DAF SB220 Plaxton Prestige: Arriva Southern Counties
This page created 23rd November 2012 by Ian Smith
Northfleet: 480/490Arriva Kent Thameside took six of a batch of twelve DAF-powered Plaxton Prestiges bought by Arriva Southern Counties in spring 1999. Northfleet's six, 3911-3916, were to supplement the low-floor Scanias already working the 480 (Dartford - Gravesend), now that the busy Bluewater Shopping Centre had opened in an old chalk pit between the towns. They were dressed, not quite inevitably, in Arriva turquoise and cream, with route branding for the 480/490.
3914 in action on the 490, October 2005: heading north at Northfleet, and south at Ebbsfleet.The Medway Towns buses, branded for the 151, sometimes came to Northfleet on loan, such as 3917 for a while during October 2002. 3921 came to stay in June 2003. Medway was re-organised in June 2004, and 3917, 3920 and 3922 went to Merseyside. 3918 and 3919 went to Tunbridge Wells.
Prestiges at rest in Northfleet, with others, October 2004: 3914 with Axcess Ultralow Scanias 3255 and 3256 and 3921 with Lynx 3051 and Volvo Citybus 7616.
Tunbridge Wells: 402In April 2006 the double-decker DAFs that had been returned to Arriva Southern Counties by London United after their sojourn on the 85 had come to the end of their time on the 402, which now required low-floor buses to operate into TfL territory at Bromley. The low-floor long single-deckers would fit the bill, so six of them (3912-3916 and 3921) were transferred to Arriva Kent & Sussex at Tunbridge Wells. There they gained interurban livery of two shades of blue with cream horn, with prominent branding for the 402. 3911 stayed at Northfleet. 3918 and 3919 at Tunbridge Wells acted as maintenance spares for the 402, as well as their duties on Trans-Weald service 297.
3918 moved to Northfleet in August 2007.
SouthendBut changing TfL requirements caught up again with the DAFs in June 2008. This time it was London Emission Zone compliance: or rather lack of it. Northfleet sent a batch of long low-floor Darts to Tunbridge Wells for the 402, and the DAFs said good-bye to Bromley after just two years. Some stayed at Tunbridge Wells for a while on other duties, but soon they were gathered together, along with 3911 and 3918 from Northfleet, at Southend.