Courtesy of my Dales Rail Card I took off for Leeds on 18th January 2003
at a cost of £3, and came back with over 100 photographs of the buses
(and a couple of coaches) in Leeds that day. And after processing them
I realised that I'd missed the artics completely! A lengthy selection follows,
trying to give a representation of the First Leeds fleet, in both the old
livery and corporate colours, plus the other operators with a presence in
the City. As usual, 800x600 is the approximate full size of the images,
and if you want to use any image let me know and give me a credit.
First photo was taken in the Coach Station, and was Bebb 97, a
Plaxton bodied Volvo B10M-62 en route for Pontypridd.
Also at the coach station was Stagecoach Midland Red 52643, formerly
63, a Jonckheere bodied Volvo B10M-62 nearing the end of it's journey at
On St Peter's Street and nearing the Bus Station is Harrogate &
District 913, a 1992 Leyland Olympian with Northern Counties bodywork and
blind already set for the next journey. The registration suggests this bus
was originally a Yorkshire Coastliner vehicle. Photography at this point
was facilitated by the taxi on the left of the picture being defunct, forcing
everything into a single lane.
At the same place is seen First Leeds 5268, an all-Leyland Olympian
of 1991 originating with Capital Citybus. I remember these buses in bright
yellow during my jaunts round North and East London some years ago, with
rather more use of the destination aperture being made.
At the bottom of Eastgate is First Leeds 5023, a Leyland Olympian
with Roe bodywork of 1983 vintage. It surprises me often how many of the
very old buses in the various First fleets get repainted into corporate livery,
at an age where they could be expected to be ripe for withdrawal.
A few yards further up Eastgate is Harrogate & District 515,
a 1997 Volvo B10B-58 with Wright dual-purpose bodywork and destination
reset for the return journey.
At the same place is Aztecbird YD02RJO, operating the Airlink service
to Leeds Bradford Airport. The bus is an Ikarus DAF DE02GSSB220 (apparently)
The major independent operator in Leeds is Black Prince, notable
for a lot of Scanias and a lot of liveries. I believe each red & yellow
bus has a different application, although I haven't checked. There are some
in Leeds City Transport green livery and some in blue and cream, such as
702, a 1988 Scania N112CRB with Alexander body, formerly with Arriva Fox
County and before that Kentish Bus.
First Leeds appeared to have had an influx of mid-life double deckers,
presumably to hasten the demise of the Atlanteans. One such is 4104, a Dennis
Arrow (don't see many of those!) with Northern Counties Palatine body,
originally with Capital Citybus in London. It has been fitted with a remarkably
bright destination display, which has already been changed for the next
Unloading in the middle of the road (due to other buses parked up)
at the bottom of Eastgate is Arriva Yorkshire 664, an Alexander bodied Volvo
B7TL new in 2000.
The only Atlantean I saw all day was 6213, a Roe bodied example
of 1979 vintage, moving at speed sown Vicar Lane. The photo isn't great,
but it is a record of the fact that there was at least one about town in
First Leeds also has a large number of Scanias. 8601, numerically
the first of a batch of Alexander bodied L113CRBs is seen at the top of
Eastgate, still wearing the now superseded First Leeds livery, which is
rather more attractive than the old Yorkshire Rider livery and makes a change
from all the Barbie Buses.
At the same place is another bus in First Leeds livery, 7583, MCW
Metrobus MkII of 1988, near the beginning of a lengthy journey to Otley.
Seen on Vicar Lane is First Leeds 8656, a unique bus in the First
Leeds fleet, being an East Lancashire bodied Scania N113CRL, and originally
a Scania demonstrator. Not a great photo, but being the only one in the
fleet a photo had to be taken, regardless of the winter sun throwing long
shadows. The livery is interesting as well.
Another Scania N113CRB with Alexander bodywork is seen on The Headrow,
this one being 8635, the one with the "personalised" registration and coach
At the same stop is Roe bodied Olympian 5116 of 1982. I recall that
at deregulation Yorkshire Rider left many of the Olympians in the ownership
of West Yorkshire PTE, but the ones it retained seemed to have lingered
on for ever! Another very old bus repainted in Barbie 2 livery.
Waiting to turn from The Headrow into New Briggate is 1991 built
Alexander RH bodied Scania N113DRB 8014 in First Leeds livery.
And at the same place is 5320, which looks very similar, but is
a Volvo Olympian of 1996 with Alexander RL bodywork, and originally VO84
in the First Glasgow fleet.
Also on The Headrow is Black Prince 422 in a red & yellow livery.
Like First Leeds 8014 above it is a Scania N113DRB with Alexander RH bodywork
which came form MTL, but I have a feeling it may have originated with one
of the Liverpool independents taken over by Merseybus. I could be wrong,
Halifax Joint Committee operates several elderly MCW Metrobuses,
which wear liveries recalling the Halifax Corporation/ Joint Omnibus Committee
livery before it was swallowed up by West Yorkshire PTE. This isn't one of
them! It is a Halifax JC bus, on the service to Halifax, but it is still
wearing Go Northern livery, the only clue to it's ownership from this angle
being the logo. It is a 1980 model, originally belonging to London Transport.
Coming the other way is Halifax Joint Committee 85, a rather smarter
example of that fleet's MCW Metrobuses, another one which began life
with London Transport, this one being M485.
Of a similar vintage is First Leeds MCW Metrobus 7527, also seen
on The Headrow.
The junction of The Headrow and Albion Street proved to be a good
spot for photographing buses on this day. Another Black Prince livery is
seen on 703, an ex-Nottingham Scania N112DRB wiht Alexander body, on one
of the company's routes to Morley.
8607 is another Scania N113CRB with Alexander bodywork, this one
being "standard issue" and wearing the corporate livery.
And another bus at the same road junction is Black Prince 29, one
of four Scania N112DRBs with East Lancs bodywork which wear Leeds City Transport
livery. I can vaguely recall the pre-1974 Leeds livery, but I am not sure
how accurately this replicates it. This bus came from Newport.
A bit further along The Headrow is First Leeds 5261, another of the
1991 Capital Citybus Leyland Olympians.
Waiting at the lights on Albion Street is 4102, another ex Capital
Citybus vehicle, A Dennis Arrow with Northern Counties bodywork, apparently
on the Sky Line! I am not at all fond of scrolling destination displays,
especially when messages such as Sky/Orange/Pink/Green/Blue Line etc appear.
What is wrong with a destination display just showing route number and
destination, perhaps with scrolling via points (as I see on some East Midland
buses when I visit Sheffield). At least the bus looks clean and smart.
Another Black Prince bus, another livery! This one is 380, another
Scania N113DRB (unsurprisingly), ex Nottingham City Transport and not making
full use of the destination display space available.
And another. At least this one isn't a Scania! It is Black Prince
201, one of three Mercedes 0405/Optare Prismas which came from Tillingbourne
On Westgate is Halifax Joint Committee 277, another ex-London Transport
Metrobus. Not a great photo, but it is wearing a different version of the
It must be an addiction. I just have to get all Black Prince liveries
on camera! No 810 is an ex MTL Scania with Alexander bodywork and more
red than some in the fleet.
In the same spot, outside the Central Library & Art Gallery,
is First Leeds 7651, a venerable (well, 1980) MCW Metrobus which was originally
GMPTE 5013. Another very old bus in corporate livery.
Arriva Yorkshire 803 is an Alexander bodied Dennis Lance dating from
1993 and seen on Boar Lane en route for Dewsbury (Yorkshire Woollen territory!)
I don't suppose there are many Alexander bodied Lances about, all the ones
I am au fait with being Plaxton Verde bodied.
First Leeds 5704 is a 2000 Volvo B7TL with Alexander body, a type
of which there are now many in Leeds, and is seen in Duncan Street.
Also on Duncan Street is Arriva Yorkshire Leyland Lynx 2 380, from
1991. I have a soft spot for Lynxes: to me they sound like real buses,
and my impression is there would have been many more built had deregulation
not happened. Arriva Yorkshire still has a fair few, as I saw in Wakefield
and Castleford on an appalingly wet day in December 2003.
First Leeds 5806 is a more recent Volvo B7TL, with the usual Alexander
body, waiting at the lights in Duncan Street to cross to Call Lane, by
the Corn Exchange.
At the same place is ex First Glasgow Volvo Olympian/ Alexander 5316
in the old livery.
First Leeds 7585 is a native MCW Metrobus Mk II of 1988, seen on
New Market Street.
Loading outside the indoor Market is First Leeds 3277, a Plaxton
Pointer bodied Dennis Dart of 1996, which my observations indicated is
quite a rare combination in Leeds.
4057, seen at the same place, but passing the buses loading at the
market is 1996 Dennis Lance, with PLaxton Verde body (like most of the
Lances I know). The bus was a bit hemmed in in a queue of traffic,but the
photo is passable. I think this livery suits the Lance better than
the various green and cream versions I see in Huddersfield every November.
The bus behind 4057, and partly visible in the previous photo, is
Black Prince 202, another of the ex-Tillingbourne Optare Prismas, in yet
another red and yellow livery variation. It is loading for it's home town.
Another Dennis Lance is First Leeds 4077, this one being slightly
lighter in weight than most by virtue (?) of having a panel missing behind
the rear wheel! Some of the other panels don't look very healthy, either!
My perambulations eventually brought me back to the Bus Staion. Seen
at the exit from there is Arriva Yorkshire 466, an Alexander bodied DAF
SB220 built in 1998.
And at the same spot is Arriva Yorkshire 711, a 2002 Optare Spectra
with very bright destination display operating the high frequency route to
Wakefield and Hall Green.
First Leeds 8034 is a 1991 Scania N113DRB with Alexander bodywork,
seen leaving the Bus Station for Guiseley and looking rather careworn.
The only Yorkshire Traction bus which I snapped (and not brilliantly
at that!) was 268 on route X62 to Huddersfield via the White Rose Centre.
It is a 1993 Wright bodied Scania K93.
And at the same spot is East Yorkshire 284, seen previosly on my
site on a service form York to Hull. This time the 1997 Optare Prisma is
on another route X62 to Hull. Very helpful for passengers: two route X62s,
going in opposite directions! The bus behind is quite interesting as well.
Arriva Yorkshire 510 is an East Lancs bodied Dennis Arrow, one of
10 formerly operated by Arriva Southern Counties. To my eye there is something
odd-looking about these buses, but I can't say exactly what. By this time
the light was fading, which is why the picture is rather dark.
I was very please to see and photograph some of the remaining ECW
bodied Leyland Olympians which entered the Arriva Yorkshire fleet (West Riding
& Yorkshire (Woollen) at the time) in the early 1980s. I preferred them
when they were red or green & cream, however. This one is 596, dating
from late 1984.
And finally: Harrogate & District 367, a Wright bodied Volvo
B10B-58 turning from Eastgate en route to the Bus Station, as I made my
way back into town to do some shopping. The other Blazefield group company
serving Leeds, Yorkshire Coastliner doesn't make it onto this page due to
the simple fact that I got no shots good enough for inclusion. Sorry.