216 was purchased by local operator Weavaway Travel in May 2001. Registered WOI 3005 with Reading, it was reregistered B10 MKC by Weavaway. It was then sold by Weavaway to Keepings Coaches, Penrhiwceiber, Wales on 24th October 2001, less than six months after purchase. It is seen below in Reading on 11th July 2001:
602 passed to Huxley, Threapwood in Cheshire and 605 to Greatley (Western Freight) in Warminster.
Optare MetroRider Mk 1
607 was scrapped after catching fire in November 2000, so 608 was the first Mk1 to leave the fleet for a new owner in June 2001, going to Black Prince of Morley (Leeds).
609 turned out to be the last Mk1 to leave the fleet. It was sold for use as a youth community bus as part of the Downlands Project. The project is funded by John O'Gaunt School and Hungerford/West Berkshire County Council, so a number of conversions were made to the vehicle before it was handed over. Amongst other things a new interior was fitted to display items of interest to teenagers in the area. As part of the deal the bus was maintained at Newbury for one year after it was handed over to the project. Below is a picture of the bus on 2nd November at the Reading Buses depot whilst it was being prepared. Thanks to Paul Hilton for this photo.
610-3 went to Guide Friday to operate local bus services in Stratford, with 611 also spending some time in Cambridge. 612 is seen below on 11th December 2001 in Stratford Town Bus livery:
611 wore a similar Cambridge City Bus livery, but was replaced in Cambridge by another second hand MetroRider in November 2001 so that it could be moved to Stratford to rejoin its sisters. In May that year Guide Friday were taken over by competitor City Sightseeing, leading to the Stratford town services being rebranded under the Stratford Blue name. As 611 had jet to have its vinyls amended, it was the first bus to receive Stratford Blue livery. Later it was followed by 613, but by summer 2003 the batch had been withdrawn before the other two could be done (611 was withdrawn in December 2002). 613 is seen below in Stratford Blue livery on 16th June 2003:
- From Ensign/Guide Friday/Stratford Blue:
- 610 was broken up for spares in around August 2004
- 611 passed to Chris Cooper Travel, Newcastle in June 2003 where it was up-seated to 31 seats, then to Second City Travel, Birmingham by late January 2005 where it was reregistered HDZ 5416. It was then sold for preservation on 19th October 2011.
- 612 passed to Milward, Peacehaven by mid August 2003
- 613 passed to Mee, Northfleet (Redroute Buses) in November 2003
Meanwhile 662 and 688 passed to Darwen Coach Services. 688 went from there to Wigley, Carlton for scrap in September 2005.
Optare MetroRider Mk 2
LNG powered 614 and 624 were advertised for sale in early 2003. However 624 was subsequently converted to diesel power and returned to service at Reading. 614 was broken for spares. 624 eventually passed to Ensign (dealer) in March 2006, and then Manns Travel, Gravesend in June 2006. 624 is seen below at the Bluewater Shopping Centre in Dartford in September 2006. Thanks to Andrew Millwood for this photo.
615 was with Evans, Lower Whitley by 2008 where it was withdrawn in July 2008 and sold in October/November 2009 to Askew's Furniture & Mobility Centre, Alford as a show bus.
616 went to Charlton Services of Oxford in June 2002. It entered service in virtually as withdrawn condition from Reading, only the Reading Buses fleetnames were removed. It was later repainted into their two tone blue livery, and is seen below at Oxford Railway Station on 2nd July 2003:
617 went to White Star Motors of Lockerbie, then passing to Stagecoach North West when Stagecoach took over White Star in May 2003.
619 went to Isle Coaches, Owston Ferry for a service around the villages of the Isle of Axholme. This service passes the Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft, the current home of ex Reading Trolleybus 113!
620 went to Thamesbus, New Haw, Surrey.
621-3 were sold to Blue Bus of Bolton in March 2003. 625 followed them on 25th January 2004. 621 is seen below freshly repainted on 7th June 2003. Thanks to Ben Morroll for this photo.
Blue Bus were subsequently taken over by Arriva, from whom 623 and 625 had passed to Shamrock, Pontypridd by March 2006 via Ensign (dealer). 621 is seen below with Arriva vinyls in October 2006. Thanks to Neil Wise for this photo:
626 was sold to to The Deliverance Centre, Reading, for non-PSV use during October 2005. It is seen below passing through Reading Town Centre on 31st May 2008:
It was then sold on ebay in April 2009 to McCreadies, Airdrie.
Optare MetroRider Mk 4
628 was sold to Charlton Services on 9th September 2005, and was due to depart Reading soon after.
627/9 passed to Ensign (dealer) in March 2006. From there 627 passed to North West Travel, Liverpool and 629 to ASD Coaches, Strood in May 2006.
By August 2010 627 had passed to GHA Coaches wearing white Vale Travel livery for service 2 from Wrexham to Cefn Mawr.
630-2 were sold to Ensignbus (dealer) in January 2009, and from there passed to Devon Road Ltd, Strood, Kent in February 2009.
Last updated: 03-06-12
MetroRiders whilst with Reading
Reading Transport Page
Former Vehicle Fleet List