh 25/01). Also new were 27 seat Solos 1930/2 (BXI 330, ROI 132) at Coleraine and Enniskillen on 11th and 17th January. Scania 111 was detaxed at the end of January with fire damage, as well as ex Citybus Tiger 1402 with accident damage, whilst Renault minibus 84 has been withdrawn completely after sustaining accident damage and is the first of these particular batches to go. DAF 679, Tiger 2607 and Leopard 145 are all now Active Reserve at Craigavon, Ballymena and Craigavon. Many vehicles have been on the move in January: 1740 (Enniskillen - Dungannon), 343/63 (Enniskillen - Craigavon), 1746 (Ballymena - Enniskillen), 2607 (Enniskillen - Active Reserve Ballymena), 385 (Enniskillen - Coleraine), 431 (Larne - Armagh), 432 (Larne - Coleraine), 1559/60 (Omagh - Newtownabbey), 484/1164(Newtownabbey - Coleraine), 483 (Newtownabbey - Craigavon), 2651 (Newtownabbey - Bangor), 1627 (Newcastle - Newry), 1556/79 (Enniskillen - Lisburn) and 1569 (Derry - Ballymena). Mercedes/Wright 827 has gone to Beattie for scrap. A couple of re-registrations during January not previously reported are Leopards 189 from VOI 189 to GEZ 1277 and 281 from AXI 281 to GEZ 1425.
19/02/06 - 1466 is the latest ex Metro Cityliner to be transferred and is at Newry. Volvo B7TL's 2991/3, formerly used on rail replacement services, are now based at Coleraine and Lisburn. Re-registrations are the order of the day with some of the former Leopard three digit numbers being re-used on Tigers and a solitary Mercedes:
132 (ROI 132) - GEZ 6232
171 (VOI 171) - GEZ 4766
286 (AXI 286) - GEZ 8109
311 (AXI 311) - GEZ 8111
312 (AXI 312) - GEZ 8112
313 (AXI 313) - GEZ 8113
314 (AXI 314) - GEZ 8114
315 (AXI 315) - GEZ 8115
317 (AXI 317) - GEZ 8116
318 (AXI 318) - GEZ 8117
319 (AXI 319) - GEZ 8118
321 (BXI 321) - GEZ 8119
322 (BXI 322) - GEZ 8121
323 (BXI 323) - GEZ 8122
330 (BXI 330) - GEZ 5605
336 (BXI 336) - GEZ 4737
1311 (PXI 1311) - AXI 311
1312 (PXI 1312) - AXI 312
1313 (PXI 1313) - AXI 313
1315 (PXI 1315) - AXI 315
1317 (PXI 1317) - AXI 317
1318 (PXI 1318) - AXI 318
1319 (PXI 1319) - AXI 319
1321 (RXI 3321) - BXI 321
1322 (RXI 3322) - BXI 322
1323 (RXI 3323) - BXI 323
1814 (HAZ 5814) - AXI 314
15/02/06 - Volvo B10M's 1586/91 have been repainted from Goldline colours to the normal service bus blue and cream livery. Volvo B7TLs 2990/2 have moved from Larne to Derry and Craigavon, re-introducing double deck operation to both these depots.
13/02/06 - More Leopards to be re-registered are : 132 - GEZ 4765 (2/06) 171 - GEZ 4766 (2/06) 330 - GEZ 5605 (1/06). Two more withdrawn are 245 (Newry) and 286 (Coleraine) both of which are now in Reserve. This leaves the active fleet at 41 vehicles - (for full details see Leopard page here ).
Accident damaged 295 has gone to McDaid, Londonderry for scrap and it is thought that 2 or 3 others are to follow.
11/02/06 - Solo 1888 (DEZ 7888) has been re-registered with cherished number AAZ 8888, previously on Mercedes 888 which is now GEZ 4686. Leopard 336 (formerly BXI 336) has been re-registered to GEZ 4737.
05/02/06 - Twelve of the Leopards were withdrawn from the Mid Ulster Auctions sale, as it seems there was a problem with their registrations:- 282/94/7, 311/2/5/7/8/21/2/4/6. Once this has been sorted out, they will be reoffered at a later auction. The remaining 18 were all sold to the same undisclosed buyer, possibly for export. Three surprise arrivals for auction on Monday night were Flexibus 865 and 1806 and Ulsterbus 879.
03/02/06 - First of the new batch of Scania/Wright is 818 (GEZ 7818), and is the first full size single decker in the new metro-style livery. News of some former vehicles in the fleet is that Central Bus & Coach, Road Heath, Cheshire had Flexibus 49 (XXI 1670, H709 OFS) and Ulsterbus 532 (OXI 532), 870 (TXI 7870) and 874 (TXI 7874) in December. Also there in a very derelict state was Flexibus 38 (NXI 6938). This dealer specialises in exporting vehicles to Africa. One of the joint owners of the company is reported to have Citybus RE 2548 (AXI 2548) for preservation.
01/02/06 - The end of January has been another bad time for Leopards, with a further 19 going to Reserve: Ards - 132, Coleraine - 133/74/208/10/333, Lisburn - 139/247, Craigavon - 141/ 204, Dungannon - 147, Newcastle - 198, Magherafelt - 219, Newry - 256, Armagh - 258/91, Ballymena - 283/7/325. Two more have been re-registered, 330 to GEZ 5605 and 336 to GEZ 4737. This leaves only 40 of this type active with only 1 of the UOI batch (166) and 1 of the VOI batch (179) left; however it now appears that they could remain up to the beginning of the school holidays in July as only a small number of Scania order will arrive in February, with the bulk of the batch appearing from June onwards. The delivery of the 25 Ayats Goldliners will also be at quite a slow pace.
31/01/06 - Delivery has been completed of the batch of 60 Irizar bodied Scanias (1707-1766). The last few of the batch will remain stored for a period of time pending further enhancements to the Goldline express network. Service 238 was upgraded from 30/01 to every half hour Monday - Friday, with alternate journeys operating as route 238A which calls only at Banbridge between Belfast and Newry. All 4 articulated Goldliners (3110-3) are to be allocated to Newry for this service. Sadly, unique Leopard/Wright 258 has come off service at Armagh, and will be one of many detaxed at the end of January.
30/01/06 - A Scania K114/Irizar Century demonstrator is on loan to Stranraer as a temporary replacement for fire damaged 111, 2030 (YN 55 ZFX).
26/01/06 - The 30 Leopards to be auctioned by Mid Ulster Auctions are the following: 131/4 (FEZ 5575/8165, ROI 131), 148 (GEZ 1244, ROI 148), 186 (OCZ 4209, VOI 186) ,200 (EEZ 6782, VOI 200), 221/4/30/8 (WOI 2221 etc), 272/6 (YOI 2272 etc), 282/9/94/7 (AXI 282, FEZ 5365, AXI 294/7) 304/6/7/8/9 (XOI 2304 etc) 311/2/5/7/8 (AXI 311 etc) and 320/1/2/4/6 (BXI 320 etc).
25/01/06 - Good news is that Leopard 280 (FEZ 7746, AXI 280) has been sold to Jeffrey Thompson of Newtownards for preservation.
24/01/06 - 30 Leopards are due to be auctioned by Mid Ulster Auctions on 4th February - see http://www.midulsterauctions.com/mupc21stapril04/index.htm
22/01/06 - New service 331 (Ballycastle Town Service) commences tomorrow, running every half hour between 09.30 and 17.00 Monday to Friday. The route is Town Centre - White Park Drive - Fogarty Crescent - Town Centre - Caravan Parks - Marine Corner - Town Centre. Tiger 397 has not moved from Ards to Dungannon as previously advised.
19/01/06 - Former Ulsterbus Leyland Atlantean 989 (SSF 389H), latterly with the DOE Water Service in Ballymena, is to be auctioned at Mid Ulster Auctions, Castledawson this Saturday.
17/01/06 - Expressions of interest have been invited from manufacturers for supply of the following vehicles for 2007/8:
Lot 1 c 70 x 12 mtr single deck interurban express vehicles with full DDA compliance, delivery to commence 2nd quarter 2007 and be complete within 18 weeks.
Lot 2 c 100 x 11 mtr double deck urban stage carriage buses for both Metro and Ulsterbus, with full DDA compliance, delivery to commence second quarter 2007 and be complete within 25 weeks. There may be a number of specifications including some 12 mtr vehicles within the overall total.
Lot 3 c 175 - 200 x 12 mtr single deck buses with full DDA compliance, delivery to commence 4th quarter 2007 and be complete within 44 - 52 weeks. These may contain a number of vehicle specifications.
15/01/06 - Minibuses 56 and 867 were removed from Craigavon yesterday to Beatties, Hillsborough for scrapping.
14/01/06 - Further news of artic 4999 (RLN 234W) is that it was acquired by Mike Nash in a dealer capacity only. It passed to Quietus Productions Ltd., Pinewood Studios for use as a prop in the science fiction movie "Children of Men". It was delivered to a former US airbase at Upper Heyford, Oxon and after use in the film was dismantled on site. It has been confirmed that the six Darts recently sold at BCA Auctions, Manchester passed to Wealden, Tonbridge in a dealer capacity. Former Ulsterbus Dart 617 (CAZ 6617) is currently operating with Midland Rider, Birmingham in full Ulsterbus livery.
11/01/06 - Darts 601-4/17/9 and minibuses 854/85/91 XGB Fleet Remarketing Ltd., Winchester during December. This company specialises in the disposal of vehicles on behalf of operators. All were entered in the BCA Auction at Manchester on 19 December and apparently all sold on. Also gone is long disused Leyland/DAB artic 4999 (RLN 234W) which passed to Mike Nash in December. McGonagle, Buncrana has taken Ulsterbus DAF/Plaxton 677 and Mercedes Benz 709D/Wright minibus 889.
10/01/06 - More new Irizar bodied Scania K94's are 1739 (Magherafelt - 02/12), 1746 (Ballymena 16/12), 1745 (Ards 20/12), 1747/8 (Newcastle 20/12 & 23/12) and 1751 (Magherafelt 23/12). A couple of additional Leopards out of use are 214 (siezed engine Downpatrick 02/12), 239 (Downpatrick 31/12), 253 (Craigavon 31/12) and 313 (Downpatrick 31/12), leaving the fleet at 59 examples. Transfers in from Metro see Cityliners 1456/7 (YXI 1456) go to Armagh and Newcastle and 2672 (VXI 2672) to Newcastle also whilst Derry are the unfortunate recipients of Ultra 2761. Other moves see 1260 go from Newtownabbey to Coleraine, Scania 1741/2 from Enniskillen to Omagh, Volvo B10M 509 from Glengall Street to Craigavon replacing Tiger/Van Hool 593 to the Driving School and Volvo B10M 1630 from Ards to Bangor.
04/01/06 - A further 15 Leyland Leopards were taken out of service in December. They are 134 (Armagh), 148/71 (Dungannon), 218 (Bangor), 224 (Newcastle), 248 (Coleraine), 249 (Magherafelt), 250 (Derry), 251/94 (Dungannon), 301 (Newcastle), 307 (Downpatrick), 308 (Newcastle), 309 (Magherafelt) and 311 (Downpatrick). In addition 148 has been re-registered from ROI 148 to GEZ 1244 and 206 from VOI 206 to GEZ 1252. Accident damaged Tiger 365 has been written off which has given Wright bodied Leopard 258 a brief reprieve at Armagh. The grand old lady of them all, 4109 at Dungannon, also survived. It was due to be replaced by 1740 but this is currently on loan to Enniskillen. This leaves the active fleet at 63 vehicles - (for full details see Leopard page here ). Leopard 243 has been collected from Ards by Beattie, for scrap.
01/01/06 - Seasons Greetings and a happy New Year from the Irish Transport Trust ! At Newtownards Tigers 395 - 7 (FXI 395 - 7), have swapped with Dungannon Goldliners 1571 (DAZ 1571) and 1610 (JAZ 1610) along with one other which is currently being reseated.
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