MS: Metro-Scania Single-deckers

This page created 4th December 2001.

The MCW Demonstrator, VWD 451H

demo MS drawing London Transport first experimented with Metro-Scanias at the end of 1969, when in November they hired a demonstrator from MCW. This was a single-decker, which was put to work on route 99 from Plumstead garage from February until May 1970, when it was returned to MCW.

The demonstrator returned to the London scene in July 1971, when it was hired by London Country for use at Stevenage.

London Country: Stevenage Superbus MS1-7

LC MS drawing All remained quiet until a year later, when London Country introduced its new Superbus service at Stevenage in July. The buses used were a mixture of Swifts, Long Leyland Nationals, and a pair of new Metro-Scanias. Livery on all of them was a startling Oxford Blue and Canary Yellow. The bodywork on these new buses was more British in style than that on the demonstrator (which was also borrowed by London Country at this time).

The Superbus system was a success, and required more buses. Another two new Metro-Scanias were bought in April 1972, and a further three were acquired in 1973 from Hants & Dorset. These three had been bought by King Alfred in Winchester, and were swapped by Hants & Dorset (who dethroned King Alfred) with London Country for long Leyland Nationals.

All seven wore the Superbus livery and worked exclusively at Stevanage. They were withdrawn in 1977-8, and after a spell collecting flies at Radlett Airfield were sold to Rotherham dealer C.F.Booth in August 1980.

London Transport: The Clapton Pond Omnibus: MS1-6

LT MS drawing London Transport returned to the Metro-Scania in 1973, when it was desperately looking for a replacement for its troublesome fleets of Merlins and Swifts. Not wanting another expensive debacle, it ordered a dozen single-deckers for a comparison trial: six short Leyland Nationals (LS1-6) and six short Metro-Scanias (MS1-6). All of them arrived in July 1973 and went to work at Dalston on the S2, a single-decker flat-fare route between Clapton Pond and Bromley Station. The performance of the Scanias was better than that of the usurped Swifts, and before the first day was out MS4 had ended up IN Clapton Pond. (It was one way to attract media attention to the new buses!)

The trial buses stayed on the S2 until 1976, when the Nationals were moved to Hounslow and the Scanias were put into store. They remained there until five of them were sold to Newport Corporation in Wales - an enthusiastic Metro-Scania user - in November 1978. The other one, MS2, went to the Chiswick experimental shop for a couple of years, before being sold.

MS2 and MS4 have survived into preservation, the latter restored to London Transport condition.
MS4 at Cobham Open Day, April 1999 MS4 at Cobham Open Day, April 1999

MS4 in immaculate preserved condition, at Cobham Museum Open Day, Brooklands, April 1999. Photo by Ian Smith. Click for larger versions.

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