The 500 Group - for Teesside Bus Enthusiasts
Our preserved buses
The years activities 2010 - 2012
Annual Teesside Running Day
500 Group publications
A brief history of Middlesbrough Corporation No.99
The Teesside Fleetlines
Teessides transport history
Local bus news
Bus industry news
Picture Gallery - Introduction
Picture Gallery - Trams
Picture Gallery - T.R.T.B.
Picture Gallery - Middlesbrough
Picture Gallery - Stockton
Picture Gallery - Teesside Municipal Transport
Picture Gallery - Cleveland Transit
Picture Gallery - Cleveland Transit Ltd
Picture Gallery - Stagecoach
Gallery - Independant operators on Teesside
Stagecoach - North East, Fleet Lists
Archived pages - The years activities - 2002 2005
Archived pages - Local news
What's coming up soon
Our News Letter
Join our Group
Links for The 500 Group
Are you interested in buses
A new beginning
Cleveland Transit Ltd was formed from the municipally owned Cleveland Transit in the late 1980s and was fully privatised with a management/employee buy out in 1991
The colour scheme, which had been changed with the original “privatisation”, was for double-deck buses, green with white window surrounds and roof and a yellow band, above the windows at mid-height. Single deck buses were had green lower panels and a white roof, with a broader yellow panel between the green and the red, below window height. The logo read “TRANSIT” and had a bye line “employee owned”
Dennis Dominator A207EHN shows off its new livery at Middlesbrough bus station
Single deck livery
|Single deck buses had similar treatment.
BPT401T, a Duple bodied Leopard, sporting the new livery
|The coach fleet was re-branded Cleveland Coaches and had a similar livery to the buses with the substitution of orange for the green lower panels
. The coach fleet was re-numbered in the 900 series with the 1991 changes
BAJ 998T, a Leopard/ Plaxton was re-numbered 998 and was used for private hire. It is pictured at Lightwater Valley in 1993
Fleetlines and Dominators continued to make up the bulk of the double deck fleet
YVN524T (Fleet No. 124) is seen working a service 82 in Thornaby New Town Centre in 1994
A very special coach
|Cleveland Transit had bought an unusual coach in 1979, it was CVN400T.
It was originally numbered 400 in the Cleveland Transit Fleet but with the privatization and the re-branding of the coach division a Cleveland Coaches, it was transferred to the new fleet and re-numbered 900. It was a Bedford YLQ/S model, built to a short version and was fitted with a Duple body. Unusually, it had an Allison automatic gearbox and was a complete one-off vehicle. Originally it had been used for transporting the Transport Committee but now it went into general coaching work, being a 35 seater.
CVN400T, by now re-numbered 900 is seen in Cleveland Coaches livery in Stockton Compound. It was eventually transferred to Delta Coaches in the coaching sell off.
A Leyland Tiger Coach
| The coaching side of the business was developed in the early 199s
Several experimental "stripey" variations were tried with the livery but the original was the best.
YHN451Y, was given given a "dateless" Reg.No. OIB3516 and numbered 951
An extremely rare coach
|Leyland Motors were loosing market share to Volvo in the mid nineteen eighties and developed a new integral coach, the Royal Tiger-Doyen
It was a heavyweight vehicle with bodywork finished and trimmed by Chas Roe at Leeds. Cleveland Transit added one to their stock in 1986 and it was used on the prime jobs in the Cleveland Coaches fleet until the fleet was sold in 1997 to Delta Coaches.
D455GHN had been re-registered OIB 3612 to hide its age when photographed in 1995. It carried Fleet No. 955 in the Cleveland Coaches re-numbering scheme
The first new buses for Cleveland Transit Ltd.
|The newly privatized Cleveland Transit Ltd lost no time in developing services. It was decided to expand the mini bus fleet in order to meet the likely competition with de-regulation and the ever-increasing cost of operation
After several new mini-buses were demonstrated to the directors, a decision was made to standardize on the Renault/Dodge S56 model and several of these were ordered. They were twenty seaters, built on a semi-forward control chassis and were relatively light. Northern Counties manufactured the bodies.
E332LHN is seen laying over in Guisborough after working a local service in 1989 (photo Ian Wilson)
The Leyland Lynx Mk I
|Among the last Leyland’s that were produced were the Workington built Lynx.
Cleveland Transit Ltd bought twenty of these machines. They were of integral construction, jig built with all the running units mounted on sub frames front and rear.
F610UVN was one of these. It is pictured in Redcar High Street on a service 274, which Cleveland Transit Ltd. set up to compete with United in de-regulation days. It was fleet No. 10
The last Leylands
|Cleveland Transit Ltd bought a second batch of the integral Leyland Lynx in 1991
The second batch were among the last built at Leylands "Workington" plant. The various Corporation Transport departments had all had a lot of Leylands over the earlier years but these were to be the last.
K629 YVN shows off its colours in this 1993 photograph. It is at Middlesbrough's central bus station
Some new Volvo B6 buses
|In 1994, they bought two batches of Volvo B6’s with Plaxton bodies
They were a fairly successful midi bus with a Plaxton B41F body and operated on a lot of the lightly trafficked routes.
L103GHN (No. 103) lays over in Middlesbrough bus station waiting for its duty to Riverside Park and the Transporter, (A route since abandoned)
New Volvo B10Bs
|The Volvo B10B was the preferred chassis for new buses in 1993.
With the demise of the Lynx, Volvo pushed the B10L chassis, but transit preferred its mid-engined brother, although this led to a higher floor height. The chassis was similar to that of the Leyland Leopard in many ways and suited both the operating and maintenance departments of the Company. They have been proved to be excellent vehicles, extremely reliable and with a sparking performance
Plaxton Verde bodies Volvo B10B, L31HHN, (fleet No. 31)was one of the batch
An express coach
|Cleveland Transit bought a Leyland Olympian coach for the “100” service to Newcastle’s Metro Centre
This was PJI 4983, given Fleet No.986. It was a 1985 vehicle with Eastern Coachworks CH43/31 body. It had originally been used for London bound commuter traffic from the Thames valley but more luxury and capacity was needed for the “100” service to the Metro Centre and Newcastle.
There was an operational problem with it however, luggage capacity was short and so a rear pen was built in the lower deck, but then the vehicle fell foul of the loading limits of a two-axle coach.
It passed into Stagecoach in 1995 but was immediately transferred away to Scotland
It was an extremely eye catching coach and suited the bold livery well; compared with the equipment which was being used on the rival “X10” service, at the time, it was sheer luxury.
An open top bus
|Cleveland Transit Ltd owned an open topped bus, it was a Leyland PD2 with Northern Counties body that was new to Southdown Motor Services in 1964.
The vehicle was bought in 1989 for promotional work. After withdrawal by Southdown, it had worked on services in the Lake District and with United at Scarborough on the sea-front service. When it arrived on Teesside, it was complete with a removable roof and was soon painted in the new fleet colours, primarily in Yellow with a green skirt and side bands. It was given the fleet No. 500 initially, but renumbered 189 in the Stagecoach-Transit re-numbering in 1996
It wasn’t used often, but in the heady competitive days of de-regulation it was used on Transit service 58 to the Hardwick estate, to combat the competition from Robson Town Service and Delta Coaches.
When a group of local bus enthusiast got together in 1989, they used to hire No. 500 for their trips to Rallies, hence the birth of “The 500 Group”
Seen in Hardwick, running on service 58, PRX189B (No. 500) carries an eager load of passengers towards Stockton, probably in 1990
The last Cleveland Transit double deck buses
|The last new double deck buses bought by Cleveland Transit were the M Reg series of Volvo built Olympians.
They had a deeper white band at the front than the original livery and looked very attractive
M221SVN passes into Stockton High Street from the North
The last buses in Transit green
|The 1995 batch of Volvo B10M buses were to be the last delivered in Transit green
They had Plaxton Paladin forty-eight seat bodies with a standing capacity of twenty-two. They had “lantern” windows to enable the driver to have a better view of the road at the front corners of the bus
M549SPT was one of the last batch. It is seen here loading in Stockton High Street in 1998
Combating de-regulation competition
|De-regulation brought a lot of problems for Cleveland Transit Ltd and measures had to be taken to combat it and preserve the revenue.
One such move was the formation of separate operating brands “Tees Valley” and “ctl”. Tees Valley had an extremely attractive livery with maroon being substituted for Green in the colour scheme. The buses were used on routes to the East, particularly the 456 to Eston from Middlesbrough
YVN520T, (920) travels along Corporation Road on a 456 service (Photo Mark Wilson)
|Several single deck buses were transferred into the Cleveland Coaches fleet and branded Tees Valley
HPY 423V was one of them; it was re-numbered 923
HPY423V (923) loads in Middlesbroughs Corporation Road (Mark Wilson)
To combat the competition from Delta on the 58 service in Stockton a new branding was “ctl”
Only one bus was painted in this short-lived livery, Leopard CPY704T. The experiment was soon abandoned
CPY704T (Fleet No.404) sporting its “ctl” livery