BTS and Sovereign Leyland Olympians

This page created 12th August 2002 by Ian Smith

BTS NC Olympian Borehamwood Travel Services seized its opportunity to make a mark in the London bus scene by rustling up buses at very short notice to run a strike-bound LRT service during 1988. Shortly after that it gained a longer-term LRT contract for the 292, for which it bought new Scanias. Then BTS won the contract for the 114 (Ruislip Station - Harrow - Mill Hill Broadway), for a January 1991 start. For this it ordered fourteen new Leyland Olympians with 77-seater front entrance bodywork by Northern Counties. They received BTS poppy red with a deep yellow band, with BTS logos.

In August 1994 BTS was taken over by Sovereign, but at first the only indication on the 114 was a change of legal lettering, followed by the replacement of the BTS logo with "Sovereign" lettering.

In May 1999 Sovereign moved into half of the old LT garage at Edgware, closing their Borehamwood premises. Buses continued to carry a BT garage code.
Sovereign NC Olympian An internal reorganisation later in 1999 found them as part of Sovereign Buses (London) Ltd, and they started to appear in the Blazefield Holdings "Yorkshire Coastliner" livery of blue and pale cream. They continued in service on the 114 until September 2001.

Then they were displaced from the 114 by sixteen younger DAFs acquired from Arriva London South, and most were transferred to Lancashire United, where Blazefield Holdings was just taking over.
Two (48 and 50) remained at Edgware, and were repainted in a similar scheme to the DAFs: LRT red with black skirts. They were used as spares on the 114.

August 2002 saw two come back from Lancashire, and join the spares: 51 and 52. But this was temporary. London United took over Sovereign's London operations at Edgware in November. The remaining Olympians stayed, on loan, until the turn of the year, then departed north. The Blackburn and Bolton interlude of the others with Lancashire United proved short-lived, and some returned south to Huntingdon.

Bus Stop index Kentish Bus bus histories photo refs Capital Citybus