DAF Single Deckers
This page created 13th December 2012 by Ian Smith
DAF SB220 Optare DeltaThe Optare Delta was a stylish Optare body on a DAF SB220 chassis. Still in the step-entrance era, it came with single or dual doorways.
London Buses took some in 1989, which went mainly to Westlink and East London, and thence London United and Stagecoach. Stagecoach later made use of them as trainers.
Other operators in the wider London area also used them: R&I (later MTL and Metroline), West's(later County Bus and Arriva), Seamarks (later Universitybus), White Bus of Windsor, and Ensignbus all used them
DAF SB220 Ikarus CitybusA rather different body on the SB220 chassis was that by Ikarus. These somewhat spartan-looking buses nevertheless took on some roles in the London area. They worked for London Coaches on the 726 Expresslink service, between 1992 and 2000, a last remnant of the Green Line network supported by London Regional Transport.
They also operated for Grey-Green as buses, and then for Arriva London South as a Tramlink service connecting Wimbledon and West Croydon until the trams arrived.
Others of them worked the 310 group, alongside an odd one by Metroline.
Harris of Grays also operated a pair.
DAF SB220 Plaxton PrestigeThe Plaxton Prestige was actually a Northern Counties design. Plaxton took it over and rebadged it.. Some of the bodies had dual body-makers numbers, frames by Northern Counties finished by Plaxtons. On a DAF SB220 chassis they did well, and substantial numbers are still around at the time of writing (Dec 2012), fourteen years after construction, many still with first users, and others sought on the secondhand market. They replaced step-entrance large saloons, or even high-floor coaches, mainly on interurban trunk routes. County Bus took a batch for the GreenLine 724, a long urban route between the towns fringing the north side of London, and serving Heathrow Airport. Leaside Buses took just three - dual doorwayed - to run alongside low-floor Scanias on the 144. Arriva Southern Counties had twelve, which it split between Arriva Kent Thameside and Arriva Kent & Sussex.
DAF were also experimenting with Liquid Propane Gas as a bus fuel, and persuaded Arriva to take some for use in fleets in various parts of the country, including The Shires. This fuel was not a marked success. Arriva concentrated its gas fleet at The Shires, and converted them to diesel operation by re-engining and replacement of the roof-mounted gas tanks.
Secondhand users in the wider London area include Carousel at High Wycombe and SM Coaches at Stansted.
MD: the Millennium Dome busesFor the year-long exhibition of Britishnesss at The Dome London Central acquired seventeen DAF SB220s, three powered by gas, with stylish East Lancs Myllennium bodywork. After the year was up one of the routes to North Greenwich Station (The Dome) was retained, and extended to Welling and then Blackheath, as the 486. They worked there until 2007, including the gas-powered trio, and were then sold, mostly for further use.
DAF SB120 Wrightbus CadetThese shorter DAF single deckers have a suite of pages of their own.