Carousel Buses' Dart SLFs
BackgroundCarousel Buses, like many bus companies in the London periphery, started with railway replacement work, building up a fleet of ex-London Metrobuses. They gradually moved into normal bus operation, and in 2003 acquired some new Mercedes Citaros for route A40, between High Wycombe and Heathow. Bus operations expanded slowly. Ex-airport DAFs were acquired for the 336 (Amersham - Rickmansworth).
Secondhand PointersCarousel's experience with ex-Airport buses seems to have been good, for following on from the DAFs they acquired three Plaxton Pointer bodied Dart SLFs at the end of 2005. These had originated with Capital, West Drayton, and were acquired from Airlinks. They were 10.0m "shoebox" Pointers. Carousel promptly fitted them with digital display screens. Originally used in white, they were soon reliveried. DPL423 and DPL479 were in green, with branding for Buckinghamshire County Council's County Rider, while DPL480 went into the new standard company livery of red and maroon.
The green Pointers found themselves banished from Uxbridge Bus Station in July 2008. Their County Rider routes 580, 581, 582 had to be terminated at the ring road until October until the Pointers could be substituted by Carousel's Plaxton Primo and DMS23: these buses were LEZ-compliant, while the Pointers were not. Nevertheless, they retained green livery until September 2011, when they were repainted purple for routes 35 and 36.
But in March 2012 the business was taken over by the Go-Ahead Group. The Pointers were on the wrong end of the business age profile, but nevertheless the recently repainted purple pair were renumbered (561-2). LDP480 was not, but it was LDP479 (562) that was sold for scrap in June.
Secondhand MarshallsIn August 2007, in preparation for increased school work about to commence, Carousel bought a pair of ex-Metroline Dart Marshalls, that had been DMS 6 and DMS8. DMS6 was soon repainted in overall purple and branded for routes 35 and 36 Wycombe - Flackwell Heath). DMS8 went into overall red.
Three more were acquired in September/October 2008, to displace the remaining step-entance Darts. The new arrivals were DMS13, DMS14 and DMS23, all ex-Metroline. DMS13 and 14 went to work in Metroline livery, temporarily, while DMS23 was quickly repainted green for the County Rider routes into Uxbridge.
DMS8 at Chesham Broadway on 4, 5th October 2008
DMS 6 was sold for scrap in June 2011. The others found themselves out of favour when Go-Ahead took over the business in March 2012, and were all quickly sold.