06 March 2006

Soap Box Sunday

"A soapbox is a raised, improvised platform on which one stands to make an impromptu speech, often about a political subject. Alternately, the word may be used to describe the box that soap comes in." Wikipedia

After many false promises over the years it now does seem highly likely that the last VRTs will be departing from Plymouth within the next few weeks.

This is a major occasion for bus enthusiasts as Plymouth has been home to Western National VRTs for years. Up until the last year or so VRTs could still be found plodding along on even the major routes like the X80. Somehow Torpoint wont be the same without the VRT. Bretonside bus station will be even more depressing than it is already.

Well, OK, I may be over reacting here! It has been recognised by even us hardened VRT fans that the state of most of our local VRT fleet has been little short of disgusting considering they are being run by the biggest bus company in the UK. The replacement buses are not that much newer but are a lot more comfortable for most non enthusiast passengers.

But, The sad thing seems to be that be buses will be quietly withdrawn and sent to scrap without any fanfare at all. I may yet be proved wrong, but we could wake up one morning to hear that they are gone, and are no more. I know we cant expect the over the top fanfare that the Routemaster received in London, but surely a small VRT last day event could be held?

Of course, its not just First who are guilty here. The Leyland Atlantean has also all but disappeared from Plymouth. They have slowly been sold off to Roselyn in Cornwall with just one left,as far as I know. 171 TTT171X is still around and was noted in service this week. Plymouth has been a loyal home to Atlanteans almost since day one. I just hope that Citybus don't just let them slip away without any final farewell.

1 comment:

  1. 171 is being bought and becoming part of the Plymouth City Transport Preservation Group.
    There is a Leyland Day planned for October ......... watch this space........
    171, 131 AND 201 make their first appearance under this new banner at the Western National Rally 2006.


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