Prepared on Notepad by Ian Smith,
This page created 24th March 2011, updated 29th March 2017.

Beeline's SLFs

Beeline's first SLFs: L211-L217 (DMP42411-17)

10.0m Beeline Centrewest bought Beeline and London Buslines from Q-Drive in March 1996, so became London's first operators of low-floor Dart Pointers. The first two, in March, were for the Legoland shuttle service from Windsor, and for this L212 was painted in overall dark blue with Lego motifs. L211 was the spare, and when not needed for the shuttle operated Bracknell local services. It wore Beeline's livery of deep yellow with blue skirt with orange raggy markings.

Another five (L213-L217) arrived in May for a revitalisation of Slough's local services. These wore the by-now standard Beeline livery.

In the spring and summer of 2002 three of them were repainted into the white and purple Borough Bus Airoute Link livery for use on Windsor/Maidenhead - Heathrow services. These were painted into standard Barbie livery in summer 2005, when the local authority support was withdrawn.

Beeline's new MPDs: 233-235 (DMM43833-35)

8.8m Borough Bus Three Plaxton-bodied Mini-Pointer Darts were bought in March 2000 for use on the Borough Bus services for Windsor & Maidenhead, linking to local hospitals. They wore a specialised livery of white with royal purple, with a cant-rail message proclaiming: "Service Provided by The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead. For more information telephone **********". Large purple arrows on the sides bore the town names in gold with a large "Borough Bus".

Centrewest had designated them as the DPS class, but they carried only the numbers, and the incoming management at First Hampshire had no place for class designators.
8.8m Borough Bus The initial Borough Bus service was not a great success. Routes BB1 and BB2 were abandoned in November 2001, and the three buses redeployed on extended services to Heathrow, services 50A, 50B, 90A and 90B. They had their livery adapted to read Airoute Link on a revised white and purple design. This livery survived until the summer of 2005, when the local authority withdrew its funding. The buses then reverted to Barbie livery.

In the summer of 2007 they were transferred one at a time to Bracknell, displaced from Slough by new Mercedes Benz Citaros. Now they were at something of a loose end, and spent periods at Slough, Bracknell and even Merrow (for the Park & Ride), as required, until withdrawn in January 2011 as locally redundant.

Beeline's new Alexanders: 236-244 (DMA42338-347, not same order)

10.0m SLF for 105 With Beeline now under management by First Hampshire, buying policy changed in 2000. Nine new Alexander-bodied 10.8m Darts, in Barbie livery, were delivered in August. They took numbers 236-244, although their registration numbers missed 237 and 240: these were filled by 247 and 246 respectively. They were for routes into the south-west London conurbation along the Thames corridor, based at Slough. They were used for the 58 and the 41/43, with fill-ins on the 75/76 and 50A/50B.

They sported large digital displays on the front.
DMA42346 on 58, Uxbridge
58Cippenham - Slough - Langley - Uxbridge
41/43Slough - Windsor - Staines
75/76Maidenhead - Heathrow
50A/50BWindsor local

236 promptly expired in October, being hit by a train on a level crossing in Pooley Green, fortunately without loss of life as the bus was emptied in time and the train was running empty. After the remains had been stored for forensic examination, the bus was finally scrapped in August 2008.

The survivors were recoded and renumbered in 2004, as DMA42338-347, the last digits reflecting the registrations, so not following the original order.

DMA42346 at Uxbridge Station on a 58 to Britwell, October 2008.

Beeline's secondhand Plaxtons: 245, 246 (DMP42643-644)

DMP42643 on Windsor Park&Ride The winter of 2001-2002 saw the arrival of several Darts from Rider, York, in First National (Barbie) livery. These included 10.7m Plaxton-bodied Pointer2s, which were given numbers 245 and 246. At the National renumbering they became DMP42643-644.

In spring 2006 both were repainted yellow overall, with Lego motifs, for use on the Windsor Legoland shuttle.

DMP42643 in Windsor on Park & Ride duty, May 2006.

They returned to Barbie livery in July 2007, and returned to Slough as spares to the DMA fleet.

Beeline's secondhand Alexanders: 247-251 (DMA)

Darts 247-251, also from York, arrived in early 2001, in Barbie2 livery. They were very similar to the indigenous Alexanders, being 37-seater single doorway buses. They were put into service alongside the existing Alexanders at Slough. At National renumbering the buses gained new numbers in the DMA42*** series, reflecting, partly, their registrations, so not in sequence with their Beeline numbers. They were disposed of at the start of 2016, following the imposition of new DDA regulations.

Surrey's East Lancs SPDs: DME 43911-43932

11.6m East Lancs SPD At the end of 2005 Beeline started to take delivery of 22 new East-Lancs bodied Super Darts (ie 11.6m Dart SLFs) for Surrey County Councils Ride Pegasus! project. They were out-stationed at Surrey's transport depot at Merrow and used on primary schools contracts, initially to service Tillingbourne School at Chilworth, with some used on public "Access Bus" services along dated routes during the day. Livery was pale green with large Surrey oak-leaf logos covering the rear-end windows. Must be dark and cosy up at the back in the big high-backed seats, even with mandatory seat-belts! The schools services operated with on-board stewards.

It was not a function of the change of Government in May 2010 but the Ride Pegasus! scheme came to a halt at the end of the summer term in July 2010. The unpopular decision to axe the dedicated school bus scheme, which cost 900 000 a year, had been taken the previous September, and now left many primary school children no public transport route to school. One wonders what happened to the 147 children entitled to free school travel (taxis?) or indeed the rest of the 840 primary school children registered to use the service.

The buses were handed back to Surrey County Council, who allocated or sold them to other operators. Arriva got one for an increase on the 436, Safeguard received three for the Park & Ride operation, Abellio Surrey received fourteen for a revision of north-west Surrey routes, where they replaced MPDs, and the other four went to Southdown PSV, who used them on the 424.

Marshall-bodied SLFs

First Beeline also operated a substantial number of Marshall-bodied SLFs, in particular DM41130/33 and DML41165-41176. These were secondhand from First London. There were also a number of short- or long-term loans. These are recorded on the First London DM pages.

Plaxton SLFs

In January 2014 First Berkshire took six Pointer2s from First Hampshire & Dorset as a temporary measure awaiting the arrival of new EnviroDarts and Streetlites. Most of them went to Bracknell initially, and after a couple of months were shuttled along to Slough. They departed for pastures new a few months later.

Ian's Bus Stop Dart SLF index. Beeline text. histories. photo refs.