14T12 Regals: T719 - T768 (total 50)In 1946 the supply of buses was still controlled by the Ministry of Supply, but things started to look brighter. Double-deckers were still only available in "relaxed utility" form, and London Transport was taking delivery of the last utility Guys and the Daimlers. But now the opportunity to acquire some single-deckers presented itself for the first time since 1939. What was on offer to LT was a batch of fifty AEC Regals with Weymann provincial style bodywork, presumably to help make up for the 75 buses that had gone to Europe for the Control Commissions in Germany and Belgium (55 T-types and 20 Cubs)
These Regals were a throwback to the design standards of fifteen years before:
they had the small 7.7 litre engine that had underpowered the 9T9s,
and bodywork that was a profound step backwards from the standard reached with the 10T10s,
but they were all that was to be had.
They had many variations from current London thinking,
even ignoring London's moves to underfloor or rear-engined single-deckers
in the immediate pre-war years.
Their first allocations were nine to Uxbridge (UX) for the 223, followed by Muswell Hill (MH) for the 212 and Kingston (K) for the 201, 215 and 219. They displaced LTs for use elsewhere in the system.
Their sojourn at Muswell Hill was brief: their lack of power was keenly felt on the north London hills and by the end of the year (1946) they were being replaced by the first TDs. Fifteen moved on to Sidcup (SP) for the 241, where they worked with 5Q5s, and five to Uxbridge for the 222.
Norbiton garage (NB) opened in May 1952 and took over operation of the 201, 206, 213 and 264, with 14T12s allocated for the first three routes and the lighter 1T1s on the 264 route over Walton Bridge. The relaxation of the bridge weight limit allowed the 1T1 allocation to be replaced by 14T12s from the end of January 1953.
The arrival of the new RF class should not have posed a threat to the 14T12s. As post-war buses they were not on the RF replacement list. What was expected was some movement as the new buses arrived and took over 14T12 duties, releasing the older Regals to replace pre-war buses. Thus when routes 200 (AL) and 202 (P) were converted to RF in December 1952 - January 1953 their 5Q5s went to Sidcup, displacing 14T12s which went to Southall (HW) for the 211, in turn releasing TDs to Kingston to replace older buses. Likewise route 213 was converted to RF in January 1953, including Norbiton's allocation of nine, worked until then by 14T12s. These in turn displaced older Regals and 4Q4s from Kingston duties. One 14T12 was also allocated to Croydon as a spare for the 234A when the route was converted to RF operation in January 1953.
But London Transport's traffic forecasts had been made without knowledge of the impact of private motoring in the early fifties, and before long service alterations were being made. Single-decker routes were being doubled wherever possible, giving rise to a surplus. A number of TDs was stored throughout 1954, and was then used to replace all of Norbiton's 14T12s during the last quarter of 1954. These were the first post-war buses to be put up for sale.
Uxbridge (UX) was the last outpost of the 14T12s, where they were the main rolling stock for routes 222, 224, 224A and 224B, including service trips to London Airport. The last were withdrawn as a bunch in November 1958, following the drastic service cuts after the 1958 strike. They were replaced by RFs and TDs. All this group of 24 from Uxbridge, plus three trainers from Tottenham, were sold to the Ceylon Transport Board and exported.