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Fleet news
16 fleet news items found.
Posted on Tuesday 26th September 2023

The highlight of this week's news is the delivery of yet another new lorry to Acton Works, with a 73-reg to boot.

KY73JXF has a dropside body, tail-lift and low-profile cab.

The latest Ford for Metroline is a restyled Ford Tourneo Connect.

Plough Lane Garage has not completely closed, with a small yard still in use.

The Mitsubishi Fuso Canter truck with RATP at Fulwell can now be shown, at least partly!

Other additions to the Metroline fleet include a 23-reg minibus and an 18-reg Ford Transit Connect van that seems to have been missed at the time.

Posted on Thursday 24th August 2023

Stagecoach has three new Vauxhall Corsa electric cars at its Rainham base, all in white with company lettering. Various hired cars are still in use from here, along with the existing Hyundai minibuses.

DS23SRZ was caught leaving the garage in a typical mud-splattered state.

Not previously reported is this Citroen Dispatch van with Abellio and seen at Battersea. Numbered 6904, it has most likely been used for at least a few years.

MT17UMJ has an orange stripe and slightly different lettering to similar vans in the Abellio fleet.

Several unmarked white Nissan NV250 vans (a Renault Kangoo clone) have been seen with Go-Ahead London, possibly operated since mid-2021 (when HG21XBL arrived).

HG21XTH was found parked in the small side yard at Camberwell, others at Silvertown.

New vehicles with Arriva London continue to be reported, the latest being Combo van FL23JCV at Wood Green. However, the company is still taking hired cars.

Red Seat Arona car KT21DXZ was at Bexleyheath recently.

Finally, I managed to track down the mystery red Mercedes Sprinter van mentioned here back in June 2021.

FX58ZRO has a lot of lettering, despite which we still don't know who actually operates it!

Posted on Sunday 30th July 2023

Here are the rest of the photos relating to items covered in recent news stories.

The Renault Grand Scenic has made an unexpected return to the Metroline fleet, with two examples at Holloway.

Three Go-Ahead London service vehicles were found at the Copthorne base of Southdown PSV, for reasons unknown.

Metroline has taken delivery of at least three more Ford Transit Connect vans, including AY23KUN

A fourth new lorry at Acton with TfL markings is 4-axle flatbed with crane KY23LRZ

This black Citroen van at Acton has well@tfl markings and surprisingly carries fleetnumber 9168C.

Going back a bit, this anonymous Ford Transit has been the engineers van at Westbourne Park since at least the beginning of 2023.

Finally, another of the preserved Leyland Titan breakdown tenders has re-emerged, with 1279LD attending the wet Worthing Bus Rally.

Posted on Friday 21st July 2023

I can now illustrate some of the vehicles mentioned in recent news items. More will be added when I complete the next batch of photos.

Having taken loads of Seat cars, Arriva London is now receiving new Vauxhall Combo vans for engineering and admin duties. This example is based at the offices on Purley Way.

Seven new Ford Pumas for Metroline have been scattered around various garages. AY23KWO is at Potters Bar.

The Metrobus service vehicle fleet has been combined with that of Brighton & Hove, with vehicles having dual fleetnames, as seen on this Ford Focus estate at Crawley. It will no longer be possible to report changes to the Metrobus fleet in the database.

Posted on Sunday 16th July 2023

At last, some central fleet additions to report. First up is a fourth Volvo FMX lorry, in the same overall white with TfL markings as carried by the trio that arrived earlier this year. KY23LRZ is a flatbed lorry with crane, similar to KY23LNO apart from being 4-axle (instead of 3) and having a noticeably larger crane behind the cab. The other addition is a bit odd. LC70VLO, a black Citroen Relay van with white 'well@tfl' lettering, had been noted in the lorry yard at Acton Works. Closer inspection has revealed that this carries central fleet number 9168C, making it only the second second-hand vehicle to be numbered in the 'leased' series (after Power Supply Ford Transit 7755F). This van may be a replacement for, or additional to, the white Fiat Ducato reported with well@tfl lettering last year (see news story of 23rd August 2022), and indeed the latter may also now be numbered.

Not really an addition but Ford Transit 8570F has turned up still in use. This was one of several that we had marked as withdrawn last year based on licensing data.

The only other additions to report are for Arriva London, with one each of new Seat car and Vauxhall Combo van (both at Grays) and one 'newish' hired car at Dartford. I had hoped that the turnover of hired vehicles at Dartford might reduce following the delivery of new Seat cars, as we had been listing over 30 vehicles based there, which seemed excessive. Having said that, a visitor to Dartford this week did log a total of 30 service vehicles, many parked seemingly out of use. Some more of the Ford Puma cars at Metroline have been tracked down, with 2 at Brentford (AH) and 3 at Perivale (PV).

Many of these developments will be covered by the next batch of photos, but I keep getting overtaken by new submissions, and my short-list is now up to 77. I hope to start putting these up in the next day or two.

Posted on Tuesday 11th July 2023

Noted at Arriva's Edmonton garage (EC) yesterday were no fewer than 26 service vehicles. Most were Seat or Peugeot cars, presumed to be crew ferries though the need for so many is unclear, particularly as none were seen moving during a half hour visit. Among the 23-reg Seat cars were an Ibiza that had earlier been seen at Dartford (BG23KZC) and a previously unreported Arona (BJ23OTH). The cars were all unmarked (save for window labels) but a new Vauxhall Combo van with full Arriva livery was also seen. FD72ZTP was licensed in February 2023 but had a V5C in early July, suggesting that that was when it was delivered. Ten new Combo vans have been reported with Arriva so far this year, and I'm sure there will be a few more yet to find.

Posted on Sunday 9th July 2023

32 recently reported vehicles have been added to the database, though there is still nothing new for the central fleet. Metroline has at least a further 3 Ford Transit Connect vans (with AY23K-- registrations) plus a Tourneo Custom minibus at Potters Bar. Also with AY23K-- registrations are 7 Ford Puma cars that were seen at Perivale CELF back in April. Recent observations suggest that at least some of these are being used as crew ferry vehicles (one each at PB and PV), so I have added the whole batch to the database. These cars are unmarked and in a slightly darker red than normal. Observations of allocations would be welcomed, and of course there may be some more that were missed. Also newish for Metroline are two Renault Grand Scenic cars seen at Holloway (HT). This model was Metroline's default crew ferry type for several years but the last of the earlier examples left in about 2020. The new cars are in the same unmarked maroon (or burgundy) and, being 69 and 70 registered, may have been in stock for a while, perhaps working from King's Cross garage (KC, which recently closed with its buses moving to HT).

Arriva has continued to take delivery of new Seat cars (mainly Ibizas with a handful of Aronas) and Vauxhall Combo vans. All are white, with the cars anonymous and the vans in full livery. Again, there may be more yet to be reported.

Stagecoach has taken a mixed batch of hired cars to work as crew ferries from Rainham, replacing some earlier hired cars and vans. All are believed to be unmarked.

Finally, 5 more vehicles for DLR Keolis Amey have been noted. 3 were 72-reg Peugeot vans, no doubt to replace similar 18-reg vans. The others were a third 19-reg Nissan electric van and, curiously, a 66-reg Ford Transit Connect van.

Despite my intention to stop covering Metrobus (see today's site news), I have some news from the same geographical area. Derek visited the Copthorne garage of Southdown PSV (bought by Go-Ahead earlier this year and being run as a subsidiary of Brighton & Hove). A large number of service vehicles were seen at the garage, apparently in store. Most were from Brighton & Hove but there were also 3 Go-Ahead London vehicles. Renault minibus LV59EJA (from Camberwell) and Ford Transit Custom van EO16PKZ (from Croydon) are both potentially for disposal, but newer Transit Custom EF19HFP (from Merton) was also present. No explanation for this as yet.

A batch of new photos is in preparation which will cover at least some of these changes.

Posted on Tuesday 6th June 2023

Vehicle news is dominated by additions to the Arriva London fleet. Further Seat Ibiza cars have been reported at Grays, Barking (Dagenham) and Dartford, along with some Seat Arona cars and Vauxhall Combo vans. I suspect there may be more that are yet to be reported, so do let me know if you see something that is not listed.

Five new Seat cars at Barking (Dagenham) Garage

Will the arrival of new Seats at Dartford see an end to the use of hired cars? I hope so!

The new Abellio LRR van (see Fleet News of 19th March) was photographed in Acton in May.

Posted on Sunday 7th May 2023

Further new Seat cars for Arriva London have been reported, with at least six at Barking/Dagenham (DX). Four (three Ibizas and one Arona) have been added to the database, but registrations for Ibiza 132 and Arona 219 could not be obtained. The fleetnumbers appear to have been inherited from the Vauxhall Corsas that they replaced, no doubt by simply moving the windscreen cards over.

Posted on Saturday 29th April 2023

Finally, some central fleet news! The two Volvo lorries delivered in February have now gained lettering (using the generic TfL blue roundels), while a third lorry has arrived in the form of Volvo FMX 3-axle flatbed with crane KY23LNO. Photos of all three have been added tonight, though the vehicles are not yet in the database.

New Volvo lorries at Acton Works with TfL lettering.

Metroline has taken delivery of at least seven Ford Puma cars, all with AY23K-- registrations and in unmarked dark red. These were noted at Perivale but it is not yet clear if these are destined for crew ferry work, or for use by management etc. If the latter, they will not be added to the database. There are also some more new Seat cars with Arriva London at various garages, but I will have to tell you about them next time...

Posted on Tuesday 18th April 2023

An interesting development is the application of recruitment advertising livery to a number of Go-Ahead London crew ferry minibuses. The livery is formed of blue vinyls over much of the sides plus the rear window, and examples have been seen at Orpington and Northumberland Park.

Bus driver recruitment advertising seen on crew ferry minibus RX71SZO.

Posted on Friday 14th April 2023

Various long-unseen vehicles have popped up in recent months, and the latest is Ford Transit Custom crew van 8579F, new just over 5 years ago but never reported. It was seen this week at Northfields Depot and is (perhaps unsurprisingly) in standard LUL white/blue/red livery.

Posted on Sunday 9th April 2023

A large number of newly delivered or acquired vehicles have been added today. Needless to say, none are for the central fleet and the renewal freeze appears to be ongoing. I should mention that the two Volvo lorries seen at Acton Works last month have not (yet) gained any lettering and indeed do not seem to have moved at all. Actually, one vehicle has been added to the central fleet, or at least re-added. Ford Focus estate 8452F had been marked as withdrawn last autumn, based on the fact that it had a new V5C. However, it has since been seen still in use with LUL.

It has been a busy week for bus company vehicle news. First I received a list of 10 service vehicles that passed from Ensignbus to First. Five were ones we did not previously know about, while a couple of others were not listed and are presumed withdrawn. I then received the latest Stagecoach list and most (but not all) of the SV data had finally been updated. This showed that there is a seventh Vauxhall Vivaro-E van, based at Rainham. This has resulted in the departure of the last of the 16-reg Ford Transit Customs. The list also showed national fleetnumbers for some (but not all) of the new electric vans.

Ray noticed a new hired car working from Dartford - things had seemed to have gone quiet on that front - and then Dave B reported three more! One was an MG, a make not previously represented in the LTSV database. Another Vauxhall Astra with Abellio was also reported. Go-Ahead London's new Goat Road garage in Mitcham has seen several SVs recently. The anonymous red Ford Transit Custom (EO68PHF) has not been noted again, but a pair of black BYD E6 electric cars were present on 7th April. Registered in the same series as some in the RATP fleet, I did wonder if these were used by BYD engineers (as per the 64-reg ones seen some years ago). However, Goat Road has no electric buses so presumably they were in use as crew ferries. As Andrew mentioned, if correct this would mark quite a change from Go-Ahead's standardisation on Mercedes Vitos. Also seen at Goat Road was Ford Fiesta van EX64YCS, which we had marked as withdrawn over 3 years ago. I can't believe it has avoided being seen for so long - perhaps it had been with another Go-Ahead subsidiary elsewhere.

Various interesting SVs at the new Goat Road Garage

Andrew was out again on Saturday and noted a couple of plain white Seat Ibiza cars at Lakeside, including BJ23EYH. The next day both he and Bob visited Edmonton and found a load more of the same. Nine were reported, all delivered in the previous week and with fleetnumbers in the EC2xx and EC9xx ranges in the front and rear windows. Also at Edmonton were a bundle of nearly-new Peugeot 208s, with numbers in the E1 to E9 range in the rear windows. The labels described them as 'E Ferry Van', although it is not clear whether E refers to Edmonton, Enfield or something else. One to watch...

Seats on one side, Peugeots on the other at Edmonton

Andrew also had a look at the DLR base in Poplar today and found several new vans. They do seem to be in the process of renewing their fleet, mainly with similar Peugeot vans. Reports of any others would be welcomed. Finally I did a round-up of transfers, which have included several more Go-Ahead Vitos being shuffled around.

Posted on Sunday 19th March 2023

More new vehicles to report this week. At Metroline, at least four Transit Connect vans have been delivered. AV72ZNL/ZNR/ZNW/ZPB were seen at Perivale on Tuesday, still in unmarked red. They will no doubt gain lettering before being sent to various garages to replace older vehicles, perhaps the AV67--- vans.

3 of the 4 new vans at Perivale.
Arriva London now has at least 8 Seat Ibiza cars in use as crew ferries from Norwood Garage. The cars are in unmarked white and have a very muddled set of registrations (BJ72SVV/SVY and BP72DVV/FJY/HJF/UJF/VAO/YYF). 8 of the previous silver Vauxhall Corsas have been disposed of, though two remain at Norwood for now.

3 of the new Seat Ibiza cars at Norwood.
A new van for London Rail Replacement is Nissan Primastar LL72YBB in an eye-catching livery of white with red side panels, orange/yellow chevrons around the waist and on the rear, plus a bright yellow 'mask' front. The lettering states that London Rail Replacement is part of Abellio London Bus, though it is possible that (as with earlier LO19MUE), this van is actually operated by a contractor.

Another second-hand car reported with Abellio is red Vauxhall Astra UHZ3496 (note the Northern Ireland registration), seen at Hatton Cross even though it appears to be currently untaxed. Finally, it looks as though Go-Ahead has shuffled some of its Mercedes Vito minibuses around, perhaps to even out usage. More sightings would be appreciated to try and keep a track of the new allocations.

Posted on Thursday 9th March 2023

Further to the news item of 23rd February, artic WP61ZXE and dustcart DX67KXH have both been seen recently and so remain in stock. Potentially more interesting, two new lorries have been delivered to Acton Works. They are currently unmarked but both have a livery that could form the basis for a full LUL-type application. Or they could be hires destined to remain in white, time will tell.

KM72XPP is a Volvo FMX tipper/grab-loader

KM72XPV is also a Volvo FMX but with a curtainsided body

A trio of additions to the Abellio London fleet have been reported, none of which were Ford Fiestas! Given the recent management buyout of the company, will the Abellio name be replaced by something else?

YE67VPJ is the first Vauxhall Corsa reported with Abellio

Posted on Thursday 23rd February 2023

First up, a new vehicle has been seen at Acton Works! Seemingly the only addition to the central fleet for at least a year, T80 is an extendable flatbed trailer built by Nooteboom of Holland.

Nooteboom trailer T80 at Acton Works

The tanker trailer added about 5 years ago is now presumed to be numbered T79

Dave has seen VW Crafter dropside RE70HYO and confirmed that it is numbered 9143VW. To fill one more gap, I have decided that Ford Transit Custom LS21DLE must be 9134F, and I have updated the database accordingly.

This apart, news of the central fleet is dominated by withdrawals. Many leased vehicles in the 81xx and 82xx ranges have departed, including the last Mercedes Sprinter vans operated by LUL. Several of the lorries have also gone, including Mercedes artic with crane 2591, dustcart WU64ATO and MAN dropsides RV12OEY, RV12OEZ and RV12OFK. Interestingly the newest lorry in the fleet, Scania grab-loader MV69KVM has also gone. Given that it did not carry full LUL livery, perhaps it was only ever hired.

Scania tipper MV69KVM did not stay very long, suggesting it may have only been on hire.

A few other vehicles have probably gone but have not been marked as such. This is because they are still licensed and have not had a change of V5C. These include Mercedes artic WP61ZXE and DAF dustcart DX67KXH, neither of which has been reported in the past year. Trailers T61 and T65 have likewise not been noted since autumn 2021.

With the withdrawals, some locations have lost more vehicles than others, and it is likely that there has been some shuffling of other vehicles to cover requirements. It is also known that some hired vans are being used, though I have no intention of trying to list these. Regarding allocations, I have added a new location for Fairlop Station. Although very close to Hainault Depot, it looks like a van may be kept beside the old station building here.

Additions at the bus companies are also limited. Two more Vauxhall Vivaro-E electric vans with Stagecoach London have been seen (DY22LBG at Leyton and DV72OBK at Bow). We know of six such vans, and that may be all there is. Plumstead and Catford already had relatively youthful vans, while Rainham may be able to continue with its older van (MD16SXL). Keep your eyes peeled just in case!

Some of the new Stagecoach vans are operated without any markings. This is Leyton's DY22LBG

Site news
26 site news items found.
Posted on Saturday 27th January 2024

On the Buses (AKA Making excuses again)

As the issue is still ongoing, I thought I should write to explain why I have not managed many updates on my LTSV websites over the past few months. The simple fact is that I have been moonlighting as the editor of a monthly (printed) magazine about buses! I have had a small involvement with LOTS (the London Omnibus Traction Society) for several years, including providing proof-reading and IT support to the editor of their magazine. The editor was getting on a bit and, a few months ago, he asked if I would be willing to take on some aspects of his work. I agreed to this and, although it took a while to get things set up, I managed to produce the January 2024 issue without any major problems. At the time, I envisaged this taking up perhaps 3-4 days a month, meaning that I would have plenty of time left over for LTSV.

However, there was then a change when the editor's health took a turn for the worse and he was admitted to hospital, potentially long-term. I now had to cover the whole of his job, or at least find other people to assist with parts, but either way it is proving to be rather time-consuming. The monthly magazine seems to be on-track, then there are a couple of yearly publications due out in the spring and on top of that, I had already been working on a major web project to mark LOTS' 60th anniversary later this year. Just to complicate things, some long-planned building work on my house finally got underway in mid-January, while I have had no fewer than three bouts of illness over the winter - just cold/flu but it knocked me for six each time and seemed to take ages to shift. Plus, of course, the dog ate my homework.

Anyway, there is light at the end of the tunnel (though I have been advised not to go towards the light!) and 'normal service' across all LTSV websites should be restored soon.

Posted on Tuesday 2nd January 2024

Happy New Year. The vehicle database has just been updated with all reported changes, though there is still nothing much going on with the central fleet. I've had a busy couple of months. Members of LOTS may have seen that I am taking over as Managing Editor of their monthly TLB magazine and preparations for this, together with a related side-project, have taken up most of my free time for a while. Once I am settled into the role I should (hopefully) be able to divide my time between LOTS and the various LTSV websites.

Posted on Thursday 30th November 2023

I'm back. Did you miss me? I have various excuses for my absence, including illness, leaky plumbing and a new job. Plus the dog ate my notes. Again. Anyway, I am kicking off with a batch of 43 photos, mostly taken over the past few months. The exception dates from 1957 and is rather special. I will catch up with (the few) vehicle changes shortly and also add some news commentary.

Posted on Friday 20th October 2023

Update on AEC Regents in London

Regarding the planned road run in London tomorrow (Saturday), due to a demonstration march taking place around the same time/area, the route and timings of the run may have to be revised. Understandably it has not proved possible to provide any more detailed information. Secondly, 739J will unfortunately not be able to attend either the run or the Brooklands event on the Sunday. Thus it should be 738J and 832J on the run, these then joined by 830J at Brooklands the next day.

Posted on Saturday 14th October 2023

An event planned for next weekend may be of interest to service vehicle fans. It is hoped that all four surviving AEC Regent breakdown tenders will be re-united at the Transportfest event at the London Bus Museum at Brooklands on Sunday 22nd October. Not only that but it is planned that up to three of the vehicles will undertake a run around various central London locations on the Saturday (21st). Timings are estimates but include Westminster Bridge at 11:45, Parliament Square at 12:05, St James Park Station at 12:20, Victoria Station at 12:30, Hyde Park Corner at 12:40 and Marble Arch at 12:50. If you want more details about the intended route, please contact me by e-mail.

The last congregation of Regent tenders saw three together at Cobham back in 1994, along with a newer Titan.

Posted on Friday 13th October 2023

New bus publication from LOTS
Published a few weeks ago, and correct to early September 2023, SUP45A is a new title in the series of Supplementary publications produced by LOTS. I have become more involved with the bus side of LOTS in recent months, and I did this new SUP since there seemed to be no immediate plans for a new edition of their established SUP39 booklet. The new title shows all London area bus garages, each showing details of the routes worked and the buses allocated. Whether or not this becomes a regular title will depend on how well the first edition sells. To give you some idea of what is inside, I have included some sample pages here. Click on any image to view full-size (will open in a new window).

Cover image
Key page
Part of Garage Size chart
Main garage listing
Route index

I was going to post this in the forum rather than on the news page but then I remembered that I have disallowed HTML tags on the former, and hence cannot include images!

Posted on Sunday 1st October 2023

It seems hard to believe but LTSV is now 20 years old, the first version of the site having been launched on 1st October 2003. The site came about almost by accident. I had been sent on a web design training course by my employer, but there was then a delay in their website plans. So, to keep the knowledge fresh in my mind, I decided to create my own website. I settled on the subject of service vehicles as it was something I knew a little about yet which seemed to have been ignored, with virtually nothing published either in print or on-line. Hence I figured I would have no competition! My site was built using Macromedia Dreamweaver (on which I had been trained), and was limited to a few pages of general information and a handful of photographs. There was also a section on the Trainz railway simulator program, which I was quite into at the time. The latter was soon dropped as my interest reduced, though ironically the research into real trains (to enable me to build models for the simulator) eventually led to the addition of a major new branch of the LTSV site.

What I hadn't anticipated was the quantity of information and photographs that people would contribute to the service vehicle site, and I was soon able to add basic fleetlists and photo galleries. To handle the increasing amount of data and content, I figured that a database would be beneficial, though this involved quite a steep learning curve. The initial data-driven version of the site was launched in 2005, and progressively enhanced over the next few years. At the same time I stopped using Dreamweaver, all page creation now being done in a plain text editor. New sections were added to the site to cover railway rolling stock (LTSV Wagons in 2008, replaced by the more ambitious LTSV Rail Data in 2021), London Transport archive documents (LTSV-LTA in 2020) and railway company road vehicles (LTSV-RRV in late 2021), while the original SV site was replaced with a completely new version in April 2022. This year I have built a database of London buses, though this is not on-line and is intended mainly to assist with my involvement in publications produced by LOTS.

All my websites have one thing in common. They are all reliant on contributions of information and photographs by other people. And it is those people (of which there are too many to name) that I should really thank (or blame) for enabling LTSV to become what it is today.

Posted on Tuesday 26th September 2023

The vehicle database has been brought up to date again and another batch of 56 photos has been uploaded. All the photos were taken over the past two months.

Rainham Station seems to be a good please to look for Arriva London crew ferry cars from Grays...

... while the nearby Tescos is the place to go for Stagecoach ones.

The restored Leyland Titan breakdown tender paid a visit to the ERU at Acton.

Five of today's photos show Dynes Recovery vehicles, and they do appear to have become the primary provider of such services to London Buses.

Posted on Monday 18th September 2023

On Saturday 23rd September there is an open day at Orpington (Go-Ahead London) Bus Garage, and also an LTSV social event in Bromley. See this forum posting for more details.

Posted on Thursday 24th August 2023

The vehicle database has been brought up to date and a batch of 31 photos has been uploaded. Several are shown in today's Fleet News item, while others include some excellent night shots by Dave Wolstencroft.

A line of 5 LUL vans was found at Baker Street.

Posted on Sunday 30th July 2023

The second batch of photos ended up larger than expected, with more coming in all the time. As such, 56 photos have just been uploaded. Some of the highlights are shown under Fleet News.

Posted on Friday 21st July 2023

Right, time to start clearing the backlog of recent photos. 40 have just been added (dated for yesterday as it took longer than planned to prepare them), covering the period from April to mid-June. Another batch will follow shortly to bring things up to date.

Posted on Sunday 16th July 2023

The vehicle database has been updated, and I have started work on the next batch of photos.

Posted on Sunday 9th July 2023

I have updated the database with a surprisingly large number or additions reported recently. I also had reports of some new SVs with Metrobus at Crawley, but here I had a problem. The additions seemed to mainly have dual Brighton & Hove / Metrobus fleetnames, while some older vehicles with Brighton & Hove markings have also been seen working from Crawley. It would appear that the two fleets are increasingly being treated as one, and there doesn't seem much point in trying to keep track of which vehicles are in our 'area' and which aren't. As such, I intend to stop covering the Metrobus fleet, at least in terms of the vehicle database. Their vehicles may still appear in photos. I should add that both the Metrobus and Brighton & Hove websites have excellent fleet information which includes service vehicles, with histories and photos of most vehicles.

Posted on Tuesday 6th June 2023

Apologies for the lack of photographs in May. I have been somewhat distracted with some other (short-term) projects and I was surprised when Ray pointed out how long it had been. Anyway, a batch of 26 photos has just been uploaded. I had to cut this down from a short-list of over 60. Sorry if your contribution/s did not make this set, but they may be used later on, and all submissions are greatly appreciated. The captions this time are a bit briefer than usual as well. I updated the vehicle database (mainly with Arriva additions) a few days ago.

Posted on Wednesday 3rd May 2023

The vehicle database has been updated.

Posted on Saturday 29th April 2023

I still haven't managed to update the vehicle database, and I am a bit pushed for time this weekend. However, I have just squeezed out a set of 8 topical photos that I think will be of interest. Note that the related database updates may not be done for a couple of days.

Posted on Monday 24th April 2023

I have a few fleet updates to catch up with but first I have made a few small changes that allow third-party sightings to be added. Hence I (or any registered member) can add details of when a vehicle was where, without it then being marked as having been seen by them. This will be useful for reports from insiders (eg LUL staff) as well as for capturing details from photos etc. I've just added a few to test the process.

Posted on Tuesday 18th April 2023

A large batch of 50 photos has just been uploaded, covering most of the recent developments. I will add a few relevant thumbnails to the Fleet News section shortly.

Posted on Friday 14th April 2023

I have once again let my photo filing slip behind, with the plan to do more than one batch a month having to be put on hold while I focused on completing the new SUP24. I am now up to date again but it took quite a while due to the number of photos submitted. A total of 199 were received over the past month, which I reckon must be a record. Many thanks to all contributors. I will start work on selecting and preparing a new batch for publication over the next couple of days but of course I won't be able to use them all.

Another thing that has slipped past is the first anniversary of the new version of LTSV. There are a few things I want to improve but in general it seems the site is working fairly well. Unless you know otherwise...

Posted on Sunday 9th April 2023

The second part of the database update has just been completed, and took a bit longer than expected due to more vehicles being reported today. I have in fact added 38 vehicles today, more than in the previous 4 months! I'll post a Fleet News update to summarise.

Posted on Saturday 8th April 2023

I am updating the database in two parts this weekend. The first chunk (which has just been completed) covers up to 1st April and includes a lot of updates that were incorporated into SUP24J. Among these are around 100 allocation updates, based on where vehicles have actually been seen (or in some cases, NOT seen) over the past couple of years. The second part (which I plan to do tomorrow) will cover changes reported since 1st April, of which there are already quite a few.

Posted on Sunday 19th March 2023

The vehicle database has been updated again.

Subscribers to LOTS' London Bus Magazine will no doubt have seen my article on service vehicles in the Spring 2023 issue. Running to 23 pages and with lots of photos, the aim was to introduce the subject, to cover developments over the past 20 years and to outline what sorts of vehicles can be seen today. If you don't subscribe, you should be able to buy a copy from the LOTS stand at various events over the next few months.

LOTS also publish the SUP24 booklets, listing the current service vehicle fleets. The last edition was in September 2019 but a new one (SUP24J) is in the final stages of preparation and will hopefully be available from late-April.

Posted on Sunday 12th March 2023

One of the slowest moving developments on LTSV is the addition of downloadable content. Last spring I added a PDF version of the basic vehicle list page. Today I have made some improvements to this file, primarily the use of smaller fonts. As a result, a PDF of all 14,246 vehicles in the database now runs to 170 pages instead of 248 pages. Icons are still included (albeit now rather tiny), and the all vehicles file is almost 8MB. Filtering to just show current vehicles, the file becomes a 1.8MB one with 18 pages. To view the PDF file, just click on the PDF link above the filters on the Vehicle List page.

A few points to note:
  • Any filters and/or sorting that you apply on the Vehicle List page will be carried through to the PDF.
  • Some of the vehicle descriptions, operator names and livery details are abbreviated to better fit.
  • You can save the PDF either directly (by right-clicking the link and selecting Save Link As...) or by viewing it (by left-clicking the link) and then saving/downloading it using your browser's controls.
  • This PDF effectively replaces part 1 of the Downloadable LTSV Documents, which was last updated in 2016!
  • Setting up these PDFs involves a lot of trial and error to make it all fit. If you see something that doesn't look right, please let me know about it.
  • Similar PDFs for other pages will be added in due course.
  • The presentation of the PDF link will be improved, once I have worked out how it should look!

Posted on Thursday 9th March 2023

I am trying to get into the habit of cataloguing and filing received photos more often than once a month, and I may therefore also start adding more than one batch of photos each month. Uploaded today are 15 photos that were all taken in the past 6 weeks, including some potential new lorries at Acton.

Another change today is that I have had to upgrade to a newer version of PHP. Users should not notice any differences but, if you do encounter anything unexpected, please get in touch.

Posted on Thursday 23rd February 2023

37 more photos have just been uploaded. Most were taken over the past few months, but there is also one from about 50 years ago, and one from about 100 years ago!

Richard Davis sent some photos of recovery vehicles being demonstrated at a Truckfest show last October, two of which I have composited.

Our 'man on the inside' provided some photos taken at Hainault Depot.

Dave Wolstencroft tried using his phone to take photographs during a night trip, and the results are really rather good.

The old photos came from the new LTSV Facebook group (which is run by Clive Greedus, not me. I'm not allowed on social media!)

I am also almost done bringing the vehicle database up to date. Rather depressingly, recent changes are dominated by withdrawals, including the departure of several lorries. I will do a summary for Fleet News later tonight.