This page created 3rd October 2012.
Optare Excels: Arriva the Shires 3002-3Arriva the Shires acquired these two long Excels by takeover, when Milton Keynes Metro was taken over. They had originated with Claribel in Birmingham in November 1999, who passed them on to Ogdens in St.Helens sometime in 2005. Ogdens did repaint them, and used them, but quickly passed the parcel. They were bought by MK Metro in Milton Keynes in November 2006. MK Metro painted them gloriously in bright yellow with blue skirts.
Arriva left them at Milton Keynes at first, repainting them into interurban blue with deep blue skirt and cream horn. They moved them into the old LT area in September 2010, to Hemel Hempstead to bolster the 280 service (Aylesbury - Oxford). Of course, they appeared on other routes too, such as the 300 (Stevenage - Hatfield - Welwyn GC - St.Albans - Hemel Hempstead).