Prepared on Notepad by Ian Smith,

This page created 28th October 2012.

Kentish Bus 250-259: Scania L113 Wright Axcess Ultralow

Kentish Bus L113 Scania developed the L113CRL low-floor chassis to follow the adapted N113 chassis used on the Wright Pathfinder 320. The new chassis had an inclined in-line engine instead of a transverse one, avoiding the claustrophobic high floor at the rear of the vehicle found with the earlier buses. By skilfull mechanical design independent front suspension was avoided too, thereby avoiding many of the problems with the first batches of low-floor designs. Floor height at the entrance was maintained at 320 mm, so Wright could straightforwardly adapt the Pathfinder 320 to produce the Axcess Ultralow body. Kentish Bus took ten of the fifty produced to upgrade their trunk route, the 480 (Dartford - Gravesend - Denton), operating from Northfleet garage. They had the excellent Kentish Bus livery of yellow and green, with route 480 branding.

AKT L113 The 480, plus the derived 490, remained their stamping ground for almost thirteen years, from November 1995 to September 2008. In that time there were changes: Arriva took over, and the striking yellow and green livery gave way to bland blue and cream. They were route-branded from the start, and that continued in the new livery.

In 2007 they seemed to have a secure future, with refurbishment, digital displays and a repaint - although the latter continued turquoise and cream, albeit with a shorter "scoop" and no route branding. Except for two buses: 3257 was covered in an orangey red with large yellow snowflakes to promote Bluewater shopping Centre in the pre-Christmas period, while 3259 received purple with white snow-flakes. They received their bland corporate repaints in February 2008.

In 2008 they were replaced by new buses on the 480/490, the whole batch being transferred across the Thames in September to Southend, where they took on route 1.

3250 descends Northfleet bank 3255 on 480, Gravesend Clock

3250 descends the bank from Northfleet in sunshine, July 2006. 3255 passes Gravesend Clock in rain, December 2007

3255 in NF

Low-floor single deckers in Northfleet garage, with three Dart SLFs, 3255 and a DAF Prestige, October 2005.

3255 on 480, Gravesend Clock

Sunday at Northfleet garage, with 3256, 3255 and DAF Prestige 3914 at rest, October 2004.

Bus Stop SLW. L113. L113 bus histories. L113 photo refs. Shires Scanias.