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Photographer / Copyright
Derek Everson
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LN 7 NPD107L

Location Link/s
Stevenage Garage

Date added to site

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Details: Also seen at Stevenage Garage on 17th May 1980, London Country's LN7 had been converted for a similar role to LT's SPB753 (which it was parked in front of). By the beginning of the 1970s the UK's bus manufacturing and operating industries had been nationalised and rationalised. Most bus builders were either owned by or had been absorbed by British Leyland, while most bus companies in England and Wales (apart from those in larger towns and cities) had become part of the National Bus Company (NBC). Leyland proposed replacing a variety of single-deck models with one new type, and planned to restrict the options and paint finishes available. The new type was called the Leyland National, and initially all were to be fitted with dual doors. London Country (LCBS) was one of the largest NBC companies, and they ordered 70 long (11.3m) Nationals. These were mainly intended for use on Green Line services, though the bus seats and dual-door layout were not ideal for this. In the event, Leyland bowed to pressure to offer a single door option, and only the first 23 LCBS buses came with dual doors, these being classified LN. The LNs, along with the single-door LNB (bus) and LNC (coach) Nationals, did not prove very popular with LCBS, although the company went on to successfully operate almost 500 of the shorter (10.3m) model. Because of all this, several of the long Nationals were taken out of use while quite young, and were thus good candidates for conversion to other uses.

LN7 was rebuilt as a mobile information point and shop, emerging in spring 1980. That year saw several events to mark the 50th anniversary of the Green Line network, and LN7 - branded as InfoMotion - was prominent at many of these. It is not known how long the vehicle remained as such, though it seems likely it was out of use before the split-up of LCBS in 1986. Although LN7 is only a year younger than SPB753, it marks a watershed in single-deck bus design. SPB753 was a late example of the high-capacity single-deckers introduced in the 1960s (when one person operation of double-deckers was not permitted). Most such buses had been withdrawn by the early 1980s. LN7 represented a type that was to remain in production until the mid-1980s, and to be a common sight across the UK until the mid-1990s.

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