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22 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

Posted on Monday 30th January 2023

Dave Wolstencroft has braved the recent cold weather to visit London several times, including some night trips, and has usefully found two more previously-unreported vehicles that fill gaps in the number series. Ford Transit crew van LM70ACZ (which has been noted several times in the Quainton Street yard at Neasden Depot) was seen visiting Acton Works and is now known to be 9015F, while Transit Courier 9121F (LR20FLE) was spotted at Lillie Bridge. We had deduced the probable existence of the latter vehicle a few months ago but it is good to have it confirmed. These additions mean that we now have details for all vehicles numbered from 8987F up to 9133VW. Given that Transit Custom van LS21DLE and VW Crafter dropside RE70HYO are very likely to be 9134F and 9143VW respectively, that would take the block up to 9149VW, which leaves just 14 recent fleetnumbers unaccounted for. 8917F was reported on a Transit van seen at Brixton, but details such as the registration are yet to be confirmed. The block 8924 to 8929 have perhaps been cancelled, which may also apply to one-offs 8959, 8968 and 8986. More recent 9150-9152 and 9161 are also possible cancellations, as they would have been allocated at about the time that new deliveries ceased. It is also possible that two of these numbers are allocated to the newest facilites vans (YT70VHC/VHD).

Looking at withdrawals, the situation is becoming a bit confusing. In the past, a change of licensing date, or the issue of a new V5C, would almost certainly mean the vehicle had gone off lease. Now though we know that some vehicles have had a new V5C yet remain in service, while others have been de-licensed but have not yet had new V5Cs, suggesting that they may still be in stock, though out of use. In the latter category are the last handful of LUL Mercedes Sprinter crew vans, plus a number of other vehicles in the 81xx and 82xx ranges. I haven't updated these vehicles yet - hopefully further changes will clear things up.

The four Mercedes Sprinter minibuses that were hired by Stagecoach at Rainham have not been seen for over a year and are presumed to have gone, while several Arriva cars from nearby Grays also seem to have been disposed of. An updated list from RATP showed another hired Ford Transit (white WR21FUD) at Tolworth, though it did not mention a similar van that was noted recently at Westbourne Park Garage. Red Transit MX71VJP had rear chevrons but no lettering, and it was presumably acquired by Tower Transit shortly before the RATP take-over. One other addition is BG72XFP, a new Ford Transit van (white and with company lettering) at Ware Garage (Arriva Southern Counties).

Posted on Saturday 7th January 2023

Ford Transit crew van 9026F (LR20GKO) was seen at Stratford Market Depot this week. We have known of the existence of this van since last September, though licensing data suggests that it was actually delivered in April 2020, during the first lockdown. There may still be a couple more LUL vehicles in the same situation so please keep a look out for anything numbered 8917, 8959, 8968, 8986, 9015 or 9121. The two facilities vans that have been stored at Acton Works for a while (7674F and 7675F) have finally been sold. These were the last Mk7 Transits in the central fleet.

Posted on Wednesday 7th December 2022

Ensignbus held their annual running day last Saturday (3rd December) and their tow truck put in an appearance at Lakeside. Also seen there was a Ford Fiesta van that appears to have been recently added to the fleet. LC66TWY was in white, unmarked apart from a fleetnumber 810. Photo to follow, but we now need to know what number 809 is on!

A fourth new Dacia Sandero was seen at Hounslow Garage also at the weekend, NU72GBE being in unmarked white like the other three. I then received a current list of RATP service vehicles which showed that there are actually eleven new Dacias and that they appear to be additional rather than replacements for earlier examples. The four already reported are officially numbered D75132-D75135 and are based at AV. Hounslow Heath (HH/WK) also has four (D75136-D75139) while three are at Westbourne Park (D75140-D75142). I presume the missing number D75131 had been allocated to another vehicle (perhaps hired) that has since departed.

The RATP list had a few other additions, perhaps the most interesting being FB10000 (HX15OTK), a Mitsubishi Fuso Canter flatbed truck with rear ramps. This is allocated to Fulwell and was actually present during the mini open day held in July, though it was parked right at the back. Also seen at the open day was B77006 (LK66KVH) one of four BYD E6 electric cars in unmarked black. The other three (B77007 to B77009) are allocated to Shepherds Bush. Finally there are two Vauxhall Vivaro vans allocated to Hounslow Heath.

Posted on Tuesday 29th November 2022

A bit more news on new vehicles, albeit still only with the bus companies. Go-Ahead have a second Nissan Interstar minibus at Camberwell (BX72ATV). Older pair LV59EHP and LV59EJA were still present at the weekend but can be presumed to be on the way out. Another minibus with Metroline at Brentford is MF72ZDR, a silver Ford Tourneo Custom which may just be hired. The biggest surprise is the arrival of some new Dacia Sandero cars with RATP. NU72FZP, NU72FZX and NU72FZZ were noted at Hounslow (AV) Garage at the weekend, parked with older D75126 (MJ69ZKX). The new cars were in unmarked white. RATP had taken 30 Sanderos over the turn of 2019/2020 and, although a couple have since been withdrawn, it was believed that the requirement for crew ferry cars had in any case reduced following the closure of the Epsom operation. The new cars may be additional, or perhaps the original batch had been obtained on 3-year leases. One to keep an eye on.

Another thing to look out for is LBSL Toyota Yaris cars. An inside source stated that Eltham's 8420T was due to go off-lease last weekend. It will be interesting to see what (if anything) replaces this, and also whether the other 4 red-striped Yarises are also to go. The other four have latterly been at Uxbridge (8416T masquerading as 8357T, and 8418T), Morden Station (8417T) and Stratford (8419T).

Posted on Monday 21st November 2022

Still no new central fleet vehicles to report. Some details have come to light about two 'newish' vehicles though. LUL van LR20EXN at Stratford Market is now known to be numbered 9025F, while the registration for Trams van 9107F is LS21DNE. Actually, the latter is not 100% confirmed. A white/blue/green van with registration LS21DNE was seen at the Therapia Lane depot, but the only part of the fleetnumber visible was the ending ...7F. It is possible, though highly unlikely, that it was actually 8917F or something else!

One more Vauxhall Vivaro-E electric van with Stagecoach has been reported, DY72XMA at Bromley, in unmarked red when noted. The vans transferred in from Stagecoach South last year are now returning home. Also in unmarked red was BX72ATZ, a new Nissan Interstar minibus with Go-Ahead at Camberwell. This will no doubt replace one (or both) of the Renault Master minibuses used for driver assessments (LV59EHP and LV59EJA). Slightly odd is a report of a white Ford Transit Custom at Orpington with Go-Ahead London lettering, as their vans are usually red. EA69MXE may have transferred from another Go-Ahead company.

Stagecoach London DY72XMA at Bromley

Go-Ahead London BX72ATZ at Camberwell

Go-Ahead London EA69MXE at Orpington

Some corrections to old data have been made, mainly thanks to Clive. For example, the registration for Raleigh Box Tricycle 337V had been shown here as BYE157 for many years, but it was actually BYE517. We also had an un-numbered Raleigh Tricycle registered BY517 (taken from LT documents of 1938), but this appears to be a typo for BYE517 so is the same vehicle as 337V.

Posted on Tuesday 25th October 2022

I have just completed updating the vehicle database with a rather higher than usual number of withdrawals. It looks as though there is going to be a thinning-out of the LUL fleet, no doubt as a result of TfL's post-COVID financial difficulties. However, in the absence of any official fleet information, we are reliant on vehicle licensing data, and things are not always as clear-cut as we would like. I have talked about this more under Site News.

There are a couple of things we can say with some certainty. Firstly, quite a lot of cars and small vans do appear to have been disposed of. These are mainly around 5-6 years old so would have probably been due for withdrawal anyway (under normal conditions). However, it is not thought that they have been replaced by new deliveries, as these still seem to be on hold. Hardest hit are the Ford Fiestas (both cars and vans). LUL had 31 of these at the start of the year, but there are now just 9 or even fewer. Several VW Caddy and Renault Kangoo vans of similar age have also gone. A handful of larger vans (such as Ford Transits and Transit Customs) may or may not have gone too. With the largest vehicles, there are several that are definitely out of use, but most seem to still be in stock. In the yard at Acton Works are six lorries (three dropsides, two dustcarts and one artic) that have been SORN'd (declared as being off the road).

If the size of the central fleet is to be reduced, it will be interesting to see how far it goes. The fleet has been fairly steady at around 1,000 for the past 14 years (since 2008), but before 2001 it had been around the 500 mark for over 60 years.

Fleetnumbers are now known for another two of the vehicles listed here last month. LR20FEM is 9031F while LS70PYT is 9050F. There are now just 20 'missing' fleetnumbers - 10 in the 89xx range and another 10 between 9000 and 9165. Some of course may not now be used.

Finally, Ford Transit dropside truck 9110F was delivered in March 2021 and was given Trams white/blue/green livery. It remained at Acton Works for over 2 months but recent reports suggest it was then diverted to LUL, with its livery amended to white/blue/red.

9110F in Trams livery in April 2021

Site news
30 site news items found.
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.

Posted on Monday 30th January 2023

I have updated the vehicle database with some additions, changes and withdrawals. I am holding fire on withdrawing certain central fleet vehicles just yet (even though they are either delicensed or have had new V5Cs issued). I have been proved wrong several times recently so I am playing it safe!

Posted on Saturday 7th January 2023

A further fleet update has reversed a couple of the withdrawals made recently. 8139M and 8427F have both been seen still in service, despite having had new V5Cs issued last year. This would suggest that Sprinters 8134M, 8135M, 8136M and 8140M may also still be in stock so I have 'un-withdrawn' them. On the other hand I have marked as withdrawn some bus company vehicles that have not been seen for a while, notably some of the minibuses hired during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the two 'machines' that were at Epsom. The three vans that were latterly with Tower Transit at Westbourne Park were not listed by RATP recently and are presumed not to have passed to them. Confirmation would be welcomed. Finally, the first central fleet addition reported in (what seems like) ages is 9026F, though it was most likely new in April 2020!

Posted on Wednesday 4th January 2023

The database has been updated with 28 recent withdrawals (and no additions!)

Posted on Tuesday 3rd January 2023

Back to work! A batch of 46 new photos has just been uploaded, most taken over the past 6 weeks plus a few (slightly) older ones.

We had snow in London in December, though it disappeared before Christmas. New Metroline minibus AV72UCO is actually all red.

Some of the new RATP Dacia Sandero cars seen at Hounslow Garage.

We learned that RATP has four BYD E6 electric cars, all in unmarked black like B77006 (LK66KVH) seen at Fulwell last July.

A recovery truck re-union near Gants Hill in May 2021.

I have some updates for the vehicle database, and I hope to add these tomorrow.

Posted on Wednesday 7th December 2022

The database has been updated with recent changes, most coming from an RATP fleetlist. I have also added a forum post describing the rather interesting way that the information missing from this list was pieced together. A second forum posting talks about the idea of switching to using the standardised vehicle size descriptions such as L1H1, and any comments on this would be welcomed. The Forum is now in the 'More' section by the way!

Posted on Friday 25th November 2022

Photo time again, a batch of 47 having just been uploaded.

The first 33 are from the past few months and include the first 72 reg vehicles, a proper look at Stagecoach London's new Vauxhall vans, some more 'insider views' of Edgware Track Depot and several vehicles from exotic places beyond our normal coverage.

A neat line-up of 9029F, 9030F and 9031F at Edgware Track Depot.

You can't get much more exotic than Stockport on a rainy October day!

Next are three photos taken by Malcolm Millichip in about 1960.

Can you confirm the location of this photo of tree-lopper 972J?

Finally there are 11 photos that make up the final part of my look back at D-prefixed SVs from the late 1980s.

Unsurpisingly, Astras with roof roundels appear again in this set.

Posted on Tuesday 25th October 2022

To determine the current status of vehicles, we look at three aspects of the licensing data, which is thankfully still freely available on the internet. These aspects are whether the vehicle is currently taxed, whether its licence renewal date cycle has changed, and whether a new V5C has been issued. None of these aspects alone gives the complete picture, and it may be that in some cases we have made the wrong inferences. I'll give a few examples.

If a vehicle is delicensed, the tax expiry date will be in the past, and will often be a date not at the end of a month. This does indicate that the vehicle is not currently in use, but it does not confirm that it has been sold. The vehicle may still be on company premises. The same applies if the vehicle has been SORN'd, though in those cases, the date when the licence was cancelled is not shown.

A change of licence renewal date cycle is usually a good indicator that a vehicle has been sold. For instance, if a vehicle that had a licence expiry of 31/10/2022 now shows an expiry of 31/03/2023, there is a good chance that it had been sold in April 2022 or October 2022 (depending on whether the new licence was for 6 months or a full year). However, there are two other scenarios. Firstly, if that same vehicle was actually sold at about the time its tax expired, there is a chance that the new owner's licence will be in the same 6/12 month cycle (i.e. to 30/04/2023 or 31/10/2023), making it less noticeable. On the other hand, it is possible that a company may have to re-licence a vehicle earlier or later than normal. In these cases, the vehicle would have the same ownership but a changed renewal date cycle.

V5Cs are certificates that are issued to the keeper of a vehicle, and the date of the last V5C is shown with the licensing data. If a vehicle has a changed V5C date, then it is likely to have changed ownership, though this is not guaranteed. For leased vehicles in particular, a V5C change can result from changes to the leasing company or lease arrangements. For example, a number of LUL Ford Transit vans all have a V5C date of 28/06/2022. Some of these have not been reported for a while, and hence may well be gone, yet some others are known to still be in use.

So, licensing data is of some use but it doesn't tell us everything. Hence reports of sightings continue to be very useful. If you see a service vehicle, or an ex-service vehicle, please log the sighting, as it might just help us to pin down some details.

Posted on Monday 24th October 2022

I am about half way through updating the vehicles that we believe have been withdrawn in recent months, and it looks like LUL's Ford Fiestas have been particularly hard hit. I will add some comment and analysis later, once I have updated the remainder.

Posted on Sunday 23rd October 2022

I have finally got around to adding another batch of photographs. There are 33 in total, and the first 29 are all recent views but do include one vehicle from the 1960s which has unexpectedly resurfaced.

Leyland Titan breakdown tender 1278LD has been out of the limelight for almost 30 years. It is now being restored, but there is much to do...

There are also 4 photos taken in the late 1950s, including two of a unique sweeper vehicle.

I never thought I would see any more photos of R41 other than the well-known J C Gillham one. Amazingly, two photos (taken at the same time) have now come to light.

Disposals have picked-up over the last couple of months, though there have still been no new deliveries that we are aware of. Could it be that the central fleet is going to be reduced in size?

These three vans seen at Acton Works in early September are all thought to have been disposed of soon afterwards.

The vehicle database has not yet been updated with the disposals (or other changes). I will aim to do that in the next day or two.

Posted on Saturday 15th October 2022

The article I mentioned yesterday has now been uploaded and is an updated version of one from 2006 that charted fleetnumbers against dates into stock to look at the rate of fleet renewal. This new version includes a look at the ongoing repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. The article can be read on-line here, or as a PDF which can be downloaded.

I have also added a PDF version of the night trip article posted a few weeks ago. To see all articles, look in the More section, or click here to go straight to the Article List page.

Posted on Friday 14th October 2022

Apologies for the lack of updates recently. There is new content on the way, including a handful of very interesting old photos and an article. For now, I have just updated some info on 1960s/1970s vehicles. It would appear that the officially recorded information was not always correct. For example, LCBS listed a van as JPB392P when it was in fact JBP392P. More significantly, it turns out that the several of the LT railway emergency vehicles were not actually based where they were 'officially' allocated. Perhaps there was an early change of plan and the revised details never got back to CDS. Anyway, my policy for now is to show the official information in the history section, adding notes where it is known that the reality was different.