Prepared on Notepad by Ian Smith,
This page created 18th November 2010.

London Central DMS, DML


L.Central DMS The first five of the very short (8.9m) Marshall Capital bodied Dart SLFs went in May 1999 to London General at Putney for the 239 (Victoria Stn - Clapham Junction). They soon began to appear on the 265 (Putney Bridge Stn - Tolworth) as well.

At the same time (May 1999) the other ten went to Bexleyheath for local routes B15 (Eltham Stn - Bexley) and B16 (Kidbrooke Stn - Bexleyheath Garage).

The Putney five did not stay there long, but moved in March 2000 to Merton to join LDPs on the 152 (Pollards Hill - New Malden). They stayed at Merton for two years, then moved to London Central at New Cross, working on the 278 (Lewisham - Ferrier Estate) and 321 (New Cross Gate - Foots Cray).

One had a cherished registration from new: DMS11 was 101 CLT until December 2002.

DMS8 on B16, Falconwood. DMS11 on B16, Falconwood.

April 2000 on the B16: DMS6 and DMS11 near Falconwood.
DMS11 on B16, Falconwood. The non-standard nature of these buses told against them, and in February 2004 DMS1-5 went north to Go-Ahead North-East, another enthusiastic user of Marshalls. There they became 575-9. At the same time DMS10-15, from Brxleyheath, went into store at Plough Lane, the B15 having been lost, before heading north via a refurbishment at Rotherham to join Go-Ahead North East too.

The remainder stayed at Bexleyheath, mainly working the B12, with the spare often on the 244, until the ten year lease was up in spring 2009. They were then promptly returned to the dealer, who set about finding good homes for them.

Ex-London General DMS 5 on 278, Lewisham Bus Station, August 2002.


London Central's DMLs were not long buses like other companies' DMLs. They were still the short, 9.3m buses (like Metroline's DMS). All twenty-nine arrived in May 1999 to London Central at Bexleyheath, which is where they stayed, attracting little attention, few photographers and very little media attention.

Probably the only exciting thing that happened to them was a half-time refurbishment and repaint, when they gained charcoal-coloured skirts in place of medium grey.

DML13 on 255, Woolwich. DML4 on B11.

DML13 leaves Woolwich on the 244, October 2000. DML4 on the B11
The DMLs worked on a variety of routes from Bexleyheath garage:
B11 Bexleyheath - Abbey Wood - Thamesmead
B12 Bexleyheath - Erith Hospital - Erith
B15 Joydens Wood/Bexley Hospital - Bexley - Bexleyheath - Bexleyheath Garage
B16 Kidbrooke Stn - Eltham - Falconwood - Welling - Bexleyheath - Welling Corner
244 Woolwich - Belmarsh Prison - Abbey Wood Stn
469 Woolwich Common - Woolwich - Plumstead - Abbey Wood - Erith - Slade Green - Bexleyheath
401 Thamesmead - Belvedere - Bexleyheath

DML29 on 469, Erith, May 2001. L.Central DMS

DML29 on the 469, Erith, May 2001
The end of 2003 saw a sign of things to come, when DML7 went to Go-Ahead North-East for evaluation. It was followed in spring 2004, when there were significant tender changes, by DML 9, 13, 16 and 21-29.

The remainder stayed in service until the end of their ten-year lease. In February 2009 all the survivors were returned off-lease, leaving Bexleyheath suddenly short of single-deckers. Spare LDPs from around the group were sent in to fill the sudden gap of 22 buses (including the DMSs), but some gaps had to be filled with double-deckers! Most of the DMLs found new homes, scattered all over the UK, including some at Redline in Aylesbury, and some with S M at Harlow for their Roadrunner operation.

Go-Ahead London acquires Marshalls from First

In March 2012 First Group passed over Northumberland Park garage to Go-Ahead London, together with its routes, staff and buses. One of these was their DMS41474, a 8.9m Marshall Capital, which Go-Ahead renumbered as DMN1.

In June 2013 First Group withdrew from London bus work, and Go-Ahead picked up some routes, garages staff and buses in the east of the London area. These included route 193 plus some schools services, for which First transferred its remaining 5 DMLs and 12 DMSs from Dagenham. Go-Ahead put these into the ex-Blue Triangle garage at Rainham as DMN2-18. Unusually the buses wore new numbers as well as retaining the old ones. Most received Go-Ahead fleetnames from the first day: 22nd June 2013.

DMS41475 on 193, Romford Stn, , Nov 2013 DML41431 on 193, Upminster, Nov 2013

DM41475, now DMN7, at Romford Station on the 193, 13th November 2013. The following day DML41431 (DMN6) heads for County Park Estate, Upminster

Ian's Bus Stop Dart SLF index. DMS, DML text. histories. photo refs.