The production models were delivered via Apsley British Leyland Centre in Nottingham,
where the trimmings that Leyland would not tackle as manufacturer - such as fleetnames, yellow-painted doors -
The National 2s have the larger engine, mounted at the back, and instead of the radiator and fan unit mounted at the rear have a radiator at the front. This immediately made them much quieter! It also gave them a snout at the front, topped by a more curved windscreen, and increased their length to 10.6 metres. For Red Arrow use LT had them fitted with just 24 seats, and handrails for up to 46 standing passengers! Blue express service blinds and Red Arrow markings on overall red complete the picture.
|502||Waterloo Stn - Aldwych - Fleet St - St Pauls - London Wall - Liverpool St Stn||AG Ash Grove|
|513||London Bridge Stn - St Pauls - Fleet St - Waterloo Stn||AG Ash Grove|
|500||Victoria Stn - Hyde Park Corner - Marble Arch (peaks)|
Victoria Stn - Hyde Pk Cnr - Grosvenor Sq. - Hanover Sq. - Oxford St - Marble Arch - Hyde Pk Cnr - Victoria Stn (off peak)
|507||Victoria Stn - Horseferry Rd - Lambeth Bridge - Waterloo Stn||GM Victoria|
|501||Waterloo Stn (- Aldwych)- Holborn - St Pauls - Bank - Aldgate||WL Walworth|
|555||Victoria Stn - Paddington Stn - Marylebone Stn - Euston Stn - Kings Cross Stn - Waterloo Stn - Victoria Stn||AG Ash Grove|
But 1982 service cuts in Red Arrow provision made 15 of the National 2s redundant, and they went into store. One went to Chiswick to receive a ZF gearbox, then went back into service for monitoring. Six went to Aldenham to have extra seating installed, making them B36+27D, along with Almex fare machine fittings. Their Red Arrow markings were removed and they were allocated to Stockwell for the P4 route, starting in January 1983. They were joined by another three in 1984. They subsequently appeared on the 115 and 170 as well. However, the loss of the P4 to London Country in 1985 meant that they went back into store. Meanwhile others were fitted with ticket machines and allocated to Poplar and West Ham, for use on ordinary services or Red Arrow as conditions required. Yet more were seen at Bromley, in ordinary service, at the end of 1983.
In June 1986 route 210 was converted from ordinary Nationals operated by Muswell Hill to MkIIs from Holloway. A dozen 36-seaters were gathered for this purpose - some fresh from overhaul - and operated the route until October 1987, when they went into store at Walworth.
|P4||Brixton - Dulwich Village - Honor Oak Park - Brockley Rise - Ladywell -||SW Stockwell|
|115||Balham Station -||SW Stockwell|
|170||Wandsworth Plain - Battersea - Vauxhall - Victoria Embankment - Aldwych - Holborn - Bloomsbury||SW Stockwell||210||Finsbury Park Stn - Archway - Highgate Village - Golders Green Stn||HT Holloway|
Another conversion during this period was to LS454,
which was fitted in 1984 with a Ratcliffe Lift in the exit doorway,
with 2 wheelchair anchorages and attendant seats.
It went onto the Newham and Waltham Forest Mobility services,
working initially from Leyton and later from Ash Grove.
The Red Arrow services were expanded again in 1987/88, with new routes 503, 505, 506, 509 and 510. The dispersed Mk2s were recalled, and concentrated at Walworth garage with all the others. They then all moved to the new Waterloo Red Arrow depot (RA) when that was completed.
In 1992 the first of forty-two conversions of National 2s was made, this time a complete body repanel and rebuild, plus engine change to a Gardner: the Greenway conversion - but that's another page.
Part1 Part3: later bus histories photo refs
Ian's Bus Stop LN, LNB SNB, SNC Greenways