TN: Dennis Trident, Alexander President
TN801-822, 854-887 for First CapitalFirst London entered the fray of low-floor double-deckers in 1999, choosing the Plaxton President body on Dennis Trident chassis as its vehicle of choice. It suffered from the problems of all the low-floor London double-deckers: two doorways, a huge straight staircase, a wheelchair space, large front wheel cases, resulting in very few actual seats downstairs, especially in the step-free area. Downstairs, only 24 seats, fewer than on an RT. OK for wheelchair users, but not welcomed by a major user-group, especially in the suburbs - pensioners. A claustrophobic atmosphere was created downstairs by the cluttered space.
Twenty-two arrived in June 1999 to First Capital for routes 1, 25, N1, N25 recently taken over at tender, and W8, replacing Capital Citybus Ms . They were divided between Dagenham and Northumberland Park, TN801-812 to Dagenham for the nine-bus PVR on route 1 and N1, which left a few to use on the 25, and TN813-822 to Northumberland Park, these ten to cover the nine bus requirement. Further TNs (TN854-887) arrived to complete the 25/N25 takeover from Ms in August.
Livery was red, with white and yellow willow leaves along the sides below the lower windows, and a narrow yellow line around the bus below the top windows. The wide front display was flanked by a pair of yellow italic fs in red circles on a yellow background.
Stratford Bus Station: Hackney's TN809 on a 257, September 2002, and Dagenham's TN876 on a 25 to Ilford in August 2000.Six of the Dagenham TNs moved to Northumberland Park in April 2000, displaced from the 25 by new longer TALs. More followed in May and June, taking over routes 97 from Olympians and starting new route 357.
The route 1 allocation was moved- with the route - to Hackney in December 2000/January 2001, their occasional use on route 25 having been supplanted by longer TALs and TNLs.
TN823-853 for First CentrewestBetween the two tranches for First Capital there came thirty-one Trident Presidents for Centrewest. TN823-854 were for route 18, based at Westbourne Park. These too had the central staircase.
Long Trident/Presidents for Centrewest: TNL888-930The 207 was the major trunk route into London from Uxbridge. Back in 1960 it had replaced the 607 trolleybus route, from Uxbridge Station to Shepherds Bush Green. Now it was Centrewest's. It had suffered M-type Metrobi since 1987. Now forty-two long-wheelbase Tridents with Plaxton Presidents arrived, shared between Acton and Uxbridge. They were succesful enough that less than two years later they were supplemented by a batch of 18m articulated Volvo bendibuses on the inner part of the route.
The Presidents were 10.5m long - an extra seating bay longer than the earlier variety. They had the staircase moved forward, rather than in the centre, which much improved the ambience and circulation downstairs.
TNL927 on a 207 towards Uxbridge, February 2002
Long Trident/Alexanders for Capital: TAL931-952The next order was for yet another body type, this time the Alexander ALX400, 10.5m on a long Dennis Trident chassis. These, arriving in April - June 2000, were for First Captal at Dagenham, providing a capacity increase on route 25. In turn that enabled the relocation of the shorter TNs to Northumberland Park, as detailed above. They were fitted with tree defenders.
TAL944 on a 25 to Holborn, June 2004.In March 2003 all of Dagenham's routes and vehicles were transferred to a new garage at Rainham.