London Central/London General: Dennis Dart SLF, Plaxton Pointer
London Central and London General, the two Go-Ahead group companies in London at the start of the Dart SLF
era, were quite conservative with their SLFs, starting with the Plaxton Pointer and sticking with it
despite changes of manufacturer names and model updates. There were variations of length and door layout, of course.
They have also hung on to some of their earliest LDPs, some still in service after fifteen yeears at the time of writing.
LDP1-17: 9.2m for Sutton & Merton
London General's first SLFs were seventeen shortish 9.2m single dooway buses, shared between Sutton and Merton garages,
and replacing Metrobuses or MetroRiders. It was November 1996. Sutton took the first nine for route 80,
(Belmont - Hackbridge), previously Metrobus worked. They did not stay for very long,
moving to Bexleyheath in 2003, while the 80 regained double-deckers in the form of Volvo Olympians.
These first few then became scattered around the group's garages, with two moving to Diamond Bus in Birmingham
in August 2007.
LDP10-17 went to Merton in November 1996, for route 152 Pollards Hill - New Malden,
displacing MetroRiders, but still using a Metrobus for the schools duties.
The buses moved on before the route did, the buses shifting to Peckham in March 2001 for use on the P12,
(Peckham Garage - Brockley Rise), replacing step-entrance Darts.
Only LDP14 remains with London General, at the time of writing being used on commercial contracts.
The remainder were mostly sold in 2004-6, two going to Sullivan Buses at South Mimms..
LDP18-44: 10.0m for London General
Also in November 1996 London General took delivery of a sizeable batch of twenty seven slightly longer
single doorway buses.
These too were divided between Sutton and Merton, intended for
the 151 (Wallington - Worcester Park Stn), 163(Wimbledon Stn - Morden Stn),
and 164 (Wimbledon Stn - Sutton Stn). Inevitably they acquired other duties also.
Not being fitted with wheelchair ramps, they mostly came off ordinary London bus work in 2004-5.
Some went onto contract work, and many were sold or transferred to other Go-Ahead companies.
LDP24-27 moved slightly down the road in May 2002 to Metrobus, where they became 224-227.
These four moved out to work at Crawley in 2004, and were bought by Countryliner in 2008-9.
Others went to the Diamond Bus Co. in Birmingham, and most via Ensign Bus to other operators.
Sullivan Buses took three of these too.
May 2007: LDP31 now works for Sullivan Bus. It is on rail replacement work at Hatfield Station.
In earlier days, LDP43 pulls past VA15 at Epsom Clock, on a 293, in September 2001.
LDP45-89: 10.0m for London Central (at first)
The late summer of 1997 saw London Central availing itself of 10.0m LDPs.
This time they were replacing Titans
on the 345 (South Kensington Stn - Peckham),
operated by both New Cross and Camberwell garages.
A new route in November was the 321, the eastern section of the 21, between New Cross and Sidcup,
using LDPs from both Bexleyheath and New Cross.
They were retro-fitted with wheelchair ramps and a space to accommodate a wheelchair, with loss of a seat, by mid-2000.
These useful buses have had various uses around both fleets in the years since, with a few sold or moved to other parts of Go-Ahead.
LDP78 (NX) works east from Lewisham Station towards Sidcup on the 321, middle section of the old 21 trunk route,
in September 2000. At this date it still sports the blue London Central sash and Cutty Sark symbols.
LDP47 swoops down past St.Helier towards Morden on the 164, August 2008.
Why is LDP56 working on the 225? This Merton bus looks slightly down-at-heel,
with repaired but not yet repainted side panels, in January 2005
as it passes under Lewisham Station on a New Cross working.
LDP62 reaches the end of its journey at Wimbledon Station in October 2005.
LDP90-99, 101-117, 118-128: 10.1m for London General
London General took another twenty seven at the end of 1998. These were the same basic length,
but with dual doorways and fitted with wheelchair ramps from new.
They had the new rounded style of Pointer fronts (which added four inches, or 0.1m)
and a different arrangement of lights and plates on rears too.
They went to work in the spring of 1999 on the 155 (Elephant & Castle - Tooting St Georges)
and 355 (Mitcham - Brixton Stn), replacing DWs and Metrobuses.
June 1999 was the date for London General to start employing another eleven 10.1m dual door buses,
initially on the 219 (Clapham Junction - Wimbledon), replacing DW class Darts.
LDP105 on 163, Raynes Park, August 2008. The dulling of rear blinds with long usage is apparent.
LDP101 looks fresh on the 200, also in August 2008.
Most of this batch were replaced in early 2011.
LDP90 and LDP113 then went on loan to Metrobus for a short period
while route 358 was suffering gas-main renewals in Shortlands,
necessitating a pvr increase for the duration.
LDP129-133: 8.8m for Putney
Putney, long a user of small step-entrance Darts, took five MPDs for use on new route 424
(West Fulham - Putney Heath)
in April 2001. They were returned off-lease in June 2011.
LDP134-141: 10.7m for Stockwell
Route 345 had been experiencing staffing problems, with the allocation frequently changing between Stockwell, Camberwell and New Cross.
Single doorway LDPs had been used by all three garages since 1997, but in March 2001 Stockwell
received eight dual doorway buses to a longer length than heretofor: LDP134-141.
These continued to work alongside Camberwell's allocation, until the route was converted todouble-deckers in 2002.
The whole batch, which were destined to remain the companies' only 10.7m examples,
were then transferred to Merton for use on the 155.
LDP142-152: Delayed 8.8m buses for Camberwell and Stockwell
The companies ordered LDP142-152 for delivery in March 2001,
but kept these MPDs in store at Plaxton's in Scarborough until actually needed.
142-148 were delivered to Camberwell in September 2001 for the C10,
Victoria Station - Elephant & Castle, taken over from Blue Triangle.
They were returned off-lease in April 2011.
LDP148 on C10, Victoria, October 2005. Still with the C10, but from New Cross, LDP146 takes a short break at Victoria Station, February 2010.
LDP149-152 were retained at Scarborough until January 2002.
These four were then stored at Camberwell until September 2002,
when they went to Stockwell for the 239, replacing 10.1m LDPs.
LDP153-190: 9.3m for London Central
London Central did take thirty-eight intermediate length single-doorway buses in March 2001.
Fourteen, LDP153-166, were for use on the 484,
replacing the tired DEL step-entrance Darts at Camberwell.
LDP159 on C10 at Victoria, April 2002. LDP183 pulls out of Lewisham Bus Station on the 484 to Camberwell, May 2005.
New LDP167-181 went to Peckham for the P13 (Surrey Quays - Peckham - Streatham Garage),
replacing DRLs and StarRiders in April 2001.
LDP182-190 went in April to Camberwell for the P5 (Elephant & Castle - Stockwell Stn),
replacing step-entrance short Darts.
DRLs were also replaced on New Cross route 225 (Lewisham Riverdale - Bermondsey Stn).
P12 views: LDP177 in Rye Lane, seen from RT1702, on January 28th 2005 (last day of crew working on the 36).
Later in the day RT1702 shared the stand at Brockley Rise with LDP181. The P12 received LDPs in 2002
when the 345 was double-decked and the released LDPs shuffled round the garages.
LDP191-262: 10.1m for London General
Twenty 30-seater dual doorway buses were delivered in the spring of 2002, LDP
191-196 to Merton in March; 196-210 in March and April to Sutton.
These were for routes 80, 151, 163, 163 and 413.
LDP211-221 arrived in November/December 2002, and went to Stockwell for the 170 and 239.
LDP222-236 were delivered in December 2002,
but were sent to store in Lancashire and Scotland, most for a year.
A few were picked out of store during 2003, for short-term use on the 239.
These were transferred to Putney in December 2003.
In January 2004 the rest appeared from store, at Putney for service on route 39,
taking over from very short DR-class Darts. Most of these were displaced in early 2011.
Meanwhile LDP238-262 were acquired ready for service in December 2003,
LDP238-248 at Stockwell for the 239 (Victoria - Clapham Junction), replacing DRLs, and
LDP249-262 at Merton for the 355.The Stockwell buses were displaced in early 2011.
Stockwell's LDP215 on 170 to Roehampton, Victoria, June 2009. LDP250 at Wimbledon Stn on 163 to Morden Stn, April 2007.
LDP262-292: more MPDs
May 2004 saw eleven further MPDs (LDP262-272) arrive at Stockwell for the 322 (Crystal Palace - Clapham Common)
taking over from Travel London.
LDP273-280: more 10.1m for New Cross
Then it was March 2006 before more buses arrived:
LDP273-280 were 10.1m buses for the 225 contract renewal at New Cross.
LDP281-291: more MPDs
LDP281- 286 were MPDs for the extension of the C10 to Canada Water,
also to New Cross in March 2006.
LDP287-291 went to Stockwell in April for the 315 (Balham Station - West Norwood).
LDP292-294: 10.1m for Putney
Three more new LDPs were bought to take over the 485 (Wandsworth - Richmond Bus Stn)
in May 2006.
They were based at Putney.
In January 2007 the route and buses were moved to the newly operational depot at Plough Lane.
LDP294 on 485 at London Wetlands Centre, February 2017.
Docklands and East Thames
Go-Ahead bought Docklands Buses in 2006, and the East Thames Buses operation in October 2009.
Although these companies had their own single-deckers the takeovers increased the scope for LDPs,
and indeed some had been on loan to ETB before the deal. LDPs started to appear at Silvertown and Belvedere.
LDP295-302: ex-Metroline DLDs
By 2007 the Go-Ahead companies were taking new Enviro200 Darts instead of the older SLFs,
and earlier single doorway buses were being replaced and sold on, mostly for further service
(they were only about ten years old). This continued through 2008-9.
But in November 2009 Go-Ahead had a requirement for eight older dual doorway LDPs,
for use on the shuttle service between Stratford International station and Stratford Interchange.
The new International Station still had no public road access, so the shuttle was essential.
Unable to resource this internally, the company bought eight ex-Metroline DLDs specifically for this contract.
Their allocation was divided between Silvertown and New Cross depots.
Dart SLF index.