Prepared on Notepad by Ian Smith,
This page created 21st April 2024.

Universitybus Solos

Universitybus takes over St.Albans and Potters Bar

The March 2008 tender shuffle took Centrebus' St.Albans routes and buses to Universitybus - or uno as the new unit was called. Three Solos were included: the Potters Bar pair, 380-381 became uno 402/401, while Centrebus 396 became uno 403.

402 and 401 had been new to Centrebus for the PB1 and St.Albans locals. They were three-year old 8.8m slim-line Solos seating 25, with three tip-up seats and digital displays. uno repainted them in the house colours of pink and mauve, and moved them to their Hatfield base in June 2008.

403 had been Centrebus 396. It was like the earlier two, but two years younger. It too was a 8.8m slimline Solo. Centrebus had used it on the 359, and this was continued by uno. It too moved to Hatfield base in June.

  • PB1 Potters Bar circular
  • 359 St.Albans - City Station - London Colney
  • S1 St.Albans - Mile House Estate
  • S3 St.Albans - Jersey Farm
  • 304 Hitchin - Whitwell - Wheathampstead St.Albans - Welham Green

St Peters Street in St.Albans on a busy Saturday afternoon in January 2009. 403 works its weekday speciality, the 359 to London Colney. On the Sunday 403 worked on the S1.

New Solos for Hatfield local services: OS404,405

Two new slim-line 8.8m Solos were bought for Hatfield local services 607,608,609 in November 2008.

  • 607 Hatfield Station & UH de Havilland Campus
  • 608 Hatfield Station & Garden Village
  • 609 Hatfield Station and Salisbury Village

Secondhand Solos for St.Albans local services: OS406-411

In September 2010 uno acquired six 9.2m Solos, full-width 25-seaters, from Meteor Parking at Heathrow, via Dawsons Rentals. Three dated from 2002, three from 2005/6. They were sent away for refurbishing, including upseating to replace airport luggage racks with more seating. They received the pink and mauve livery, with "pink" comments on their rears and "The PINK network for St.Albans" branding.

They were ready for the network changes in March 2011. They were intended to operate services S1-S5 all radial from St Albans City Centre (St Peters Street), with S1-S3 interworking, and S4-S5 interworking. In the normal way of things they appeared on other routes as well.

  • S1 Daily St Albans City Centre - Mile House
  • S2 Daily St Albans City Centre - New Greens
  • S3 Daily St Albans City Centre - Jersey Farm
  • S4 Daily St Albans City Centre - Cottonmill
  • S5 M-S St Albans City Centre - ?

Hybrid Solos: OSH412-413

During 2011 uno ordered a pair of hydrogen-powered hybrid Solos, paid for by the Govermnent. They were very late arriving, appearing in February 2012. They were 8.9m long, with enormous gas tanks on the roofs (a bit like the gas buses during WW2). They went into service on the local St.Albans pink network, but soon spread their wings. (I have not located a rear view of these - nor indeed any of the uno Solos).

Northampton University

In September 2012 uno started a University-based service, in Northampton, as they had in Hatfield. Two of the Solos went there, the original slim-lines 401 and 402, along with seven Citaros.


In January 2014 Solo 407 was given an overall coat of bright yellow, contravision over the windows towards the rear, except for its pink front. It soon gained bold advertising lettering for St.Albans NETbus tickets. Not a pretty sight.

One down..

In the summer of 2014 Solo 403 suffered a fire and was sold, ostensibly for scrap. It turned up alive and kicking, with Star Travel in Aylesbury.

More to follow: all gone!

The older normal width Solos 406,407 and 408, were returned off-lease to Dawson Rentals in July 2016.

401 and 402, long used at Northampton, were sold to Ventura Sales at the tail-end of 2018.

The younger trio 409-411, went by March 2019.

The hybrids, 412 and 413 hung on until February 2021.

Ian's Bus Stop Solo Index. _uno Solos. _uno Solo histories. Solo photos.