The London Country DL,PL Leyland Leopard Coaches

This page created 7th December 2002 by Ian Smith

DL1, DL2

early DL drawing In 1980 London Country bought a pair of Leyland Leopards for evaluation in comparison with the Volvo B58, fitted with Duple Dominant bodywork essentially the same as that on the later Reliance RBs. They bought a pair of Volvos too, and put all four to work at Hertford and Addlestone on the northern orbital Green Line route 734.
The Leopard pair were numbered DL1 and DL2. The Leopards were preferred to the Volvos. Although not so quiet, drivers liked the big engines, while engineers found the working bits easier to get at.
DL1 and DL2 stayed at Hertford all their working lives - which were longer than their class-mates which were only on five-year leases. It was 1988 before they were retired and sold to a Yorkshire dealer, who promptly sold the pair on to York Pullman.


London Country ordered thirty new Leopards for 1981, leased from Kirby Kingsforth, with the bodywork divided once more between Duple (DL3-17) and Plaxton (PL18-32). Duple bodwork was a newer version of the RB body, with less iron-mongery below smaller windows,a different front grille and a revised rear treatment with new light clusters in a protruding beam.

commuter DL drawing DL3-8 were intended for private hire, and were not delivered until May and July. Then most went to Northfleet and Swanley, although DL4 and DL7 helped out at Staines briefly. They wore a revised Greenline livery, in several minor variations. In December 1981 DL3 and DL4 were extracted and repainted for Flightline 767, a dedicated Victoria Coach Stn to Heathrow service. After repaint at Crawley they went to Addlestone for the start of the new service in January 1982. Also in December 1981 DL5-8 lost their luggage racks and gained four seats, as befitted their use on commuter route 720 and private hire work.
Jetlink DL drawing DL9-17 came in April to June 1981, all going to Staines wearing branding white/green/yellow livery and branding for Jetlink 747. Some were repainted into standard GreenLine livery in June/September 1983, displaced from the 747 by new TD Tigers, and DL17 received Flightline branding in July 1984.

January 1986 saw a prompt withdrawal for refurbishment prior to return to the lessor at the end of the five-year leases. Eastern National, Yorkshire Traction and Alder Valley Engineering handled the work.


Greenline PL drawing Bodywork on the Plaxtons was much the same as on the later RS class, allowing for variations to suit the Leopard chassis. They arrived promptly in April 1981, and went to Stevenage, Crawley and Dorking for Green Line work, wearing standard white with a green band.

Mid-1983 saw the Crawley allocation divided between Dorking and Stevenage, and the class remained associated with these two garages until withdrawal in January 1986. Again Eastern National, Yorkshire Traction and Alder Valley Engineering did the end-of-lease refurbishments.

Part Two: Other Leopards

Ian's Bus Stop Index DV Part 2 histories photo refs TL