Back to May – June 1994

The following article contains extracts from the Western Enthusiasts Club newsletter, Issue 87, May – June 1994 and is intended to take a nostalgic “snapshot view” of the various activities that were taking place at Western Scottish during this time. We aim to publish these articles on a regular basis and, as always, we would like to thank the Western Enthusiasts Club for allowing us to publish their superb material on our site.

Company News

Most members will, by now be aware of the £6 million bid for Western Scottish Buses made by Stagecoach Holdings of Perth.

The first approaches by Stagecoach were made during the first week in June and at a Western Directors meeting there was unanimous agreement that the offer was in Western’s best interests. Events then moved quickly, resulting in a formal offer being made on June 9th. A response was required by Stagecoach not later than July 18th which included a requirement that the bid be voted on by the three trusts set up by Western to manage it’s shares.

The Western Scottish board remains the same but with the addition of Brian Souter as Chairman. There are, we understand, no immediate plans for change within the company. However, since privatisation Western Scottish has traded at a loss and in the financial year ending January 2nd 1994 made a pre-tax loss of £372,000 on a turnover of £15.6 million.

The Stagecoach Group are confident that Western Scottish can be turned into a profitable company through economies of scale and offering a better service to customers through investment in new vehicles. Some 80 new vehicles are promised over the next two years and although no firm commitment has been made as to types, we would suggest that minibuses (Mercedes/Alexander Belfast) and midibuses (Darts or B6’s) will feature prominently and it’s not beyond the realms of possibility to imagine Plaxton Interurbans on the 4 service over Fenwick Moor.

Stagecoach corporate livery will become standard for the fleet except the preserved vehicles and those in Citylink colours.

In acquiring Western, Stagecoach gets it’s hands on it’s first ‘large’ number of Seddon’s which may prove short-lived under new ownership. As we all know, Stagecoach is not adverse to inter-company vehicle transfers.

Vehicles Reregistered

The remaining pair of ex British Airways Leyland Nationals , L704/5 (GLP433/427T) were finally reregistered to OW7024/5 with effect from April 28th.

Vehicles on Loan

Not hithero recorded was that a pair of Dennis Darts were loaned to Dennis Specialist Vehicles earlier this year. AN302 (J302BRM) was away on loan from January 24th until January 31st during which time it was with Whitelaw , Stonehouse whilst AN305 was away from April 11th until April 18th and operated for Clydeside 2000.

The three Talbot Freeway minibuses hired to H.A.D. Coaches, Shotts have all now returned to Western. T274 (F334JHS) was first to return, on April 23rd whilst the remaining pair, T273/5 (D94EKV/F335JHS) finally returned on May 19th.

Vehicles Re-Bodied

The pair of East Land. re-bodied Volvos remain outstanding but company sources advise that the first of the pair will be collected from the bodybuilders around July 15th. Both buses will be delivered in all-over white livery and will receive Stagecoach Group livery prior to entering service. Although both vehicles will remain dual-purpose seated, it is interesting to note their interiors will be to Stagecoach specification.

Reserve Fleet

Movements in and out of the Reserve Fleet continue to cause much interest, particularly with the transfer of Volvo Citybuses KV898/9 (B175FFS/B660EGG) on May 15th. Other vehicles added to the Reserve Fleet are T274 (F334JHS) on April 23, CS518 (YSD818T) on April 22 along with AR870 (BCS870T), and T273/5 (D94EKV/F335JHS on May 19th. Seddon AS443 (DSD943V) and AS546 (DSD983V) also joined the Reserve Fleet on May 22nd, whilst sister AS444 (DSD944V) was also transferred to Reserve on June 11th. Dodge minibus D222 (D222NCS) transferred on loan to Arran in March, returned to the mainland in May and it too was added to the Reserve Fleet, on May 18th.

Vehicles from the Reserve Fleet returning to service are S525 (ASD825T) to Cumnock on April 22nd, S551/6 (BSD851/6T) to Kilmarnock on May 15th, S523 (YSD823T) to Dumfries on May 22nd, L691 (TSJ31S) to Ayr on June 10th and S445 (DSD945V) to Dumfries on June 12th. Open top Fleetline R101 (XSJ656T) was scheduled to go to Ayr at the beginning of July to operate new service 99. It had brief outings in May to transport Stranraer F.C. on winning the Second Division Championship and Largs Thistle F.C. on winning the Scottish Junior Cup Final. Sister open top Fleetline R102 (HDS566H) has now been withdrawn and is for disposal.

Modified Vehicles

Ex British Airways National L703 (UIB3543) went to Volvo, Barrhead on March 30th to be fitted with a new Volvo TD100 engine. It was returned to Western Scottish on April 22nd and entered service at Kilmarnock for evaluation. It was replace at Cumnock by similar L706.

It seems that the status of the Leyland Atlanteans A800-12 actually differs in practise from previously quoted lists of DiPTAC buses. It can be confirmed that all buses except AA806 (RJA702R) have received rebuilt front destination / route number apertures. AA806 (RJA702R), KA807-9 (UNA772S/RJA801R/VBA161S) and KA811 (UNA840S) all retain side and rear route number blinds. Additionally , all except AA806 (RJA702R) have been refurbished internally but KA800 (UNA853S), AA804 (ANA211T) and AA806 (RJA702R) are not DiPTAC fitted.


V430 VLT 154 – To Scottish Citylink Coaches Ltd , Glasgow 16/5/94

S438 WDS73V – Remains to Dunsmore (Dealer), Larkhall 19/5/94

S463 DSD963V – Remains to Dunsmore (Dealer), Larkhall 19/5/94

L794 MSO 9W – Remains to Dunsmore (Dealer), Larkhall 19/5/94

Allocation & Transfers

Further to the last issue Seddon S438 (WDS73V) was transferred to ‘Unallaocated’ with accident damage in January and was withdrawn in February.

May 1994

L703 UIB5343 Unallocated (ex C)

April 1994

N417 B986EGG N (ex C)
L703 UIB5343 K (Ex Unallocated)
L706 UIB3076 C (ex K)
L796 NLP388V A (ex K)
L797 JTF971W K

May 1994

N416 B987EGG K (ex C)
V429 VLT 219 Unallocated (ex K)
L785 NLS985W A (ex D)
L787 MSO17W A (ex D)

June 1994

D284 D304SDS K (ex D)
N405 WLT 717 D (ex S)

As noted, Open Top Fleetline R101 (XSJ656T) was scheduled to commence operation of a new tourist service in Ayr with effect from July 2nd.


Vehicles now withdrawn for disposal are:

May 1994

Volvo B10M: V430 (VLT 154)
Atlantean: A803 (WVM877S)

June 1994

Fleetline: R102 (HDS566H)

Livery Changes

Dodge minibus KD286 (D306SDS) received a two tone blue and white livery with ‘Buzzer’ logos for use on a ‘Free Bus’ service to Darvel in May. The dark blue is applied to the former black skirt area whilst the remainder of the area below the window line is light blue. The Window surrounds and roof are white.

Minibuses KZ210 (D110NUS) is now reported in the latest livery style though was reported to have been briefly used in service without fleet names or the normal red stripe. Similar KZ216 (D116NUS) is also reported to be in the latest style and is confirmed as having white roof.

One further Seddon ‘T’ type is now in Western coach livery , Cumnock allocated CS462 (DSD962V).

Western sources advise that Dennis Dorchester DN405 (WLT 727) is scheduled to be the last repaint into Western coach livery. The first vehicle scheduled to receive Stagecoach livery from the current fleet is similar KN408 (VCS 376) though the first of the Volvo / East Lancs. rebodies will also be in the paint shops at the same time and thus the Dorchester may not be the first to appear .

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