16 January 2013

Incoming First Tridents

I make no apologies for stealing the opening line from the latest posting on the excellent Southern England Bus Scene blog as it sums up the current situation with First Bus very nicely.

Followers of First at the moment are under a bit of a guessing game as to which areas are to see investment, and which areas are to be sold. Does Weymouth losing its recently acquired Tridents suggest it is up for sale? Does Plymouth receiving younger Tridents and 08-plated Enviro400s indicate it is no longer on the for sale list?

It is indeed a very confusing picture at the moment. It wasnt that long ago that Weymouth was at the receiving end of many of the decent buses made surplus at North Devon while Plymouth received ancient (but quite decent) Leyland Olympians. However over the last month or so we have seen a bit of an influx of newer double deckers back into Plymouth!

First we have seen the three 08 Reg Enviro 400’s back from Somerset. Now we are seeing several of the Tridents coming back home from Weymouth 32753 X503BFJ, 32755 WK52SYE are now in Plymouth along with another Trident 32872 up from Cornwall. It seems that three Volvo B6BLEs have gone to Weymouth in return. Hardly a fair swap, but very much welcome for Plymouth at least! I am pretty sure 32872 was on the 15 yesterday. It is not yet known if any of the Leyland Olympians are being replaced by any of these newer arrivals?

32755 was caught on camera by Richard Smith:

©Richard Smith


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  1. Its good Plymouth are getting some newer buses in First fleet. If this means First are to stay in Plymouth they will need to work on beefing up their network of UGO services in order to take on Go Ahead better as GA seem to want to turn up on more of Firsts areas lately!

  2. It says something about the sorry state of FDC when it's considered good news that 13 year old buses are being brought in.

  3. Agree completely with both of those comments. First have to do something else no doubt Citybus will see them as a 'soft target' and compete with them. Though based on what we've seen this last year, I doubt it's likely that'll happen..

    1. I don't think that it shows that FDC are being particularly hard done by. Apart from a few of the larger fleets First as a whole have not kept up with new fleet investment in anything like the way Stagecoach have. Most fleets are like D&C in that they have to make do with cascades out from London and Yorkshire / Manchester fleets.
      Plymouth Citybus are also pretty much reliant on similar aged buses from within Go Ahead. Its a sad fact of life that its hard to justify spending money on new double deckers in somewhere like Plymouth. Apart from buses part paid for by local authorities or for special contracts like Park & Ride new double deckers are very rare in this part of the world.
      Hopefully the new Citybus DDs are the start of a new trend rather than a one off. Lets just hope we dont have to wait another twenty years for more!

  4. Certainly hope its a sign of things to come! The last new DDs would've been 177 and 178 back in the early 90s (91?), which ironically could be replaced by these Enviro 400s!

  5. A Southampton based Trident - WJ 55 Cxx - was seen near Ivybridge on the A38 yesterday morning - heading in the direction of Plymouth. It still had '10 - Totton' on the blind!

  6. Plymouth depot is also painting buses for Southampton.

  7. The word on the street is that the latest possible sale attempt has fallen through, so perhaps these movements are an indication that FDC is no longer for sale thus needs a bit of a vehicle upgrade.

  8. 32751 is also in Plymouth seen today on a X80. If you would like a pic please do let me know as i managed to get a photo of it

    1. Thanks Rob. A photos would be great as I intend to run a post shortly catching up on the incoming Tridents once the dust has settled.

      email to dbg@plymothiantransit would be great


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