Selkent

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Stagecoach London
Stagecoach ballbus.png
Stagecoach route 51 to Woolwich.jpg
Parent Stagecoach
Founded 1 April 1989
Headquarters West Ham
Service area South London
Service type Bus services
Hubs Lewisham
Catford
Woolwich
Bromley
Sydenham
Fleet Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart
Alexander Dennis Enviro400
Dennis Dart SLF
Dennis Trident 2
Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaro
Optare Tempo
Scania OmniCity
Volvo B5LH
Website www.stagecoachbus.com

Selkent (an acronym of South East London & Kent) is a bus company operating in South London. It is a subsidiary of Stagecoach Group and operates services under contract to Transport for London.

Selkent shares its headquarters with sister company East London at West Ham.

History[edit]

Leyland Titan in North Weald, June 2003, in Stagecoach Selkent all-red livery
Alexander ALX400-bodied Dennis Trident 2 on route 96 in Woolwich, August 2008, in Stagecoach livery with Selkent hops logos
Articulated Mercedes-Benz Citaro on route 453 in Haymarket, May 2005

Selkent began as an operating district of London Transport in the early 1980s. On 1 April 1989, London Buses was divided into 11 separate business units, one of which was Selkent.[1]

Selkent was the first LBL subsidiary to completely cease operation of AEC Routemasters, in March 1992, when the Catford garage allocation on route 36B was converted to one-man-operated buses.[2]

In September 1994, Selkent was sold to Stagecoach and renamed Stagecoach Selkent. In November 2000 Stagecoach consolidated its London operations under the Stagecoach London brand.

In August 2006 Stagecoach sold its London bus operations to Macquarie Bank. The new owner restored the Selkent name and logo. In October 2010 Stagecoach reacquired its old London operations with Selkent once again rebranded as Stagecoach London.[3]

Livery[edit]

Between 1988 and 1994 Selkent, along with the other LBL subsidiaries, used a red livery with a grey skirt. Following privatisation to Stagecoach, this was replaced with an all-red livery.

In November 2000, Stagecoach introduced a new standard livery of white with a dark blue skirt and orange and light blue swirls at the rear. For Selkent (and East London), the white was replaced by red, to conform with a contractual requirement for London buses to be 80% red.

After the sale to Macquarie Bank, an all-red livery was reintroduced.

Garages[edit]

Selkent operates three bus garages.

Bromley (TB)[edit]

Bromley garage operates London bus routes 61, 208, 227, 246, 261, 269, 314, R5, R7, R10 and school routes 636, 637, 638 and 664.

History[edit]

Bromley garage was opened by the London General Omnibus Company in April 1924. Built at a cost of £23,000, it was originally designed to house 60 buses, although the plan was to ultimately enlarge it to take an additional 40 when operations required it. Under an agreement reached with Thomas Tilling, the garage was allocated to the latter's use, along with Croydon and Lewisham, resulting in Tilling-type vehicles being the mainstay of the fleet until 1949, when the final petrol-engined STL-type double deckers were finally superseded. This was made possible by the hire of 17 AEC Regents from Leeds City Transport.

Between 1972 and 1979, Daimler Fleetlines joined the AEC Regent III RTs, running alongside them. AEC Routemasters were not introduced to Bromley until 1975, being replaced in 1984 by Leyland Titans. With regards to single-deckers, Bromley first housed RF-class AEC Regal IVs, arriving in 1952, which were gradually replaced by AEC Swifts between 1968 and 1971. FS-class Ford Transit minibuses were introduced in 1972 for local route B1,[4] before these were replaced in 1976 by BS-class Bristol LHSs. These were in turn replaced by longer, BL-class Bristol LHs in 1978. In 1977 Leyland Nationals replaced the last of the SMSs, and ran alongside the BLs until 1985, when Bromley became the domain of Nationals and Titans.

In the early 1990s, the Nationals were replaced by Carlyle-bodied Dennis Darts and MCW/Optare MetroRider midibuses. After the takeover by Stagecoach, some of the Titans were replaced by Volvo Olympians, before the fleet at Bromley began to be standardised on the Dennis Trident 2 and the Dennis Dart SLF. In slightly more recent years, a plot of land on the opposite side of the side road (Lower Gravel Road) was developed into an open yard for storage of the larger number of generally longer, taller, wider vehicles required for today's operations.

On 30 November 2013, Stagecoach London commenced operating route 261. On 7 November 2013, Stagecoach London commenced operating R5, R7 and R10.[5]

Bus types in use[edit]

Catford (TL)[edit]

Catford garage operates London bus routes 47, 54, 75, 124, 136, 178, 199, 208, 273, 354, 356, 380 and P4, school routes 621 and 660, and night routes N47 and N136.

History[edit]

Catford Garage was opened in 1914 by the London General Omnibus Company,[8] but was requisitioned a year later and did not re-open until 1920 when Thomas Tilling's Lewisham operation moved there due to space constraints at his other garage. Originally coded L, for Lewisham, it was changed to TL in 1924 to avoid confusion with Loughton.

Thomas Tilling gained an agreement in 1923 to double the size of Catford and to open a new garage in Bromley to cope with the new housing estates that were springing up around the area. The roof has had to be raised twice, first in 1930 to enable double deck buses to use the garage and again in 1948 to accommodate AEC Regent III RTs.

By 1954 Catford was operating some 194 RTs, the last leaving in 1978. Catford has done considerably better than most garages in numbers over the years, especially since de-regulation, having an allocation of 122 buses in 1994 rising to around 160 in the early 2000s.

On 31 December 2011, routes 624 and 658 passed to London Central.[9][10]

On 21 July 2012, route 122 was temporarily transferred from Plumstead garage.

On 25 August 2012, route 354 was transferred.

On 13 October 2012, Stagecoach London commenced operating route 621.[11]

On 26 April 2014, Stagecoach London commenced operating route 75.[5]

On 3 May 2014, Stagecoach London commenced operating route 54.[5]

Bus types in use[edit]

Plumstead (PD)[edit]

Plumstead garage operates London bus routes 51, 96, 99, 122, 177, 291, 386 and 469, 24-hour routes 53 and 472, and school routes 601, 602 and 672.

History[edit]

Plumstead is well sited to serve the growing Thamesmead area, and was built in 1981 to replace the existing Plumstead and Abbey Wood garages and was intended to be called Thamesmead. Built to hold 185 buses, when opened in 1981 it had an allocation entirely made up of MCW Metropolitans, and by 1983 had changed entirely to Leyland Titans. The garage was home to 35 Mercedes-Benz Citaro articulated buses that worked on route 453 between March 2003 and April 2008.

On 31 December 2011, route 625 passed to London Central.[16]

On 18 August 2012, route 122 was transferred back to after briefly being operated by Catford garage.

Bus types in use[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]