From September 2007 TransLinc (Lincolnshire's largest independent bus/coach operator) withdrew its London Express service, which had its roots dating back to coach deregulation in 1980. The displaced coach had been downgraded and is seen here in New York, working a private contract.
Stagecoach had purchased RoadCar as part of the Traction Group almost two years earlier, and the Wrightbus Eclipse Gemini-bodied Volvo B7TL pictured here in Spilsby Market Place had never operated with RoadCar (though wore a livery designed by the company). As of February 2011 all visual reference to the RoadCar fleet livery has gone, with this batch of vehicles being the last to acquire the Stagecoach corporate livery, albeit with a purple element to represent the 'Connect' branding.
National Express-operated Central Trains was ready to be disbanded when this photo was taken, with Stagecoach and GoVia (Go-Ahead/Keolis) acquiring the two separate companies the company was to become: East Midlands Trains and London Midland. Seen here is a '153' at Boston station, en route to Skegness - a station, incidentally, unrecognisable now to how it looked at Christmas.
Going back to 2005 when we were both in London for the start of our 2005 LEYTR Railrover in June of that year, another nostalgic threesome has been spotted:
Hull Trains was operating its second fleet of DMUs, in the form of Class 222 'Pioneers', which were new to the company, displacing Class 170 'Turbostars', which had headed to ScotRail - one of which we spotted while on our Railrover, heading into Edinburgh, a few days later. The '222s' are now operating with East Midlands Trains, between The Midlands and London St. Pancras. In this shot it is worth pointing out the only evidence First has anything to do with the company at this time is the F-logo on the yellow frontage. Today, of course, 'dynamic lines' corporate livery adorns the Class 180 'Adelantes' that run the route.
Megabus started in 2003, linking Oxford with London and from 1 March 2004 expansion took place. Save the Anglo-Scottish services, ex-Hong Kong Leyland Olympians were the domain - seen here is one such example, arriving at London Victoria. In 2005 the company used Greenline's Bullied Way terminus. Today *proper* coaches compete head-to-head with National Express from Victoria Coach Station. Megabus was also the first major operator to introduce 15-meter coaches.
You can still see the Routemaster in this location - Hyde Park Corner, though only performing Heritage Route services. In 2005 the end was nigh for this vehicle type in mainline service - the last ran during December the following year. Service 38 (depicted here) saw articulated buses but from November 2009, these went in favour of rigid operation once more. It is safe to say that only the change of London Mayor saw rigids re-introduced.
These photos are a minuscule collection from our archive. There are literally thousands more where they came from. But with the speed of change being so fast, delving the files on the LEYTR computer has produced a number of feelings - shock being the main one. Shock that so much can change so quickly. For many people, 2005 or 2007 wasn't that long ago at all!!