Scania Metropolitan

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Scania / MCW Metropolitan
Leicester City Transport bus 301 (GJF 301N), Showbus 2010 (2).jpg
Manufacturer Scania AB
Body and chassis
Doors 1 or 2 doors
Floor type Step entrance
Engine Scania

The Scania Metropolitan was the first double decker bus model built jointly by MCW and Scania division of Saab-Scania. It was built between 1973 and 1978.

It was also the second bus model jointly built by these two companies. The first model was the Metro-Scania single decker based on the BR110/CR110 chassis, which was first built for the UK market in 1969 and sold in small numbers.


The Metropolitan was basically the double deck version of the Metro-Scania, it was based on Scania BR111DH chassis and the body was constructed by MCW. The distinguishing feature is the asymmetric windscreen being deeper on the nearside to give the driver a good view of the kerb (a similar design being used on the Mk I version of the MCW Metrobus). It was noted for its lively performance from the turbocharged Scania engine when compared to the old-fashioned Gardner and Leyland diesels used in many buses of the time, smooth ride due to air suspension (although the Guy Wulfrunian was the first double decker bus to have this feature) and thirst for fuel consumption. However severe corrosion problems of the body structure led these buses to have a short life in service.


West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive MCW bodied Scania Metropolitan in Bradford, West Yorkshire. in July 1975.

London Transport was once the largest operator of Metropolitans, with 164 being delivered between 1975 and 1977, but all of them were withdrawn by 1983. Some continued in service with other operators for several years. These included Charles Cook of Biggleswade who ran them between 1983 and 1993, Whippet of Fenstanton who even operated an open top example originating from Hull City Transport, Black Prince, Alec Head of Lutton and Camms of Nottingham. MD1 (KJD 201P) appeared in The Human League's music video Life On Your Own in 1984 and is now preserved in a Scania museum in Sweden while MD9 exists on a farm in Potton, Bedfordshire for non-PSV use, it was sold to the owner by Charles Cook. MD60 is currently preserved in the later London Transport livery, having only recently completed restoration.

Tyne and Wear PTE were second largest operator of Metropolitans, building up 150 of them between 1975 to 1977. By the mid-1980s most of the Tyne & Wear Metropolitan's were withdrawn although a handful did pass to the new arms-length private company Busways Travel Services Ltd. brought about by de-regulation of the British bus industry in 1986. 499 (RCU 499S) was the last to be withdrawn in 1989, and the only vehicle to be repainted in the Busways livery. A significant proportion of them were acquired by various operators throughout the UK and some of the Tyne & Wear Metropolitan's have also survived into preservation.

West Yorkshire PTE, more commonly known as MetroBus, purchased 95 Metropolitans between 1975 and 1977. They were all withdrawn by 1985. One example entered preservation, but was eventually scrapped in the early 1990s.

Preserved Leicester City Transport MCW bodied Scania Metropolitan in Duxford in September 2010

Leicester City Transport bought 35 single-deck Metro-Scanias and following their success bought 68 double-deck Metropolitans in several batches between 1974 and 1977 (and a handful of second hand ones for further service and spare parts), both in dual door configuration, and a final batch of 5 with single door in 1977. One dual door 1975 example 301 (GJF 301N) survives in preservation, restored to original LCT cream/maroon livery, and attends regular rallies along with the last surviving Metro-Scania single decker 225 (ARY 225K).

Merseyside Transport was another major customer for the Metropolitan, eventually purchasing 60 in the mid-1970s following on from 20 single-deck-based BR110 Metro-Scanias in 1972/73. Allocated to the Green Lane and Prince Alfred Road depot's in Liverpool they were all withdrawn by the summer of 1986 perhaps hastened by deregulation and the formation of arms-length private company Merseybus which standardised its double deck requirement on the Leyland Atlantean - that Merseyside Transport bought in large quantities. Some of the Merseyside Metropolitans were sold for further service with other operators with Kingston Upon Hull City Transport (KHCT) being a notable example. However the vast majority were scrapped and by the 1990s all of the Merseyside examples were believed to have been scrapped.

  • Greater Glasgow PTE

40 purchased.

Reading Transport MCW bodied Scania Metropolitan at Dover Eastern Docks on a visit to Reading's twin town of Düsseldorf in Germany in April 1978.

Reading Transport took 33 Metropolitans from 1975 to 1978 the last one was withdrawn in 1992.

Hull bought 30 Metropolitans between 1975 and 1978. They survived into deregulation and the formation of Kingston Upon Hull City Transport (KHCT) and were augmented second-hand examples from Merseyside Transport (see above). They were withdrawn by the end of the 1980s and pretty much all have been scrapped, however one notable former Hull example - 436 WKH426S, has been retained as an open-topper by Cambridgeshire operator Whippet Coaches/Go Whippet.

Greater Manchester Transport purchased 10 Metropolitans in 1974 for use on the Trans-Lancs Express service 400 linking Bolton to Stockport via Bury, Rochdale, Oldham and Ashton-under-Lyne. Greater Manchester Transport withdrew them from service in the early 1980s.

Newport Corporation Transport bought 10 Metropolitans in 1975 which were withdrawn from service in 1985.

South Yorkshire Transport purchased 4 Metropolitans in 1975. Again they were withdrawn in the 1980s and are all believed to have be scrapped.

5 purchased in 1975.

This Hong Kong operator purchased two Metropolitans in 1975. They were withdrawn in late 1980s.

WMPTE, despite being a major customer for MCW bodywork on Daimler/Leyland Fleetline and Bristol VR chassis, showed little interest in the Metropolitan and only took one example the former MCW demonstrator 6299 NVP533M which was the very first Metropolitan to be built. WMPTE acquired it in 1977 when it was three years old and sold it to coach operator Trathens in 1983 who used on a London sightseeing contract. However WMPTE - and its deregulated successor West Midlands Travel, did purchase over 1,100 MCW's integral replacement for the Metropolitan - the Metrobus which utilised some Metropolitan technology such as air suspension.

End of production[edit]

The production of Metropolitans was finally terminated in 1978, the last examples going to Reading Transport (with 2 built to dual-purpose specifications with high speed rear axles to operate the express X1 service to London, Aldgate).

In all 662 Metropolitan were built. MCW launched the Metrobus in 1977, and Scania launched the BR112DH chassis in 1980 as the replacement of BR111DH.

See Also[edit]