The London Country DV Volvo / Duple Coaches

This page created 7th December 2002 by Ian Smith

In 1980 London Country began the search for a new chassis to replace the AEC Reliance. The workhorse was now under the control of the old arch-rival Leyland and therefore doomed. The corporate mind at Leyland was busy suppressing all the old marques, and in the process narrowing its own thinking towards just three chassis: one for single-decker buses, one for double-decker buses, and one for coaches. If you didn't like it, tough! Except that one could buy foreign. It is hard to remember that there was a time when Volvo, Scania et al were considered as foreign manufacturers that no patriotic bus company would ever buy from, even if they had heard of them. But the lack of choice at home, and problems with some of Leyland's offerings, opened up the British market to continental chassis manufacturers.

DV drawing
So London Country bought a pair of Volvos: B58-56 chassis, with Duple Dominant bodywork essentially the same as that on the Reliances. They bought a pair of Leyland Leopards too, for comparison, and put all four to work at Hertford and Addlestone on the northern orbital route 734.
The Duple pair were numbered DV1 and DV2. DV1 appeared in the Golden Jubilee livery, with gold-painted lower panels, DV2 in Greenline green/white (I think: it proved rather camera-shy).

After fifteen months on the 734 the pair were moved to Dunton Green, where they became regulars on the 706. They stayed there through the break-up of London Country, and became part of the Kentishbus fleet, where they were renumbered into the dual-purpose coach fleet as 226 and 225, still on Green Line work. Their last few years were at Northfleet and Dartford, until retirement in 1990.

Bus Stop Index RB,RS DV text histories photo refs DL, PL