Ayr Buzzers

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Back in December 1986 local newspapers, including the Ayrshire Free Press, reported that Western was proposing minibus operation over much of the Ayr and Prestwick town services. The Ayr operation would involve up to 80 drivers, have a five minute frequency and Prestwick Station and Ayr sea front would be served by Western for the first time. As it turned out 40 Renault-Dodge minibuses with Alexander B25F bodywork were ordered with the first of these arriving in February 1987. The batch were as follows:

Chassis: Dodge S56
Bodywork: Alexander B25F
Fleetnumbers: D222 – 250
Registration No’s: D222-250NCS

The Dodge S56 was initially delivered to Alexanders as a chassis / front cowl unit, for bodywork completion. The Alexander body itself had a square design incorporating a standard Dodge front grille and two leaf entrance doors and the buses were fitted with grey/red moquette seat covers and floor mounted automatic transmission, sited for left had operation. Driver access was through an offside cab door as entry from the saloon was barred by handrails and change trays. There was an emergency exit at the rear of the offside whilst the rear window (break glass to open!) doubled as a second exit. A single line destination aperture was fitted above the windscreen and incorporated an offside fitted three-track route number blind.

The original livery carried by these minibuses was white with black skirt and grille surmounted by a narrow white strip, then a broad grey band which didn’t continue round the front or rear of the bus. Further black and grey bands commenced at the rear wheelarch and diagonally rose towards the roar dome. The unladen weight was 3288 kg. and buses D222-4, D226, D227 and D230 were initially used for driver training in February. D222-8 and D230-44 entered revenue earning service in March followed by D245-50 in April. The missing D229 continued seeing use as a driver trainer throughout April before finally entering service in May 1987.

Ayr Depot’s AD240 (D240NCS) and AD246 (D246NCS) are pictured above on Ayr High Street having just entered service.

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