Universitybus' Trident Presidents: TP270-272Universitybus of Hatfield acquired three secondhand President-bodied Tridents from Santander Finance, in November 2009. They were 9.9m models, that had been London General's PDL30, 33 and 40. They retained dual doorways and roller blinds. On arrival ther were still in London General livery and had no ticket machines, so were put to work straight away on th Park & Ride service 694. They were repainted in uno pink and purple livery in January 2010, and were numbered 270-272. This soon became TP270-272 under the drivers' cab windows.
They went into fare-receiving service on the 601, replacing Olympians 201-3. In the usual way of things, they began to appear on other double-deck services, such as the 614, and even some normally single-deck.
The trio worked uneventfully until October 2013, when 271 was completely de-roofed in Harpenden, fortunately not while in service. The remains were sold to Ensign Bus, and went on to Stagecoach for spares, first at East Kent and then at Carlisle.
In September 2014 the other two were transferred, 270 to the outstation at Cranfeld and 272 to Northampton, where Universitybus had established two public routes serving the University of Northampton. For this they received untidy digital displays at the front, but retained their uno livery.
The Cranfield bus operated a public service C1 beteen Bedford and Milton Keynes, serving the University of Bedford. 270 quickly moved on to Northampton.
They stayed at Northampton until replaced by newer DDA-compliant buses in January 2017. They returned to Hatfield for use on schools contracts. There too they were displaced by newer buses in September 2017, and after a spell in store went for scrap in early 2019.
Universitybus' Trident ALX400s: TA273-275In October 2012 Universitybus bought another three secondhand Tridents. Well, secondhand was perhaps slightly misleading, as the twelve-year-old buses had started with Connex before being taken over successively by Travel London and then Abellio. Again they were 9.9m Tridents, but this time with Alexander ALX400 bodywork.
Uno wasted little time in repainting them into pink/purple in their new diagonal style, and neatly fitting them with digital displays. They were numbered TA273-275, and worked from Hatfield, again mainly on the 601 and 614.
They stayed at Hatfield on front-line service until 2018, when at a venerable and honorable eighteen years old they went for scrap.
The replacement for 271: Volvo ALX400In October 2013 Trident/President TP271 had been completely de-roofed. A replacement was sought with some urgency. The candidate was a 10.1m Volvo B7TL with ALX400 bodywork: VA293 from London United that had been converted to single doorway by Ensign Bus. Unusually for Universitybus it retained its advertising frames, although these were unused during its first stay at Hatfield. Another unusual feature was the absence of the large uno fleetnames on the sides. It was also singled out by having just one doorway.
The replacement 271 went into service at Hatfield, for ten months. Then it was sent north to Northampton for uno's University of Northampton services, where it stayed for almost three years. In August 2017 it was back in service at Hatfield, on the 601. It then spent a while at the Cranfield outstation working on the C1 between Bedford and Milton Keynes. It was sold by the end of 2018.
280: a long Trident/PresidentIn May 2015 uno bought a long Trident President that had been Brighton Hove & District's no 847 since March 2001. 280 was not only long, but was single doorway, yielding an impressive 77 seats - very useful for schools work. BH&D had withdrawn it with a defective gearbox, but it had been given one from a still older Trident. It was given purple/pink livery, and put into service on Hatfield's busy routes. It was not destined for a long stay - new bus regulations saw to that. So in September 2017 it was retired from the school runs.
It was bought for preservation, and for several years attended shows in uno livery, before going into store for a repaint into BH&D livery.
281-4: four Tridents for NorthamptonAugust 2015 saw uno buying four ALX400-bodied Tridents for their University of Northampton services. They were 9.9m London United TAs that had spent most of their London service at Fulwell. With LU fleetnames removed they were put in service still in red, with two doorways. One by one they were converted to single doorway and given the uno diagonal style livery, the last being done in July 2016.
281 and 282 were withdrawn in July 2018, without having operated at Hatfield, but 283 and 284 got their chance in September 1920, when they came south for schools work during the Covid19 return to school.
Ian's Bus Stop Trident Index. TA, TP text. Universitybus histories. photo refs.