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Transit livery 1974
| The new Cleveland Transit livery, applied from 1974, suited half cab buses well. The ex Stockton Corporation, 1963, Leyland PD2/37’s, known as ‘Horseboxes’ because of their forward entrance and smaller than usual top deck windows, survived until 1980.
They saw use on the 37 services, which runs from Norton to North Ormesby (the traditional ‘main drag’) for much of this time.
4709 UP, Fleet No. 109 with Cleveland Transit, passing along Middlesbrough's Newport Road towards Stockton at thepoint where the new bus station entrance is today
The first new buses for Cleveland Transit
Bedford YRQs for East Cleveland
Among the first purchases that Cleveland Transit made in 1974 and 1975 were some new single deck buses. They were single deck Bedford YRQ models, and were fitted with the then new Duple Dominant B47F body.
These eight vehicles were destined to replace vehicles acquired with the Saltburn Motor Services Fleet and were numbered 357 to 365 in the Transit fleet.
No. 357, 358 were shortened and rebuilt as B35F in 1984, for the Guisborough Town service and 358 as a C36F for the Cleveland Coaches fleet
Some new mini-buses in 1975
A plan was formulated in 1974 to operate mini bus services in order to generate traffic from the new housing developments springing up in Yarm and Guisborough.
Two batches of new vehicles were purchased. the first to be delivered, in April 1975 were 315 and 316 (HPY 317 – HPY 316) They were very unusual vehicles, Leyland 440EA models with dual purpose 21 seat bodies by Asco, relatively unknown builder.
The second pair were Ford A series AO609 models and had 25 seat dual purpose bodies by Northern Counties, the first mini bus structures to be built by this manufacturer since 1939 They were delivered in August 1975 and were numbered 317 and 318 (HPY 317-HPY 318N)
The Yarm services only lasted a few months but those in Guisborough continued till the 1990’s
ex Saltburn Motor Services Vehicles
|The twenty two vehicle Saltburn Motor Services Fleet was acquired by Cleveland Transit on 1st August 1974
The buses and coaches were given fleet numbers 335 to 356 and the solitary double deck vehicle, A.E.C. Regent V DHD183 was allocated the number 100.
Several of the vehicles were disposed of quickly, and some re-placed in 1975 by new buses.
ECW110D, was allocated fleet number 349, it was a Bedford VAM model with Plaxton coach body (C45F).
It had been new to a Lancashire company in 1966 and purchased by S.M.S. in 1969. Its coach seats were replaced by bus seats in 1979 and it became a B43F
Transits revised specification Daimler Fleetlines
|The Bus Grant regulations were relaxed in 1974 and Cleveland Transit decided to abandon the unpopular centre exit feature of its Fleetlines.
A batch LDC67-80P were acquired in 1975 and allocated fleet numbers H67 to H80.
A further batch, LDC81-86P was received in 1976.
These were all Daimler CRL6 model Fleetline with Leyland 680 engines and had Northern Counties H43/31F double deck bodies
LDC83P was one of the 1976 batch and is seen with blinds set for ‘Chilton’, an I.C.I. works special destination
The Bristol VRs
|Following the transfer of Fleetline production from Coventry to Lancashire, there was a shortage of Fleetline models.
Transit was offered a batch of Bristol VR models instead and took a batch of fifteen. They of course, had Northern Counties bodies and were therefore quite an unusual vehicle; only Reading Corporation had similar specification buses.
RDC100R was the first and shows off its square cut lines in this 1978 view
The Leyland Leopards
|The Leyland PSU3 (Leopard) was chosen as the standard single-deck, full size bus.
Most were fitted with Plaxton bodies, either C41F in their coach version of DP41F for the bus version. Some of the bus versions were later fitted with coach seats, the buses being eligible for Bus Grants whereas the coaches were not.
HEF380N (380) was new in May 1975 and was always a bus whereas HEF378 (378) was always a coach.
Leopard service buses
|Four Leopards were supplied with Duple bus bodies in 1975
They were numberedHEF359-363 (359-363) They had Dominant B55F bodies
Compared with the Plaxtons, their bodies were very square cut and the interiors were much more austere. 362 is seen in Middlesbrough yard
Transit try a batch of Dennis Dominators
|Dennis Dominators were tried when the Fleetline production was starting to run down in 1980.
They were quite different mechanically to the Fleetlines and at first proved troublesome until the service department got to grips with them.
The bodies were, however very similar to the VRs. to what had become a Transit standard specification WVN202 suited the livery well
|More Fleetlines were obtained in 1979 and 1980
Two of the batch had high impact-resistance bumpers in an effort to prevent damage in the increasing road traffic of the time.
GAJ 133V was one of the pair and in this Jack Marriott view, is seen posed for the camera in a deserted Yarm High Street
The 82 Fleetlines
Further Daimlers were taken in 1982
VEF133Y was one of the batch; it had now evolved to a four headlight layout on the front panel
New Tiger Coaches
| In the late nineteen eighties, the coaching fleet was still being expanded and tours were undertaken.
Batches of Leyland Tigers were bought new at this time; They had Scarborough built Plaxton bodies
YHN451Y was one of these; it is seen here in its original livery style
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