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ManufacturerDAF / VDL
Production1991 - 2006
AssemblyEindhoven, Netherlands
Body and chassis
Doors1 or 2
Floor typeStep entrance DE23
Low floor DE02
EngineDAF ATi RS 8.6 litre
DAF Paccar PS 9.2 litre
TransmissionVoith DIWA.3 851.3
Voith DIWA.3 854.3
ZF Ecomat 4HP500
ZF Ecomat 5HP500
SuccessorWright Gemini 2

The VDL DB250 (originally the DAF DB250) is a twin-axle double-decker bus chassis that was manufactured by VDL Bus & Coach.


The DAF DB250 was launched in October 1991 and originally only available with Optare Spectra bodywork with 260 built, mainly for operators in the United Kingdom although 31 were sold to Istanbul, and İzmir, both Turkey.[1][2] It later became available with the Northern Counties Palatine body.


Abus Optare Spectra bodied DB250LF that was the first low floor double-decker bus to enter service in the United Kingdom
Arriva London Wright Pulsar Gemini bodied DB250LF at Trafalgar Square in April 2015

The DB250LF, the low-floor version of the DB250, was the first low-floor double-decker bus chassis available in the United Kingdom. The DB250LF is readily identified by the centrally-exiting exhaust at the rear, which can cause problems with extreme changes of slope. A revised version of DB250LF was launched in 2004 as the DB250+. The design has received a number of modifications, one of which is the use of independent front suspension.

The first DB250LFs received Optare Spectra body, which was sold exclusively on the DB250. The first low-floor variant entered service on 4 February 1998 with Abus of Bristol, narrowly beating a Travel West Midlands DB250LF to operate the first low floor double-decker bus service in the UK.[3]

Later DB250 chassis were fitted with Alexander ALX400, Plaxton President, East Lancs Myllennium Lowlander and Wright Pulsar Gemini bodies. The development of a Wright alternative arose because Arriva wished to buy both the Wright body and DB250 chassis. Unable to do so, it instead purchased over 100 Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TLs. Wright subsequently developed the Pulsar Gemini in 2003 in order to win more orders from Arriva.[4]

Arriva London purchased 632 between 1998 and 2005 with Alexander ALX400 (389), Plaxton President (110) and Wright Pulsar Gemini (133) bodywork.[5] Arriva Midlands and Arriva Yorkshire also purchased examples.

Other sizeable operators were London Central (24), Reading Buses (26), Travel West Midlands (21) and Wilts & Dorset (78).[2]

The DB250LF chassis was also adopted by Wrightbus for the development of its hybrid-powered double-decker bus, the Wright Pulsar Gemini HEV.[6]

Production of the DB250 ended in 2006, although examples continued entering service until 2008. Its successor, the Wright Gemini 2 integral double decker with VDL chassis modules, was launched in November 2008.[7]


Preserved Harris Bus DB250 P337 ROO in September 2018

A number of DB250s have entered preservation at the end of their working lives, including a former Harris Bus and TM Travel example with Northern Counties Palatine 2 bodywork, registration P337 ROO, which is currently part of the preservation collection at the Town & District Transport Trust in Great Harwood, Lancashire. It is currently restored to an operational condition in Harris Bus' Thurrock Link livery as of January 2019.[8] A former M Travel DAF DB250 with Optare Spectra bodywork, registration MUI 4842 (originally L752 JRD, one of only two Spectras built to coach specification for Reading Transport), is currently in preservation at the Keighley Bus Museum. Former Wilts & Dorset DAF/Spectras 3124 and 3127 [L124/7 ELJ] are currently undergoing restoration in Kent and Somerset respectively.

Several DB250LFs have also entered preservation, the first of which was DLA147 [V347 DGT], new to Arriva London in 1999, but resided as a spares vehicle at Arriva Kent & Surrey's Tunbridge Wells garage until preservation in August 2014[9]. Former London North DLA225 [X425 FGP] latterly with Arriva Tunbridge Wells as 6250 was preserved in October 2016[10]. Other DLAs include DLA23 [S223 JUA], DLA210 [W438 WGJ] part of the Bromley Bus Preservation Group and DLA288 [Y488 UGC], later M Travel, which is also currently part of the Town & District Transport Trust preservation collection where it is currently awaiting restoration as of January 2019.[8]

As of 4th January 2020, the very first DAF-bodied ALX400, DLA1 [R101 GNW] entered preservation in Kent.


  1. ^ Putting on a brave face Commercial Motor 24 October 1991
  2. ^ a b Optare Spectra Bus Lists on the Web
  3. ^ The History Abus
  4. ^ Show debut for Pulsar Gemini Wrightbus 29 October 2003
  5. ^ "Inward-facing rear seats go with disappearing DLAs" Buses issue 720 May 2015 page 22
  6. ^ Dubin to get hybrid double-decker Bus & Coach Professional 11 April 2007
  7. ^ New integrated Wrightbus double-deck Bus & Coach Professional 13 December 2007
  8. ^ a b "Town & District Transport Trust — Our Collection". Town & District Transport Trust. Town & District Transport Trust Ltd. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Dla147 Preservation & Appreciation". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2020-01-06.
  10. ^ "6250/DLA225 Preservation". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2020-01-06.

External links[edit]

Media related to DAF DB250 at Wikimedia Commons
Media related to VDL DB250 at Wikimedia Commons