LONDON COUNTRY AF and AN classes.
This page created 12th March 2001
AF: Daimler FleetlinesThe AFs were London Country's first double-deckers - other than those inherited from London Transport. They had had fairly good experiences with older Fleetlines: the XF class had been based at East Grinstead for most of their trials, and still were. They had been reckoned to be better than their Atlantean contemporaries, the XAs.
One man operation of doubledeckers was now legal, and London Country saw that it would be vital for their economics. Some of their trunk flows required doubledeckers for the peaks or for short sections of route, although at other times and places they would be running fairly empty. When they were offered eleven Fleetlines in 1972, that had been ordered by Western Welsh but had turned out to be over-enthusiasm in the face of the Bus Grant, London Country seized them with some enthusiasm, and put them into Godstone for the 410. If they could cope with the Welsh valleys they should cope with Westerham Hill.
The new buses were on Daimler Fleetline CRL6-30 chassis,
with Northern Counties dual-doorway 72 seater bodies (H43/29D).
Dual doorways might seem an extravagance on a country bus,
but 50% off the price was a big incentive to forego a pair of seats
and carry a pair of useless doors around the countryside
and that is what the Bus Grant conditions required!
They seem to have had a fairly uneventful history at Godstone. They remained on the 410, although their horizons expanded to include the 409 and 411 in later years, as their duties were mixed with the Atlantean ANs. All three routes included a gruelling climb up the face of the North Downs, which gradually knocked the stuffing out of them.
By 1982 they were deemed redundant, or decrepit. The runners were sold to Midland Red, and the Christmas trees were removed from Chelsham to Wombwell. They had just outlasted the XFs! - but they had paved the way for the much larger AN class.