ex-Dublin Volvo Olympians

This page created 3rd March 2009, updated 25th January 2014 by Ian Smith

Just as many of Dublin's Leyland Olympians had crossed the Irish Sea after withdrawal by Dublin, so did many of the Volvo Olympians in their turn. Many had their UK sales handled by Ensign Bus of Purfleet. They went to operators scattered all over, including a handful in the old London Country Area. If you want a comprehensive look at the class and their disposals, visit Dick Gilbert's page of Dublin Bus Olympians. Here I shall only look at the "wider London" examples.

uno AV on 501

Universitybus 250-252

Universitybus of Hatfield took three of the Volvos for a capacity increase on route 601. They were repainted in Universitybus colours of pink and mauve, with Uno fleetnames, and started work in January 2008.

They worked for two years, but were put up for sale early in 2010, two going to Southern Transit in Sussex in February.

uno AV drawing

A snatched shot of one of the uno Olympians on the 601, Welwyn G.C., September 2009.

South Mimms Travel

..bought one in April 2008, presumably for railway replacement work. It was reregistered P263 SWC.


Ensign AV drawing ..clung on to one (ex RV334) in November 2008, taking it into their operational fleet as No 195, P495 SWC. This one collided with Witham railway bridge in April 2010, removing the top of the bus, and was subsequently converted properly to open-top configuration. It was repainted in City Sightseeing livery for use in Eastbourne for a while, as No 395, then was repainted in Ensignbus sightseeing red and silver.

Ensignbus took two others (ex RV341 and RV340) as their 163 and 168. In blue and silver their main use was on railway replacement duties.

Red Rose, Aylesbury

Motts Travel bought a pair of 1999 Olympians at the end of 2009, and immediately sold one on to Red Rose in Aylesbury. They reregistered it as T309 ORP in March 2010.

Vale Travel, Aylesbury

Also in Aylesbury, Vale Travel took on three of the Dubliners in spring 2011, passing one on to Go-Coach (below), but keeping two others (ex RV506 and RV547), which were registered T61NWL and T59NWL.

Go-Coach, Knockholt Pound

RV441 at Knockholt

Go-Coachhire of Otford bought four of the ex-Dublin Volvo Olympians, primarily for their schools contracts and railway replacement work, where only large double-deckers would do. They were acquired in 2010-12. The first, S869HCG, had been Dublin RV440. It came from Happy Al's on Merseyside in April 2010, and was converted to single doorway, becoming H47/31F. It was repainted in the startling yellow and mauve company livery.

L47VDM, ex Dublin RA194, came from Vale Travel, Aylesbury, in August 2011. This one stayed dual-doorwayed, H47/27D, as did the other two, L707SGW and L709SGW, bought in February 2012. All three went into yellow and mauve.

All except the first were displaced by the end of 2015, when disabilities legislation limited their use. They were replaced by PVL Volvo Presidents.

Go AV drawing

RedRoute AV drawing

Redroute Buses, Gravesend

Redroute have acquired a small fleet of Olympians for their double-deck work, mainly railway replacement or schools contracts. These include three Dublin Volvo Olympians, ex RA323 acquired in 2008, ex RV346 in 2009, and ex RV344 at the end of 2011. The livery settled on is similar to old London United: red, with white tops and pale grey skirts - simple but attractive.

Bus Stop Volvos ex-Dublin Olympians bus histories photo refs Ensignbus