Volvo B10BLE: Arriva The Shires & Essex
This page created 2nd September 2014 by Ian Smith
3250-3260: Volvo B6BLE/Wright Crusader23250-3259 were delivered to Arriva Herts & Essex in the autumn of 1999. They were Volvo B6BLEs, the low-floor version of the B6 that Arriva had used extensively with Northern Counties Paladin bodywork. These had the new Wright Crusader 2 bodies, with lower windows than the Crusader and a deeper cant-rail, stiffening the body. Livery was the bland Arriva turquoise and cream, with a white separator and a yellow coach-line.
The first eight went to Arriva East Herts & Essex at Harlow, where they were to spend all their working lives. Three were route-branded for the 500 and 502: "Low floor buses through the Roding Valley".
3250 wends a way through roadworks south of Harlow on its way to Epping on the 500, June 2010.
3256 stands in for a Green Line DAF on the 724 to Heathrow at Watford Junction in April 2004.
In August 2010 those at Harlow, along with the rest of the vehicles, staff, routes and garage, were transferred to the control of TGM Essex, as Network Harlow. Consequently, in the early autumn of 2010 they were given a repaint into all-blue, and branded for routes 2 and 3.
3253 and 3250 in Harlow Bus Station, April 2011.
The red trio: 3258-3260The other three, 3258-3260, went initially to Arriva trhe Shires. They were intended, for use on London route H18 (Harrow - Headstone Lane - Harrow Weald - Belmont - Kenton - Northwick Park - Harrow ), which had been won from Metroline. But they were late in delivery, and their place was taken by Dennis Darts. Strangely, they went at first to High Wycombe to work the H18. They were dual doorwayed, for their use on the TfL route. At first used in turquoise and cream, they moved to Garston in 2005 and were then repainted red in 2006 to comply with TfL's livery policy. They were replaced on the H18, and became common on 288, 303, and 305. 3259 was restored to Arriva livery - interurban blues this time, in May 2010, and was put to work on Watford local services. All three fell from grace in 2013. 3260 caught fire, and the other two were sent east, 3258 to store at Stevenage and 3259 to continued service at Harlow, repainted into interurban blue/blue.
3261-3268: Volvo B10BLE/Wright RenownIn late 1999 route 31 (Luton - Luton & Dunstable Hospital - Dunstable - Leighton Buzzard) was re-equipped with eight Wright Renown bodied Volvo B10 BLEs, operating from Luton garage. These were 44-seater buses, with none of the coaching fripperies of the Sovereign Renowns. In September the new Luton-Dunstable garage opened at Chaul End, replacing the separate Luton and Dunstable garages. The Renowns stayed route-fixed until October 2011, when they were re-allocated to the 70 (Luton Airport - Milton Keynes). Further work was sought in autumn 2012 for the now redundant buses, at High Wycombe or Aylesbury.
3264 heads north through Dunstable towards Leighton Buzzard in June 2007. 3266 is on a shorter version in September 2009.
3452-3459: Volvo B10BLE/Alexander ALX 300Spring 2000 saw six Alexander ALX300-bodied Volvo B10BLEs appear at Stevenage for routes 2/3 and 4/5, just as Sovereign introduced its Renowns on its Stevenage trunk routes.
3458 heads into Stevenage from Luton on 101, June 2009, still in turquoise/cream.3452-3254 moved to Wycombe in 2009, where they joined / replaced the Verdes on the Reading/Oxford routes 850/800. They gained interurban blue/blue for this. 3457 followed late in 2011, but did not like the Chilterns: it suffered an engine fire. 3458 went at the same time, but survived, being repainted and branded for the Thames Valley line. 3459 soldiered on at Stevenage.
3457 at St.Albans, January 2009, still in turquoise/cream. In later livery, 3459 on SB4 in Stevenage, June 2013