DAF DB250 / Wright Pulsar Gemini
Three second Wright Pulsar Geminis were purchased from Ensignbus (dealer) in September 2015 for use on schools work, followed by a further four in February 2016. They were Arriva London South fleet numbers DW8, 21 & 29, 53-5, 67 and were acquired primarily for use on school services, but also the improve the quality of the peak extra on the core network that fit around them.
Given fleet numbers 524-6, 528-30 and 527 respectively, 525/6 initially saw service in as acquired condition in London red with centre doors, with 524 going straight for single door conversion, manual ramp and nearside wheelchair bay at Bus and Coach World, Blackburn and re-paint into silver generic livery at Thorntons. 524 had returned by 1st November pending the application of vinyls with 525 going away in its place. 524 entered service on approx 18th November, and 525 was back in service by 26th November and 526 by 11th December.
527-30 all went for single door conversion and repaint prior to entering service. 527-9 returned in April, with 528/9 entering service in May and 527 was ready by late May but was not seen in service until 5 June. A more extensive refurbishment was carried out on 530 at Bus and Coach World with the fitting of a Gemini 3 front, a full retrim in the latest black spots moquette, rearranged social seating areas, USB and wireless phone charging. The existing seats were re-cushioned, re-trimmed, and converted from Esteban Civic 2 (with a handhold) to Civic 3 with real leather headrests into which Reading’s logo is stitched. It was reregistered X100 RDG in May 2016 and displayed at the ALBUM (Association of Local Bus Managers) conference which was being hosted by Isle of Man Transport on the island. It then returned to Bus and Coach World after the conference for final finishing off and certification of the single door conversion. It gained standard Reading Buses branded generic livery as opposed to the silver stars school brand of the others in the batch, and entered service on 5 July.
527-9 allowed 521-3 to be withdrawn in July 2016.
528 is seen below at Station North on 23rd August 2017:
530 is seen below at Great Knollys Street on 3 July 2016 with special Bus Zone destination displays:
Following the re-integration of Theale Green and Little Heath school services into the normal network in September 2017, 524 was sold to Lynxbus in September 2017 (sometime after use on 8th), followed by 525 in November 2017 and 526 on 1st March 2018.
527-29 gained "super T-side" advert frames in November 2017, covering the first offside window to create a larger advertising space.
530 was designated “The Moving Gallery” with various works art applied in December 2017. It was on static display in Broad Street on 9th and 10th December and then ran in service from 11th December until 20th January 2018 with the art on display. The vehicle continued with most aspects of this, featuring various members of the staff and public, in place until it was withdrawn in 2019.
527 and 528 went on loan to Xelabus on 19th March 2018, 528 returning on 6th April and 527 on 16th April.
Following service changes in September 2018, and the completion of various warranty campaigns, 527-30 were withdrawn for sale on 15th April 2019, 529 having been off the road since November anyway. 530 was reregistered back to LJ04 LEU on 17th April 2019 pending sale. 527 was sold to Lynx Bus on 18th April, followed by 530 on 9th May. 530 was reregistered UWW 3X by it's new owners on approx 6 May prior to collection from Reading. 528/9 were sold to Warrington's Own Buses on 17th May 2019.
DAF DB250 / East Lancs Lowlander
FD02 UKR was acquired from Panther Travel in December 2017 as a low cost supplement to the school bus fleet to help release newer vehicles for service enhancements elsewhere, including Green Line 702. It entered service in full Panther Travel livery, and carried it's former registration AB02 PAN from 5th until 8th December. It was allocated fleet number 531. It was soon de-branded and later repainted into base Vamooz pink livery in March 2018 to allow Vamooz liveried Enviro400 1212 to be repainted into Green Line livery. In the event insufficient take-up of Vamooz meant that 531 was never fully branded, and school service changes in September 2018 and the completion of the hybrid conversions in October 2018 made it redundant.
531 was sold to A-Bus, Bristol in mid December 2018 after going on loan there on 7th November following a depot fire on 5th November which happened to destroy former 848.
Last updated: 02-06-19