Leeds, 18th January 2003


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. 

Bebb 97 First photo was taken in the Coach Station, and was Bebb 97, a Plaxton bodied Volvo B10M-62 en route for Pontypridd.

Midland Red South 52643 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 Bradford.

Harrogate & District 913 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.

First Leeds 5268 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.

First Leeds 5023 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.

Harrogate & District 515 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.

Aztecbird_YD02RJO At the same place is Aztecbird YD02RJO, operating the Airlink service to Leeds Bradford Airport. The bus is an Ikarus DAF DE02GSSB220 (apparently) from 2002.

Black Prince 702 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 4104 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 outward journey.

Arriva Yorkshire 664 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.

First Leeds 6213 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 January 2003.

First Leeds 8601 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.

First Leeds 7583 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.

First Leeds 8656 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.

First Leeds 8635 Another Scania N113CRB with Alexander bodywork is seen on The Headrow, this one being 8635, the one with the "personalised" registration and coach seats.

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First Leeds 51116 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.

First Leeds 8014 Waiting to turn from The Headrow into New Briggate is 1991 built Alexander RH bodied Scania N113DRB 8014 in First Leeds livery.

First Leeds 5320 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.

Black Prince 422 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, though.

Halifax JC 217 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.

Halifax JC 85 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.

First Leeds 7527 Of a similar vintage is First Leeds MCW Metrobus 7527, also seen on The Headrow.

Black Prince 703 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.  

First Leeds 8607 8607 is another Scania N113CRB with Alexander bodywork, this one being "standard issue" and wearing the corporate livery.

Black Prince 29 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.

First Leeds 5261 A bit further along The Headrow is First Leeds 5261, another of the 1991 Capital Citybus Leyland Olympians.

First Leeds 4102 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.

Black Prince 380 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.

Black Prince 201 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 (RIP).


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Halifax JC 277 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 livery.

Black Prince 810 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.

First Leeds 7651 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 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 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.

Arriva Yorkshire 380 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 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.

First Leeds 5316 At the same place is ex First Glasgow Volvo Olympian/ Alexander 5316 in the old livery.

First Leeds  7585 First Leeds 7585 is a native MCW Metrobus Mk II of 1988, seen on New Market Street.

First Leeds 3277 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.

First Leeds 4057 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.

Black Prince 202 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.

First Leeds 4077 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!

Arriva Yorkshire 466 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.

Arriva Yorkshire 711 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 First Leeds 8034 is a 1991 Scania N113DRB with Alexander bodywork, seen leaving the Bus Station for Guiseley and looking rather careworn.

Yorkshiree Traction 268 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.

East Yorkshire 284 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 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.

Arriva Yorkshire 596 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.

Harrogate & District 367 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.

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