Dennis Trident / Plaxton President
Six second hand Plaxton President bodied Dennis Tridents were acquired from Pete's Travel of West Bromwich on 21st February 2003, and a further six from Lothian Buses during 2013 and three from Dawson Rentals in 2015.
From Pete's the first six were taken to Yorkshire Traction to receive bodywork repairs and a repaint, before arrival at Reading for the application of vinyls and fitting of bright-tec displays, CCTV, vaults and ticket machines. 476 was the first to arrive in Reading from Yorkshire Traction's Central Works in Barnsley on 28th February 2003. All six had CCTV cameras fitted in their headlight units by Reading to catch drivers illegally using bus lanes as a short cut! They were allocated fleet numbers 471-6 to follow on from second hand Mk 2 Metrobuses 455-69 and entered service on 1st April 2003. 471 is seen below two weeks later on 16th April and again on 6th June 2003:
472 is seen below at the Moor Street Interchange in Birmingham on 15th February 2003, a few days after the purchase of the Tridents was confirmed. 471-4 all left for repaint at Yorkshire Traction roughly two weeks later, whilst 475-6 had already departed.
Below are two views of the interior of 472 on its first day in service in Reading on 1st April 2003, note the extra bus stopping sign at the back!
474 is seen below at Showbus on 23rd September 2001, whilst still in its first month of service with Pete's Travel and on 1st April 2003, its first day in service in Reading.
The second photo of 471 at the top of the page illustrates the Dennis Trident badges and tree deflectors that were added to the vehicles during their first month in service. Also during their first month a problem with their side exhausts became evident - they were prone to crushing, particularly when going over the Ford's Farm bus ramp! Therefore work was done to move them to the rear of the bus through a semi circular cut-out in the offside rear panel. 474 was the first to be treated by May 2003.
475 and 476 were repainted into Quality Travel generic silver livery during October 2007, with 475 re-entering service on approx 15th and 476 by 18th. 474 was treated by 14th November, and 473 returned from repaint on 7th December. 472 went away for repaint on 7th December, was ready to return by 9th January 2008 and back in service by 19th January. 471 departed for repaint on 21st January and had returned to service by 16th February. 475 is seen below on 27th October 2007:
471-6 were withdrawn following service changes from 13th July 2009 and put into reserve pending sale.
471 and 472 went on extended loan to the Green Transport Company, Birmingham on 4th January 2010 until acquisition in August 2010.
473 went on extended loan to the Green Transport Company, Birmingham on 22nd January 2010 until acquisition in August 2010.
474 was sold to Beaverbus, Leicestershire in December 2009.
475 and 476 went on extended loan to the Green Transport Company, Birmingham from 9th November 2009 until acquisition in August 2010.
The Lothian examples were purchased in 2013 to replace the six ex-Eastbourne Optare Spectras, which by that time were being used on The Green Bus branded school services. The vehicles retained the same fleet numbers as allocated by Lothian, with Lothian Buses carrying out modifications necessary to meet Reading’s requirements before sending them to the Midlands for repaint into The Green Bus livery. They were then delivered to Reading for the application of The Green Bus logos. 557 was the first to arrive by 20th March 2013, followed by 569 by 25th March, 558 by 3rd April, 559 on 22nd April, 553 on 29th April and 551 on 7th May. 558 is seen below on 10th March 2014:
The conversion to low floor allowed some ordinary service work to be added back into some of the vehicle's duties in the afternoon peak. 559 is seen below on Blagrave Street on 10th March 2014:
569 is seen below returning to Great Knollys Street on 3rd May 2013:
569 was named Carl McCarron on 23 April 2015 in memory of a former Green Bus driver, "a true gentleman" who has gone but would never be forgotten.
551/553/557/558/559/569 were all withdrawn in July 2015 due to a need for a higher specification of vehicle following increased usage of these vehicles during the evening peak, and the contrast between the Scottish Tartan interior with the rest of the fleet. They then saw sporadic use until 551/69 were decommissioned in October 2015, with the other four hanging on until December 2015. 553/59/69 lost their Green Bus branding in December with the other three following.
551/3/8/9 were sold to Ventura Coach Sales (dealer), departing on 28 December 2015. 569 was returned to service in January having been in reserve since October seeing sporadic use along with 557 before they both followed to Ventura Sales in February 2016. From Ventura Sales 558/69 passed to Peyton Travel, Brynna in March 2016.
521-3 were acquired from Dawson Rentals in July 2015 (arriving on approx 25th) to replace the ex-Lothian examples on a short term basis. Other additions to the fleet, combined with the removal of two Green Bus workings - Theale route TG4 and experimental Reading College route RC1, meant that only three vehicles were needed. It is intended that these vehicles will be replaced by cascades from within the fleet when the next batch of new vehicles are ordered, and so are likely to remain in a plain white livery.
- 521 was previously with Central Taxis, Felling
- 522 was previously with Buses Excetera, Surrey
- 523 was previously with Portsmouth University
521/3 entered service on London Underground strike duplicates on 5 August 2015 between Richmond and Heathrow.
521/3 gained Silver Stars branding during the October half term 2015, reappearing in service on Monday 2nd November with the branding. 522 was still plain white on 1st November, but had been branded by 4th.
The batch were to return to Dawson rentals in July 2016 following the arrival of 527-29, and all lost their Silver Stars branding. 522 returned on 16th August, however 521/23 were retained temporarily to provide cover on the new Kennections operation in Newbury from September 2016 pending the arrival of 1212/14. 521 was withdrawn by 9th October and 523 by 20th November, both departing soon after withdrawal.
Last updated: 18-08-17