Prepared on Notepad by Ian Smith, This page created 29th October 2011. Best on 800*600.

Docklands Buses SLFs

Nimbuses for 167

Docklands Nimbus Docklands Buses was the name given by Docklands Minibus in March 2002 when they took over the contract for the 167 (Debden - Loughton - Buckhurst Hill - Chigwell - Fullwell Cross - Barkingside - Gants Hill - Ilford High Road). They opened a base at Silvertown, and provided twelve dual doorway 10.5m Caetano Nimbus Dennis Dart SLFs. They were red, with white and blue fleetnames.

The Darts were not without problems, and a pair of new Optare Solos supplemented them from June 2003. In the summer of 2004 a Dart SLF (34295) was hired from Stagecoach for a couple of months to help out.

They were replaced by new EnviroDarts (with eVolution bodywork) in May 2007, when just five years old.

10.8m Docklands eVolution

Evolutions for 368

From March 2006 Docklands Buses won the contract for the 368 (Harts Lane Estate - Barking - Mayesbrook Park - Chadwell Heath). They took the route over from Blue Triangle, and ordered eight new 9.8m Dart SLF/MCV eVolutions for it. These were late arriving, so Docklands hired five Dart SLFs (34303-7) from Stagecoach to cover their new route until the new Darts were delivered.

They were renumbered ED1-8 in March 2007.

In November 2007 this batch, by now ED1-8, were transferred along with route 368 to Blue Triangle at Rainham, in a swap of routes and vehicles. They began to appear on other routes, such as the 167 and 66, and traded Docklands Buses fleetnames for small Blue Triangle ones.

They stayed with the 368 under Blue Triangle auspices until March 2011, when the route was won by First London. ED1-4, 7, 8 then went into store, mostly at Belvedere, but ED7 and ED8 were promptly transferred to New Cross and Bexleyheath respectively. ED8 went on to New Cross, where both were used on the 108. ED5 and 6 returned to Silvertown to supplement route 300 (Canning Town - East Ham). ED1-4 went off to Plymouth for refurbishment and a repaint into London Central livery, returning looking splendid in red with charcoal skirts, yellow coach line and white roofs. They were for use on newly-won route 129 (North Greenwich (Dome) - Greenwich (Cutty Sark)), based at New Cross.

10.8m Docklands eVolution ED7 on 129, North Greenwich, Oct 2011

ED7 threads the North Greenwich estate on the 129, in new Go-Ahead livery, October 2011.

Docklands Buses joins Go-Ahead

London General took over Docklands Buses in September 2006, with the buses, routes, garage and staff. The Docklands Buses identity was retained in the short term, but London General LDPs began to appear on the 167.

9.2m Docklands eVolution

Short eVolutions for W19

Route W19 (Walthamstow - Leyton - Whipps Cross - Leytonstone Stn - Manor Park - Ilford High Road) was taken over in November 2006. Nine more Dart/eVolutions were bought, this time only 9.2m long. Again they were not there in time. The shortfall until December was covered by hiring in Darts from Dawson Rentals, mainly ex-Mitcham Belle and Centra. When the short buses arrived they lacked the toothpaste stripes, but had white roofs and small Go-Ahead titles near the top rear. They still had Docklands Buses fleetnames on their front cant-rails and dash.

They were renumbered ED9-17 in March 2007.

In May 2011 the W19 was moved to Rainham, and the short eVolutions went with it.

Bus Stop SLF index. Docklands SLF. histories. photo refs.