Prepared on Notepad by Ian Smith, This page created 17th February 2023. Best on 800*600.
Arriva London DLPs
DLP1: 10.6m long Plaxton President
DLP1 was a Plaxton demonstrator. Built in September 1998, it was demonstrated in London. It came back permanently a year later with the first production batch.
Bodywork was by Plaxton. The President body was 10.6m long, and as specified by London had a central staircase and a wheelchair space. With two doorways - with a wheelchair ramp under the central one - it seated only 19 downstairs (compared with 26 on an RT), with 45 upstairs. Both sides featured a window with a lower sill, that on the offside being shaped to follow the line of the central staircase without forming a dark spot in the interior.
Livery was London red, with a yellow coach line above the skirt, and a cream/white horn from above the windscreen.
DLP2-20: 10.6m longProduction models followed to Arriva London North: DLP1, 3-20 arrived in summer 1998, to Enfield for the 279, displacing Metrobuses. Inevitably, as further routes were converted to low floor operation, mainly allocated with DLAs, the DLPs appeared on them too. This production batch were essentially the same as DLP1, but the dark window surround at the front was carried up to the roof, and they sported nearside tree defenders (as did DLP1 very quickly).
DLP30-39: the route 60 busesThe problems of bus route tendering reared their ugly heads with the saga of route 60. This Arriva South London route was awarded newcomer to London bus tendering Capital Logistics of West Drayton. They ordered, via London Buses, sixteen low-floor DAFs, six with Optare bodies and ten with Plaxton Presidents. The latter were essentially the same as DLP2-20, and followed them along Plaxton's assembly line. They had central staircases, and wore a darker red with deep black skirt. Glazing was bonded rather than gasketed, and the front display was shallow and wide, with a three-track number display.
Route 60 nominally transferred to Capital Logistics in August 1998, but the new buses were of course not ready. Capital Logistics subcontracted Selkent to operate it until January 1999, but they then had other commitments. An emergency operation was put into place, with buses from a variety of operators with railway replacement experience. In this way the route staggered along until mid-March, when the new leased buses arrived. They operated from a depot at Beddington Farm. Capital Logistics then threw in the towel, being taken over by T-GM. They operated the route until March 2000, when the route, and the President buses, were handed over to Arriva London South. They worked them, DLP30-39, from the old London Country depot next door at Beddington Farm, until the end of the contract in September 2001, when Connex took over with new Tridents.
London Buses then moved DLP30-39 across London to Sovereign at Edgware, for use on the 114, alongside the Optare-bodied DLO24-29. Sovereign then changed owners, becoming London Sovereign, the garage code changing from EW to BT. They stayed there until the end of the lease, when they went back off-lease to TfL and on via dealers Ventura to other operators.
DLP40-75: 10.6m long, revised bodyThe second batch of 36 DLPs arrived in the late summer of 2001. They were the same 10.6m length as the first batch, but had a forward staircase rather than central, and therefore a different window and seating layout.
They went to Wood Green for the 29, although they soon appeared on the 141, 144, 221 and W3, alongside DLAs and Ms.
Thirteen of them were fitted in spring 2002 with moving displays on the nearside, giving information/news about the World Cup (football I presume).
DLP76-90: 10.2m longThe next batch of Presidents for Arriva was shorter, at 10.2m. Yet another arrangement of windows! They started to arrive at Enfield in February 2002, and went straight into service on the 307, displacing elderly Ms, which went off to plague the country area, or the scrap merchants.
They also supplemented the DLAs on the 313 - which was allocated a Metrobus for the school bus.
DLP91-110: 10.2m long, 2 extra seatsThe final twenty arrived in December 2002. Most went to Enfield, seeing off its remaining Ms, but DLP95-104 broke the Enfield/Wood Green monopoly, introducing the type to Tottenham. There they were to join the eclectic mix on the 41, 168, and 243, plus 73 on Sundays. Route 76 started to see them from February 2003. They performed alongside RMLs, DLAs, VAs, Ms and new VLWs.
But the Tottenham allocation was just a stop-gap while Tottenham received new VLWs. The DLPs went to Edmonton to oust Ms from the 125. The 125 only remained at Edmonton until July. It then moved to Enfield, taking the ten DLPs with it.
From 2008 onwards Palmers Green garage was revitalised, first as an outstation of Wood Green, sharing an allocation, and then gaining its own allocation. The 329 was largely supplied by Palmers Green. As other routes along the Lea Valley corridor were converted to newer types the DLPs drifted to Palmers Green. From 2012 the buses taken for use by The Original London Sightseeing Tour were largely taken from Palmers Green.