Armchair's Alexander ALX 400s: DT1-22Armchair had initially wanted Volvo B7TL / Wrightbuses for its upgrade to the 237, taking over from Olympians. But that order had been cancelled, and an order for 22 Dennis Tridents with Alexander ALX400 bodies substituted. They had a forward staircase and an exit in the fourth bay. Livery was red with a black skirt surmounted by a broad orange band. The first three arrived at the end of December 2002, and the other nineteen early in January, all ready to start the new contract in January. They operated from Brentford. As there were 22 buses for a requirement of 19 (10 on Sundays) they began sporadic appearances on other routes, such as the 190, E8 and railway replacement.
DT11 on 237 to Hounslow Heath, Brentford, March 2006.
Metroline takes overIn November 2004 Armchair was taken over in its entirety by Metroline. There was no immediate change to allocations, livery or fleetnames. The Armchair fleetname was supposed to disappear in January 2007, but repaints were rather haphazard, some buses getting just a lower deck repaint with a blue skirt, some proper repaints, and some thereafter wearing Armchair, Metroline or no fleetnames for a while. By the end of the year all had been done. From January 2007 the E8 route used a DT once a day for a schools run.
In July 2008 the DTs were joined at Brentford by an influx of Trident/Presidents (TPs). Brentford suffered a decrease in its Dart population, which went off to Perivale, so the increased double-decker fleet took over the E8 until May 2009. The 190 saw occasional DT/TP use during peaks as well.
End-gameThe leases on the DTs were expiring. DT1-6 were loaned to Travel London for their i-Bus programs in October 2008, and worked from Beddington and Walworth garages, putting in appearances in the 3, N3 and 159, as well as shuttles to ExCel. They returned to store in mid-November. DT7-22 went into store during October. They were spruced up ready for their return off-lease, being repainted into all-red.
The entire batch went off-lease to Dawson Rentals in the first three months of 2009. One immediately went off to Wessex Connect. In the autumn of 2009 five were leased by Tellings-Golden Miller for their Kingston University contract, operating between Roehampton Vale and Seething Wells on route KU1. In January 2010 Travel with Hunny leased DT15 for use on their 555 beteen Debden and Loughton. In September 2010 Tellings-Golden Miller took three for Network Colchester. Then in February/March 2011 Abellio London leased fourteen (including that from Wessex Connect and the Travel with Hunny example) to supply the "existing buses" for route 172 from Walworth Garage. Those were not their final operators in most cases.