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Derek Everson
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Details: Looking very smart for an 18-year old van, this Ford Transit Connect is number 9068 in the fleet of Bluestar and based at Eastleigh, where it was photographed on 14th December 2021. Vehicles of this vintage are all but extinct in London, especially following the introduction of restrictions such as the Ultra-Low Emission Zone. Bluestar (note the 'Shining across your city' tagline on the bus alongside) is a company with a complicated history but which is now part of Go South Coast in the Go-Ahead group. Go-Ahead has built up quite an array of operations in the south of England, and runs buses in Brighton, Crawley, Southampton, Salisbury, Poole, Bournemouth, Swindon, Plymouth and on the Isle of Wight. Parked in the background is a Bluestar Iveco Daily dropside truck. Derek has actually sent me 8 different photos of this 2004-vintage vehicle over the past few years and I could have sworn I had already published one of them. It seems I was mistaken, so I will pencil it in for a future batch. The vehicle on the far right is also of interest, although it is not known if it is operated by Go-Ahead. This 71-reg van is an example of the new Maxus Deliver 9 van, a Chinese-built van designed as a successor to the Maxus V80 which (if you have been reading all of today's captions you will know) was derived from the UK-built LDV Maxus. The new model (which looks a lot like the Mk8 Ford Transit) was introduced in 2019 as the Maxus V90, UK exports being badged as Maxus Deliver 9s. Curiously, the model is also sold in Australia, where it is badged as the LDV Deliver 9!

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