Dennis Dart SLF
The low-floor version of the Dennis Dart is one of the all-time success stories of the British bus industry.
It has not been plain sailing of course: the manufacturers of the chassis
and the various body-builders have had their bad times as well as good,
and some have gone to the wall. But this is nothing to do with the excellence of the product.
The Dart SLF works. In the early days of low-floor bus design there really were problems.
The stepless entrance had to be accomplished along with wheelchair access,
and getting a standard wheelchair between the front wheelarches was a major problem.
This was resolved in two ways: one, the buses got wider, going from 7ft 6in (2.33m) wide
to 2.5m wide, and two, the wheels got smaller.
This latter enabled a decent lock within a smaller wheelarch,
and was a major factor in the success of the Dart compared with its larger-wheeled rivals.
The Dart SLF revolution: brand new DL77 at North Weald Rally in June 1998.
Various body-builders built on the Dennis chassis,
and different bus companies and groups had different preferences,
which often had more to do with industrial linkages than design merit.
But perhaps the most successful (certainly in terms of numbers) was the Plaxton body,
whose modular construction suited itself
to the various chassis lengths available - from 8.8m to 11.3m in roughly 0.6m increments.
They were not always stylish - the term shoebox was applied to the early Plaxton model -
but later body designs showed a greater flair.
Almost every bus company in the old London Transport area has used the Dart SLF,
with a total of buses in the thousands by the time that the design evolved to the new generation of EnviroDarts in 2008.
So it is going to take a while to compile the pages.
Marshall-bodied DML32 (MTL London) at North Weald Rally in June 1998.
Index (not in any particular order):
..and more to come, I'm sure. As I said, these will take a while to assemble.
Links will be added as the pages get done.
- Stagecoach: SLD class, mainly Plaxtons and Alexanders
- Metrobus: Plaxtons, Caetanos, East Lancs and a few Alexanders
- London General and London Central: LDP class, Plaxtons
- London Central: DML, DMS classes, Marshalls
- Kentish Bus/ Arriva Kent Thameside (and Kent & Sussex): Plaxtons
- London & Country / Arriva Guildford & West Surrey: DSL class: East Lancs and Plaxtons
- Arriva London: ADL, DDL, PDL, DPP classes: Alexanders, Plaxtons
- Arriva The Shires & Essex: East Lancs, Plaxtons, Wrights and Alexanders
- Countybus DPP, SLF classes : Plaxtons, Wrights
- Metroline: DM, DML, DMS classes: Marshalls
- Metroline: DL, DLD, DLM, DSD, DLS classes: Plaxtons
- Thorpes: DLF, MLF, DP class: Plaxtons, one Marshall
- Armchair: DA, DP classes: Alexanders, Plaxtons
- Sovereign/London United SDP, DPF classes: Plaxtons
- Centrebus: Plaxtons, Caetanos, East Lancs, Marshalls
- Trustline: Plaxtons, UVG, Caetanos, East Lancs, Marshalls
- Universitybus: Wrights, Plaxtons, Caetanos
- First London: DM, DML, DMS classes: Marshalls
- First London: DHL/DMC class: Caetanos
- Centrewest, First London: DLP1, L/DMP class: Plaxtons
- First Beeline: L/DMP, DMA, DMM, DME classes: Plaxtons, Alexanders, East Lancs
- London United: Wrights, CD class
- London United: Plaxtons, DP, DPS and DPK classes
- Blue Triangle: Caetanos, Plaxtons
- Connex: Alexanders, Caetanos, Plaxtons
- Tellings-Golden Miller, Travel London, Abellio: Plaxtons, Caetanos, East Lancs
- Travel London, Abellio: Alexanders, Caetanos, Plaxtons, East Lancs
- Mitcham Belle: Plaxtons, Caetanos
- Centra: Plaxtons, Caetanos
- Docklands Buses: Caetanos, MCVs
- Epsom Buses: Plaxtons, Alexanders, East Lancs
- Countryliner: Plaxtons, Marshalls, Caetanos, UVGs
- Capital Citybus: East Lancs
- Limebourne (Q): Plaxtons
- Limebourne (IW): Caetanos
- Ensignbus: UVG, Plaxton, Alexander, Marshall, East Lancs
- Hackney: Caetanos
- Ealing: Caetanos
- London Transit: UVG, Caetanos
- Durham Travel Services: East Lancs, Plaxtons, Caetanos
- East Thames Buses: Alexander, Marshall, Plaxton, Caetanos
- Carousel: Plaxtons, Marshalls
- White Rose: Caetanos, Plaxton, Marshalls
- S.M.Travel, RoadRunner, Olympus, Townlink: Plaxtons, Marshalls, Caetanos, Alexanders
- Reg: Plaxton
- Regal Busways: Plaxtons, MCV
- Golden Boy: Plaxtons
- Red Rose: East Lancs, Plaxtons, Caetanos, Alexanders
- Red Line, Red Eagle: Plaxtons, Marshalls, Caetanos, Alexanders
- Sullivan: Caetanos, Plaxtons
- Grant Palmer: Marshalls, Alexanders, Plaxtons
- Bear Buses: Marshall, Plaxtons
- Ashford Luxury Coaches: Plaxtons
- Imperial Buses: Plaxtons, Marshalls
- Logic Travel, Galleon Travel 2009 (Trustybus): Plaxtons
- Go-Coach: Marshall, Plaxtons
- Go-Ride CIC: Plaxtons
- Landmark Bus: Plaxtons
- Sunray: Plaxton
- Reptons: Plaxton
- Vale Travel: East Lancs, Plaxton
- Travel with Hunny: UVG, Plaxtons, Caetanos
- Stansted Transit, Excel, TGM Essex: Plaxtons, Wrights
- Southdown PSV: Plaxtons, East Lancs
- Mullanys: Plaxtons
- Croydon Coaches, Buses Excetera: Plaxtons, Alexanders, MCV Evolutions
- Amber Coaches: Caetanos, Plaxtons
- Red Route Buses: Plaxtons
- Crawley Reds: Plaxtons
- Swallow Coaches, EOS: Plaxtons
- Z&S International: Marshalls, UVG, Plaxtons
Ian's Bus Stop