23 June 2014

Swoops Times Two

It was a bit of as suprise when Plymouth Citybus repainted Dennis Dart 21 into swoops livery as they seemed to be the next batch of buses due to be culled as not being compliant with DDA legislation. Indeed bus 13 R113OFJ has already joined the graveyard round the back of Milehouse.

Plymouth Citybus SLF 21 
R121OFJ repainted with a ramp fitted.

Well its not the only one to be swooped as 16 has also been done.

Plymouth Citybus SLF 16 R116OFJ repainted with a ramp fitted.

Both buses have had ramps fitted to the entrance which allows them to continue in service so they should be around for a few years yet. Presumably the others of the batch will be assessed fully to see if its worth converting them too so expect to see more in swoops over the coming weeks...

Thanks to Tom Michaels for the excellent photos

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  1. These buses, like First's 2 Dart repaints still have 18 months' life in them before DDA a kicks in. In the case of First both had had a fair amount of panel work and it was as easy to paint the whole bus as random panels all over.

  2. Pardon me for being thick but how are these not dda

  3. Simple they don't have ramps fitted!

    1. Actually - if you read the item you will see that they have had ramps fitted hence why they are being repainted rather than withdrawn.

    2. I see I always understood it as they had to be low floor easy access rather then have a dedicated ramp. Many thanks

    3. Not just whether ramps are fitted, its the width of the gangway to the wheelchair bay that is an issue as well. These late 1990s Darts can be altered, at a cost but the question is worth asking whether it is worth the expenditure on a bus worth below 5k that is now 16/17years old. This is normally the age operators scrap single deckers.

  4. 17 was in the sheds when I passed yesterday, along with another of the R reg darts. Didn't catch the number of the second one though.

  5. Rather than fork out for buses it is easier and simpler to repaint and fit ramps to make them DDA compliant. and they get more out of them! :-)

  6. Many other front line operators have withdrawn or sold off R registration Dennis Darts as they are approximately 17 years old! It is a tribute to the rigorous maintenance routines and high standards at Milehouse that these are still in front line service and looking good and a company such as Go Ahead deems them worth the investment. Indeed, they are in better condition than some buses I have seen in other cities that are half their age.

    1. I very much agree - they really do have a great reputation at Milehouse for looking after their buses - I know I am extremely biased on this point as these were my absolute favourite buses, but take the Ex-Trent yellow 'Student Link' Volvo B10Ms - they were 24 years old when they were all finally withdrawn last year, which really does show just what the mechanics at Milehouse are capable of.

      While the R reg batch do vary in condition the vast majority have plenty of life left in them and have proved to be excellent workhorses over the years.

  7. Reading all the comments above, it is still not clear if this is a full (certified) upgrade to full DDA standards or a short term 'tart-up' with the bus staying in service only until 31/12/2015?
    Can someone clarify?

  8. 17 was out in service today (Tuesday 1st). 22 is in the paint shop.

  9. 21 has reportedly been sold to a school in Exeter as a reading bus.


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