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Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: Trip Reports

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Potters Bar and Uxbridge - 10th July 2010
Wed 14/07/10, 01:33
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Despite the blistering heat, Ray and I decided to combine a visit to the Potters Bar Garage open day with a hunt for SVs in north and west London. Having met at London Bridge, we took the tube to Moorgate, then a 153 through some of the (suspension bashing) back roads of Islington to Finsbury Park. We suspected that a new Infrastructure van might be here, and we were right. Although it tried to drive off (when it saw us coming?!), we caught it at the traffic lights around the corner. The other side (Wells Terrace) had the normal IRU van. Onwards by tube to Arnos Grove, we didn't bother with the depot as it had been visited recently. We took a 298, unusually a double-decker, for the pleasant ride up to PB.

The third annual open day at Potters Bar was, as usual, a low-key affair. Inside the garage was a line up of 6 or 7 preserved buses (mainly Routemasters), all with sales stands plonked in front of them! There was nothing else on display but interest was provided by a steady stream of 'vintage' buses arriving and departing on running day services. In terms of service vehicles, PB's new Transit Connect was visible in the far corner, presumably having replaced the Mitsubishi pick-up, while two unmarked Zafira crew ferry cars were hiding in the front park. When we arrived there was also a Uno Transit Connect van out front but this left soon afterwards.

We boarded an RF heading for New Barnet, and got off at High Barnet to take the tube down to Finchley Central. Somebody had mentioned an interesting SV seen there recently, and luckily it was still around. 6710V is one of only two Corsas to have featured in the central fleet. I neglected to notice at the time that two of the other SVs present had never been photographed. Ho hum. Onto a 266 bus next for a ride to Cricklewood. At Childs Hill we passed a new VW Crafter van of First London (although not marked as such), while visible in Cricklewood garage were the new Transit Connect and the Ford Escort this was thought to have replaced. Onwards to Willesden Green for the tube to Uxbridge. Various SVs seen at Neasden and Wembley were predictable.

The visit to Uxbridge was to follow up a discovery made by Kim Rennie during the week. He sent a photo of four LBSL Infrastructure vans parked in front of a glass office building, which turned out to be right next to Uxbridge Station but on the south side. We walked up the alley beside the Chimes shopping centre and there they were, including two not yet on the database. The car park had an old LTE sign so has presumably been in use for some time, but the Infrastructure tenure may only date back to the closure of Olympic Way in about 2009. Although some of the vehicles moved to Isleworth it did seem there must be another base, and presumably Uxbridge is it. It is slightly annoying to think of the number of times I have visited the bus station barely 20 yards away and not realised there was more!

First London's local VW Crafter van arrived when we returned to the bus station, and there were also four LBSL IRUs and a Honda Civic. Back on the tube, we stopped at Alperton on the offchance that they had also gained a new VW van. The engineers van was still the Vauxhall Vivaro as it turned out, but we did get a result with a previously unreported Vauxhall Corsa van parked at the back. Back on the tube again, past Ealing Common and Acton (nothing special noted) to West Kensington. We did the usual walk to the Lillie Bridge entrance and ID'd a few SVs, the most interesting being a newish pair of Transits in the West Kensington yard. Then round and over the flyover to ID a few more but nothing special. We ended the day by having a ride on the new E200 buses on the C1 to Victoria.


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