MT1-4 were ready for the start of the E5 in November 1988, but MT5 did not appear until the new year,
so that other buses had to borrowed to complete the run-out.
Operation was from Hanwell. As well as the E5 they also later appeared on the area's mobility bus services,
such as the 976.
In March 1993 they were transferred to the Greenford base (part of the Council site). During that year and 1994 they were displaced from the Southall Shuttle by converted MA class midibuses, which were slightly larger. They began a slightly itinerant existence, going to Victoria Basement, the Battersea midibus base, Stockwell and Catford. They were repainted into Mobility Bus livery, or corporate red with grey skirt and white cant-rail line.
They all moved on to further careers with other operators.
It arrived in February 1989, going to Catford for its dual role.
Almost immediately it lost its original registration in favour of ex-Routemaster plate VLT77.
Occasionally it deputised for other midibuses,
although infrequently as it was not equipped with a fare machine, so a conductor was required!
It was transferred to Plumstead in January 1991, and in June 1991 was reclassified as MTL6.
It was privatised to Stagecoach Selkent in September 1994 and almost immediately departed to Stagecoach Fife.
MTL3-5 followed in December 1990, going initially to Orpington, Victoria and Westbourne Park, then on Catford, Peckham and Victoria. The class were quite itinerant, moving around to fill gaps in the larger midibus fleets. Catford's MTL3 went off to Penzance in March 1991 for a few weeks on a recruitment drive. Then Bexleyheath found a niche for them in July 1991, with MTL1,2 and 4 going there to join the RB class. MTL3 followed in 1992. These four were privatised to London Central in October 1994, and then were sold to Wycombe Bus (part of City of Oxford Motor Services), becoming 701-4 at High Wycombe.
Meanwhile MTL5 rattled around the system, with time at Bexleyheath and Catford.
It spent a little while at Potters Bar before going to Greenford and then Alperton.
It was privatised to Centrewest, and moved to Swanley in October 1995 to help establish First Orpington.
Although London Buses only had these thirteen MT/Ls, the combination of Mercedes-Benz chassis with Reeve Burgess Beaver bodywork was one that appealed to many of its rising competitors around its deregulated fringes. Of these, more in part two.
Ian's Bus Stop Midibus index. MT main text. MT histories. MT photos.