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Last update
2nd December 2023


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LATEST NEWS

November 2023
Arriva
 
 

Green Line 724 will have a new timetable from 7th January 2024. The evening and night time service is expanded so that there is an hourly service at all times except for 2 x 2-hour gaps (ex Harlow at apx. midnight and 2am being the missing ones).


Central Connect
 
A new entrant into service is former Red Rose Enviro200MMC GW16BUS. Presently it retains base silver with couple of random red panels at the front.

It seems the new owners have big plans. The following has appeared on their website:

"We are investing in the Central Connect fleet and replacing older buses with newer ones, including ten buses due for delivery in late 2023, which have now started to enter the fleet, and a further 15 brand new buses due for delivery in mid 2024."

There is also a hint at what may be the new branding, as the illustration shows.

Route 410 (Harlow to Brookfield Centre) is to be unnecessarily renumbered 25 and 25B from 2nd January 2024. 

As of this month, based on what operates from where, a number of Spinters and a couple of E200MMCs are now considered part of this fleet rather than the former (pre Galleon purchase) Vectare fleet. 

Vectare
 
 Vectare RX23TVF
Vectare continue to grow their fleet of Sprinters. Fleet number 222 (RX23TVF) is a recent arrival.
Other news
Stephensons YX17NYW
NIBS /YX10FEV
A recent arrival in the Stephensons fleet, in all white, appeared on local service on 11th November. YX17NYW carries fleet number 428. It was once in the Claribels West Midlands fleet, where it also operated in the same colour. Sister YX17NYZ (429) has also joined. 

The regular 2 NIBS vehicles which support the local Stephensons operation continues. Fleet numbers 438 and 439 have been the principal representatives, however, 439 has recently suffered accident damage. Since then 444 (YX10FEV) has taken its place.   


October 2023
Arriva
 
 

The sale of Arriva from Deutsche Bahn AG to I Squared Capital has been widely reported. It does seem that the main characteristic of Arriva's operations in recent times has been one of managed decline and little new initiative or drive to grow the business. Harlow is a shining example of the worst of that. Change could be good news, but then again, the viability of such a small number of vehicles from a large and doubtless costly facility might equally be questioned. Time will tell.


Central Connect
 
Vectare YX22OJJ
Central Connect routes from Stansted are now seeing relatively frequent visits from Vectare vehicles. The sighting in the September report is one such example, noted on 4th October on the 305 (previously Village Link 5). A first was the appearance of essentilly new Enviro200MMC YX22OJJ on the 420/A on 12th followed by continued regular appearances. It's in Vectare colours but is logo-less at this stage. A sign of things to come? In any event, for now at least, this can be considered a Central Connect bus. Some Sprinters may well now be in the same camp.

Oxford Bus Co
Oxford Bus Co BV19YGK The normally quite stable route 737 fleet was joined by number 39 (BV19YGK) on 31st October in this striking all-over advertising livery. Like number 40, the other non-standard liveried bus which sees occasional use covering, it's also a Mercedes-Benz Tourismo. The Volvo/Caetano fleet generally used on the route is all in standard National Express livery of course.
Vectare
 
 Vectare RX23TFK
Vectare continue with the expansion of their Mercedes Benz Sprinter/EVM Cityline fleet. Not brand new but only recently seen operating in the county is 207 (RX72TWP). Its another in white with Vectare logos. Sisiter vehicle 208 is shown here in weather of the season!
Other news
images/2-OJD88R BL88 It's taken a while, but recalling the running day held in May 2023, some pictures from Richard Hudson can be found here.

My own personal favorite is BL88, even though none of the class ever reached Harlow.
 



September 2023
Arriva
 
 

Arriva introduced a round of timetable changes effective 3rd September to routes 1, 8, 10, 59, 308/9, 311 and 508/9/10. Nothing especially dramatic although route 8 has ben diverted away from Minchin Road to run via Howard Way due to parked cars (note that ECC sponsored evening journeys still run via not only Minchin Road but also still serve Maddox Road). As a reminder and round-up of the level of service offered.

1 - Sumners/Katherines
Main service every 20 mins, evenings hourly, Sundays 2-hourly.
 
8 - Old Harlow/Harlowbury via Mark Hall South
Main service hourly incl. evenings, Sundays 2-hourly.

10 - Church Langley
Main service every 20 mins, evenings every 30 to 60 mins, Sundays 2-hourly.

59 - Harlow to Chelmsford (Anglia Ruskin University)
Main service hourly, no late evening service. Sundays every 2 hours

308/9 - Standted Airport to Thorley Park
Main service every 40 mins plus some very early and late journeys. Sundays every 70-80 mins.

311 - Bishops Stortford to Stortford Fields
Main service every 30 minutes, Monday to Saturday until early evenings only.

508/509/510 - Harlow to Stansted Airport
Main service every 10 minutes, slightly wider in peaks, evenings every 30 minutes, all night hourly service. Saturday daytimes every 15 minutes, Sundays every 30 minutes.     


Central Connect
 
It didn't take too long before a Central Connect service was run using a Vectare vehicle. Sprinter 215 (RX23TFJ) was used on rural service duties including the 323 to Great Dunmow on 12th and 13th September.

Vectare
 
 Vectare RX23TKV
Vectare RX23TVE
Further local sightings of brand new Mercedes Benz Sprinter/EVM Citylines include 208 (RX23TFK) 214 (RX23TKV) and 215 (RX23TFJ) each with a vinyl logo on a white base colour so far, plus 221 (RX23TVE) in full livery. We believe that repaints from white will follow.

Enviro200MMC 320 (SN16OVP) that was involved in an RTA in May is now fully repaired and back in service.
Other news
Stephensons YY15NJO The pool of vehicles being used by Stephensons continues to widen. Further information and pictures of local sightings are now on the fleet page on this site. NIBS regular contribution is 2 vehicles, often fleet numbers 438 (YY15FZC) and 439 (YY15FZD).   


August 2023
Arriva
 
 

No Arriva news this month.


Central Connect
 
MAJOR NEWS. It was announced on 24th August that Galleon, being the formal operator and company name for Central Connect, has been purchased by Vectare. As far as Essex independent operations are concerned, this is certainly David taking over Goliath. It is stated that the operation and brand will remain separate so we will continue to report it that way. It is also said that  that in the fullness of time the existing local Vectare operations will move to one of the Central Connect locations so it may be that name returns to the 505 and makes a first appearance on the 31.   

Vectare
 
 
Vectare put fleet number 311 (YX22OGW), being  a Chelmsford Park and Ride route 702 branded E200MMC out on the 505 on the 9th.
Other news
Stevensons SK07HLV
Stevensons YY67USC
NIBS YY15FZC
NIBS YX16OBP
NIBS PO54ACY
Stevensons operations duly started on 31 July with the first 2 vehicles in service being Enviro 200's 414 (SK07HLV) and 435 (YY67USC). The rest of the firs week continued with similar types of vehicles in service in Harlow although Solos and even a Scania double deck could be seen on ferry duties.

The services are operationally interworked with one another and also with routes 7 and 7A at Bishops Stortford. Initilly the whole cycle required 4 vehicles, 2 of which could be seen in Harlow and 3 in Bishops Stortford. It has since changed with 3 now able to be seen in Harlow each day.

Week 2 added unexpected variety but spoilt the presentation of a consistent new image with the appearance of vehicles in NIBS colours in service. There was also a Galloway liveried vehicle on ferry duties. 



July 2023
Arriva
 Arriva GN14DXW
 
Arriva YK07BEO


An unexpeted entrant to local service and representing a class of 1 in the local fleet was Wrightbus Streetlite DF 2310 (GN14DXW). First reported as seeing service on 3rd July, it has since left.

A more familar, regular and less-travelled visitor on 27th and 28th July was Solo 2484 (YK07BEO) from Ware, now known to have been exchanged with slimline 2482 (YJ07VRF).




Central Connect
 
Central Connect will be losing a small part of their presence in town when, from 31st July, Stevensons will take over the 5 (Bus station to Sumners Farm) and 14 (Bus Station and Pinnacles) services along with Bishops Stortford/Stansted area services 7/7A and 306.

Back on usual operations, Scania 2004 (YP59OES) has risen again, so the operational fleet strength of the class is back up to 5.  

Vectare
 
 
Vectare RX23TUW
Vectare have announced some minor enhancements to their services effective 24th July. Routes involved include the local 20 in Harlow and the 13/14/18/22 groups on the Waltham Cross, Waltham Abbey, Upshire, Epping, North Weald, Ongar corridor. Details can be found at here. There is a noteworthy criticism of ECC, who fund the 418, under the 18/418 heading! On route 505 the single Monday to Friday journey deviation via Sumners is withdrawn.

On the vehicle front, new entrants noted in service are Mercedes Benz Sprinter/EVM Citylines 217 (RX23TUV) and 218 (RX23TUW). Both are in a white based livery with the former noted without logos or fleet numbers.  218 is pictured here. 
Other news
  As reported above, a new operator in town will start in the form of Stevensons of Essex. I believe this is the first time they have reached Harlow. Their website at https://stephensonsofessex.com/ includes an enthusiasts page with a full fleet list. It will be possible to see 2 vehicles per day in Harlow (see August for first operational details).

Essex County Council have started a consultation on supported services. Whilst most won't change, a number are shown as "at risk" unless usage picks up after 2 more years, including the 14, Saturday 505, evening/Sunday 418/418B. The evening service on route 6 is flagged for withdrawal. Full details here

   
 


June 2023
Arriva
Arriva FL63DXC 
 
Arriva BF67WGJ


Arriva have now re-liveried a fourth VDL/Pulsar, this time fleet number 3772, FL63DXC (strictly speaking it returned to service on 30th May). This leaves only 1 of the fleet (3756) in inter-urban livery, although 4 are still in light blue. It is seen here on the 1 service.

Further to last month's report, Mercedes Sprinter 1012 (BF67WGJ) has made some more unexpected appearances in service during the month, including the 1 on 14th (as seen here) and the 2 and 6/8 on 15th.


Central Connect
 
Central Connect news will appear here.

Vectare
 
 
Vectare have added another Mercedes/EVM Citiline to the fleet. RX23TKV is fleet number 214.
Other news
  Other news will appear here.  



May 2023
Arriva
 
 

And then there were 3. VDL SB200/Wrightbus Pulsar 2 3797 (FL63DXF) has appeared in the new Green Line 724 the livery.

A couple of vehicles seemingly removed from service since the recent reductions:

1459 (KE54OSU) Optare Solo   
3752 (YJ08DZB) VDL SB200/Wrightbus Pulsar 

Mercedes Sprinter 1012 (BF67WGJ) has been noted back at Harlow (it's recently been Ware-based) mainly on crew shuttles but also as a late night/early morning substitute on the 724, no less.

Central Connect
 
Reports of the demise of the Optare Solo here seem to have proved premature. SGZ2221 (previously WX05RUC) and still in a very tired version of First Barbie livery, is back in operation.  

Vectare
 
 
A serious RTC involved Enviro200MMC 320 (SN16OVP) which colided with a van whilst in service on route 505. Ten passengers had to be treated. A local news report gives a litttle more information here.
Other news
The Harlow running day took place on 21st May, celebrating 60 years of operations from Harlow Garage, as planned. A lot of nice bright sunny pictures can be found from a few local Flickr contributors here.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/keith-v/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/33955525@N05
https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanstedtransportphotos

Our own photographer, Richard Hudson, caputured these.





  
 


April 2023
Arriva
  Arriva's parent company, Deutsche Bahn in Germany, have made in known that UK bus operations are up for sale. This is not for the first time, but I'm sure that pre and immediately post pandemic, the prospect of buying a bus operation would hardly be an attractive one. This time might be different. It would take some dramatic change of style for any new owner to be able to change the culture of managed decline that has now set in.


Central Connect
 
Central Connect PO56JFE
Central Connect news is that the last remaining Solo, SGZ2221 (see January news below) is now dumped out of service. This means that the baton for most senior vehicle in operational service is handed to 16-year old Dart/East Lancs (remember them!) PO56JFE that was new to Metrobus.

Vectare
 
 Vectare SN16OVR
Vectare duly started thier operation of the 505 on 17th April. 321 is at Harlow Town Station on the first day the route has served that location under the new arrangements. Note that destination displays for Waltham Cross have not yet been programmed. Vectare are also yet to post the updated timetable on their website (as of 23th April).
Other news
  Respected blogger and industry figure Roger French posted about the recent Arriva service reductions. Click here for details.  



March 2023
Arriva
 
 Arriva FL63DXG

It's back! 3771, in its new Green Line livery, seen operating on local services (route 10) on 4th March. Not only that, but itís also been joined by 3798 (FL63DXG). It looks like the repaint programme is back on and that a brand for Green Line is being developed again, even if it doesn't have too much green and there is no line!

The once mighty Volvo/Wright fleet is now down to 4 operational examples, 3873 (KE57EPA) and 3883 (KX11PVE) having been dumped out of use at the back of the garage.

Arriva have announced some reductions to services from 17th April:

2 and 3 - Saturdays reduced to every 30 mins.
6 - reduced to hourly.
8 - reduced to hourly.
9 - withdrawn (last day of operation 15th April)
86 - withdrawn (last day of operation 14th April - see Vectare below)
59 - to omit Old Harlow on outbound journeys.
508/9/10 - reduced frequency on Saturdays.


Central Connect
 
No news this month.

Vectare
 
 
Vectare have been awarded a contract to replace the Monday to Friday 86. It will be numbered 505, but otherwise operate to the same route (Harlow to Waltham Cross) and timetable as today's 86. The existing Saturday service is unchanged so still operates only Harlow to Waltham Abbey.
Other news
  Harlow Running Day is coming on 21 May. Full details are not yet relased but a teaser is here.  


February 2023
Arriva
 
 Arriva YJ08DZB

Arriva arrival this month, from Hemel Hempstead is VDL SB200/Wright Pulsar 3752 (YJ08DZB). First noted in service on 9th on Stansted routes, it is in the increasingly rare Arriva Max livery. 

3771, and with it the new Green Line livery, seem to have been banished from operational existance.
Central Connect
 Central Connect  - Riverway
Central Connect are opening a depot in Riverway, a location previously used by Buzz, Olympian, Trustybus, Centrebus and Associated Coachways previously (not the exact one but the same road). The first vehicle to be noted there was Scania YP59OEW on Sunday 5th. A week later, as shown, it was a little busier. 

Vectare
 
 
Vectare news is that we are now up to four examples of former CT Plus short Enviro200MMCs. SN16OVR is now fleet number 321.   
Other news
  Plans have been released to regenerate the bus station. Full details at  https://www.harlow.gov.uk/news/plans-approved-redevelopment-bus-station


January 2023
Arriva
 
 

Really not much to report. Perhaps noteworthy is that, following the repaint of 3771 into a new Green Line livery last month, not only have no more appeared, appearances by 3771 in service have been very rare indeed. 
Central Connect
 
Central Connect SGZ2221
The Optare Solo is in it's dying days at Central Connect. By the end of 2022 they had all ceased to operate. Then late in January an old stalwart resurfaced. Because it was never painted into company colours, I never expected it to stay, but WX05RUC, re-registered to SGZ221, now enters its third year of operation.   

Vectare
 
 Vectare SN16OVP
A third example of former CT Plus short Enviro200MMCs has been noted in service. SN16OVP is now fleet number 320 and is seen in service on the 31 on 21 January 2023.    
Other news
   



December 2022
Arriva
 Arriva FL63DXB
 

Green Line livery rides again! When an influx of Enviro200MMCs replaced the Mercedes Citaros in February 2021, the last branding for the 724 went with it. In fact full Green Line livery on those same vehicles disappeared in 2016. Imagine the surprise then when VDL SB200/Wrightbus Pulsar 2 3771 (FL63DXB) appeared in a brand new version of the livery. Whether or not the lime green/white/purple coloirs really are a suitable livery is probably a matter of opinion. The fact that it seemed to start by working on the 510 group is just operational poor practice.

VDL/Wright Pulsar 3759 (YJ08DZK) has been removed from the local fleet list due to a lack of any sightings or tracking reports during December 2022 (see October 2022 report). Similarly, Optare Solo 1454 (YJ06FXT) is also removed.  
Central Connect
 
One of the 2 former Tower Transit Wright Streetlites, CC11BUS (originally SN64CVF) has been out of service for many months. This has now returned to work, still carrying dedicated Route 386 livery.  

Vectare
 
 Vectare SN16OVO
Further to the report below (November 2022) of the 2 former CT Plus Enviro200MMCs, SN16OVO carries fleet number 319.    
Other news
   


November 2022
Arriva
 
 Arriva KE57EPA2
Arriva  YJ08DZF
Small poppy logos have appeared on some vehicles. A nice small touch given all the challenges bus operators are facing. Volvo/Wright 3873 is an example with the small logo on the front near the fleet number.

Noted operating on 10th November, another VDL SB200 / Wright Pulsar from Southend, this time 3756 (YJ08DZF). It is pictured with a poppy display whilst on the 10. This bus previously operated in Harlow for a few months in 2015.  
Central Connect
 
Central Connect PO56JFE
Since the influx of E200s over the last few month, most of the varied Solos have been stood down. No less than 8 have been removed from our fleet list, being SGZ2218/21/23, RGZ7806/7, KX57KGF, MV07DWM, and YG02FWL. Pictures of them operating with Central Connect can now be found on our flickr page.

Dennis Dart SLF/East Lancs Esteem PO56JFE, which has been absent on the road for a while, has resurfaced in a base grey livery. It previously had the orange stripes of the HereEast colours.

Vectare
Vectare YX16OBO
Vectare YX69NWB
Vectare SN16OVM
The other of the former Abellio pair of E200MMCs, 316 (YX16OBO), has now been repainted from red to fleet livery. It is seen at the picturesque Blackmore terminus of the 61.

Saturday route 505 was taken over on 26 November, following on from the take over of route 418 (North Weald or Epping to Loughton) on 21st November. To fill in time between 505  journeys, route 20, otherwise a single positioning service to/from route 31 on Mondays to Fridays, gained 6 daytime return journeys. Fleet no. 305 (YX69NWB) performed the honours on the first day.

Joining the fleet to support the expanded network, 2 more Alexander-Dennis Enviro200MMCs, this time former CT Plus SN16OVM and SM16OVO. The former carries fleet number 321, which is different to what is shown on bustimes.org   
Other news
   


October 2022
Arriva
Arriva YJ08DZK
Arriva YJ58CCF
Arriva GN04UDE
In the fleet of VDL SB200/Wright Pulsar 2's, odd elderly 3776 (KX09KDK) would seem to have ended its days. Replacement, also odd amongst the rest of the '63 registered buses is another aged bus, this time 3759 (YJ08DZK).

First of a kind, or at least a kind of a type, noted in service on the very last day of October is Optare Solo SR 1519 (YJ58CCF).

Regular vehicle loans from Ware continue. Many are quite familiar to Harlow, either from past service or as regular loans, such as Mini Pointer Dart 1612 (GN04UDE) which was on the 2/3 on 10th.
Central Connect
Central Connect YX72ONF
Central Connect YX10AYF
Central Connect CT21GAL
Five brand new Alexander-Dennis Enviro200MMC buses in service, of the shorter variety this time. YX72ONA/B/C/D/F have all seen service and are numbered 1610-1614. This brings the fleet size to 14, all less than 2 years old.

Far more unusual is ex CT Plus/HCT Volkswagen Transporter with Mellor Tucana bodywork. It carries registration No. YX10AYF and is believed to be fleet No. 1102. It has been seen on Loughton/Debden locals 542/542A.

Finally, the Optare Metrodecker was out on the 420 on 14th October. Operation of this vehicle on regular bus services is a very rare happening.
Vectare
When most of the ECC tenders for this year were awarded to take effect from August, Vectare were offered the 418 (Epping - Loughton) and Saturday 505. They did not take them up at the time but will now commence their operation from 21st and 26th November respectively.
Other news
   




September 2022

Arriva YX17NYS Central Connect L8XEL  
Central Connect MX12DZE


As the new network settles at Central Connect, a couple of additional Alexander-Dennis Enviro200s noted are L8XEL (actually on 31/8/22) and L9XEL, they are formerly CN11FBC and FBD. Both are in white livery and like the other recent arrivals, have a colour LED front display. Meanwhile, it has been reported that one of those recent arrivals, LK08DWA (fleet no. 1411) was involved in an accident is withdrawn. Perhaps a direct replacement is MX12DZE, noted operating in the white-based variant of CT Plus livery.

At Arriva, Alexander-Dennis E200MMC 4101 (YX17NYS) has received a light blue front. This was (and still partly is) the Saffire liveried vehicle. It also now carries 508/9/10 branding. Vehicle reliability may be continuing to be problematic at times if loans are anything to go by. They do come and go, examples this month including Optare Versas 2401 (YJ57EKF), 2403 (YJ58PFU) on route 2 on 6th and SoloSR 1520 (KX13 DHO) on route 9 also on 6th. Unusual on 9 was singleton standard (non MMC) Enviro200 4008 (YX61FZN) on 13th.

An unusual operation was of E200MMC 4081 on the 59 on 29th September. The 59 is normally the preserve of Versas with the odd Solo for cover.



Vectare's former London red E200MMC 317 (YX16OBS) is now in fleet livery. 

August 2022

Central Connect LK08DWA Central Connect YX12DHM
Central Connect YX12DHO Central Connect YX60DXY
Central Connect ML62OGY Vectare YX22OGR

1st August was a big day at Central Connect with the new contracted services amongst those running from the new depot at Stansted. With the recent second hand E200 purchases all in livery, along with the new MMCs, there has been something of a red bus take-over in Bishops Stortford. Full branding, fleet numbers and garage code STN are also evident. A very much smartened up image is evident overall. Some of the Scania double decks that had been gradually dying have reappeared on the 420/A, meaning that the hotchpotch of variously coloured Solos may now at last be on their way out.

Further to the report on those latest second-hand E200s, of the eight, three different configurations are featured:

YX60DXY, YX12FPY, ML62OGY and KX08HMF are 8.8m and B29F.
LK08DWA and LK08DWE are 10.7m and B37F.
YX12DHM and YX12DHO are 10.8m and B39F.

The newly won tenders are as follows:
9 - Braintree (Great Notley) to Great Bardfield. Mon-Sat, hourly, PVR = 2. This took over an ECC contract from Stevensons.
301 - Bishops Stortford to Saffron Walden via Quendon, Newport and Audley End. Mon-Sat, hourly, PVR = 2.
305 - Bishops Stortford to Stansted Airport via Hatfield Heath and Hallingbury. Mon-Sat, hourly, PVR equivalent = 2 (but interworked in practice). This mainly replaced the previous village link 5 service.
315 - Bishops Stortford to Great Halligbury. Mon-Sat, 7 return journeys.
325 - Bishops Stortford to Little Hallingbury. Mon-Sat, 7 return journeys.
316 - Stansted Airport to Saffron Walden via Broxted, Thaxted and Debden Green. Mon-Sat, hourly, PVR equivalent = 2. Two schoolday journeys operate as 318 via Saffon Walden High School. This mainly replaces the previous village link 6 service. 
319/320/321 - Newport/Audley End to Haverhill via Saffron Walden. Mon-Sat, 12-13 return journeys combines. PVR equivalent = 2.
322 - Bishops Stortford to Lindsell via Takeley and Great Dunmow. Tuesdays. 2 return journeys furing off-peaks.
323 - Bishops Stortford to Great Dunmow via Takeley. Mon-Sat, every 2 hours with additional 2-hourly journeys within Great Dunmow (not evenly spaced for a combined hourly service). PVR = 1
418 - Epping (St Margaret's Hospital) to Loughton. Mon-Sat, every 2 hours. This replaces the previous Stevensons tendered service.

Note that 418 and existing 505 are short-term. In fact they were awarded to Vectare, who didn't take them up. The consequence of this plus the recent rail strikes is that the 420 and 420A are running a non-schoolday timetable until September. Essentially the Monday to Friday service is x25 mins in peaks and x30 off peaks .


Over at Vectare, another smart newcomer to report is Alexander-Dennis E20D/Enviro200MMC YX22OGR (fleet No.306). It is in the full latest Vectare livery.

Finally, it's reported that Arriva drivers in Essex belonging to Unite are being ballotted on strike action. If this were to happen and not to be resolved quickly, it isn't hard to imaging some parts of the network being abandoned by the company.     


July 2022

Vectare YX22OHB Vectare YX22OGS

Quickly following on from the June intake below, 4 more VDL SB200/Wright Pulsar 2s in action from 4th July on the Arriva Green Line 724 service:


FL63DXE (3774), FL63DXB (3771), FL63DXD (3773) and FL63DXF (3797).

That now makes a total of 8 transferred in from Leicester, to cover an allocation of 7 for the route, not that they are sticking to the route at the moment.

The additional 4 departing E200MMCs are 4077 (YX17NGN), 4097 (YX17NYM), 4098 (YX17NYN) and 4099 (YX17NYO).

At Vectare, another new Alexander-Dennis Enviro200MMC, following on from last month's arrival, is  YX22OHB carrying number 315. This also carried the new livery, but 314 has since been seen repainted black!

Route branding has been applied to all of the P&R MMCs, which now number 8. The full list is as follows:

With blue stripe above windows for Sandon route 701 - YX22OGS (307), YX22OGT (308), YX22OGU (309) & YX22OGV (310).

With green stripe above windows for Chelmer Valley route 702 - YX22OGW (311), YX22OGY (312), YX22OGZ (313) & YX22OHA (314).



June 2022

Arriva FL63DXH Central Connect YX22OKD

A few quite major events to report in local fleets.

The trials that took place on the Arriva Green Line 724 have concluded in a swap. Incoming are VDL SB200/Wrightbus Pulsar 2s 3770/2 and 3798/9 (FL63DXA/C/G/H). Going the other way are E200MMCs 4079 (YX17NGU), 4080 (YX17NGV) , 4082 (YX17NGZ) and 4093 (YX17NYG). Of these, the first 3 are, perhaps surprisingly, from the 508/9/10 batch.

At Central Connect a step-change in the already quite fluid vehicle fleet. A batch of brand new Alexander-Dennis Enviro200MMCs, seemingly for the 410 and 420. Registration numbers noted are:

YX22OKA/B/C/D/E

It remains to be seen whether this will see off the last 4 regularly operating Scania double decks.

Presumably for contracted services, Ensign report the sale to CC of no less than 8 Alexander-Dennis ordinary (non MMC) Enviro200s. Vehicles involved are:

YX60DXY / YX12FPY / ML62OGY / YX12DHM / YX12DHO / KX08HMF / LK08DWA / LK08DWE. 

Finally, at Vectare, also adding to their fleet of Enviro200MMCs, YX22OHA has joined as fleet number 314. This is in the latest "reverse Arriva Max" livery.

Finally, a very rare thing, a route development. Route 86 (Waltham Cross to Harlow) is to be extended from the bus station to Templefields from 25th July. Once a busy destination because of the retail and business premises along Edinburgh Way, it is many years since services went into terminal decline.


May 2022


Arriva  YR58SRY Vectare YX22OGU
Central Connect YG02FWL Vectare YX69NWB
Vectare YN04LWK Arriva YJ59BVK

A completely unexpected arrival at Arriva was of 13-year old Scania Omnicity N230UB 3556 (YR58SRY). The vehicle is part of the Arriva Derby fleet and was used seen on Stansted routes. It was first noted on 4th May and received in exchange for Enviro200MMC 4086 (YX17NHD), which went to Derby. Both had swapped back by 15th May, but then step forward VDL Bus SB200 - Wrightbus Pulsar 2 3747 (YJ59BVK) also from Derby, which appeared from 26th May, this time in exchange for E200MMC 4113 (SN67WUA). This vehicle has spent most of its time on the 724. It remained in service at the end of the month.

The revolving door of Solos at Central Connect continues. Latest intake is 20-year old M920 YG02FWL, previously of Marshalls of Sutton-on-Trent, whose livery it carries.   

Vectare has sported new vehicles for the Chelmsford Park and Ride. These have fleet numbers and so are presumably the permanent replacements for the hires. The routes therefore go from all-white to all-black. Also Enviro200MMCs, the registration numbers YX22OGS (fleet No. 307) to YX22OGV (fleet No. 310) almost follow on from the hires. Just ahead of the arrival of the new black-based fleet, an eighth white loan example, YX21RYP, operated between March and May 2022.  Recently acquired former Weavaway Enviro200MMC, YX69NWB, has received a repaint to, essentially Arriva Max colours. A new entry into service is Optare Solo M920 YN04LWK. The very distinct Ipswich Buses livery is carried.        



April 2022

Oxford BM68AHU Oxford BV19YGL
 Central Connect KX57KGF Vectare YX22OGJ
Central Connect LX09AZL Arriva KX09KDK


National Express comes to Harlow! For a long time there has been a very good express coach network providing links to many and varied parts of the country available just up the road at Stansted Airport, but from 2nd April, route 737 now stops at Harlow! The route connects Stansted Airport with Oxford, as it has for many years, but besides serving Harlow, it now take a very different route to past practice serving Hertford and Hatfield before heading to Luton (town and airport), Milton Keynes Busway and then Oxford. It is operated by Go-ahead's Oxford Bus Company and provides 6 journeys in each direction daily.  

A first sighting in service for another addition to the Central Connect Solo fleet is M880 variant KX57KGF in a blue and white livery, which is Stagecoach with rear swirls removed. A number of the older examples have ceased to operate and have been removed from our fleet list.

Sighted in service also in another former TfL spec Alexander-Dennis Enviro200, this time SN57DWZ. Paper on windscreen for a destination display at this stage. Sister SN57DWV now has an LED display.

And finally with the same operator, a second former London Dennis Dart SLF/Optare (previously East Lancs) Esteem. Still in red with TfL blind boxes.  


It has been reported that the Central Connect fleet have been allocated fleet numbers. This would seem to be a paper exercise and used on ticket machines and in data feeds, but as there no evidence of these on the actual vehicles as yet, we won't yet add them to this site.

It didn't take too long before one of Vectare's Chelmsford Park & Ride E200MMCs appeared on the 381. YX22OGJ was noted on  April.

The Arriva Versa that carried fleet number 2990 (YJ09MKD) now carries its correct Arriva Kent Thameside number 4180. Vehicles and staff shortages would seem to be becoming more evident. Solo 2484 (YK07BEO) from Ware was noted helping out on 22nd. Then from 25th, VDL SB200/Wright Pulsar 2 3776 (KX09KDK) seems to have joined the local fleet, also from Ware, potentially in exchange for Versa 4181, which moved the other way at the end of March.  



March 2022

Vectare YX22OGP Vectare YX22OGK

Not Harlow but related to one of Harlow's operators, Vectare have taken over the 2 Chelmsford Park and Ride services (Standon and Chelmer Valley). Quite a significant expansion of their Essex based operations when compared to their present collection of rural services. The vehicles, 7 short Alexander-Dennis Enviro200MMCs, are, as they proclaim on their sides, temporary until their own fleet are available. Even though they are believed to be hired dealer stock, they have been adorned with suitable route vinyls and look the part well.

February 2022

Central Connect KX58AYF Central Connect MV07DWM
Central Connect SN57DWV Central ConnectLX07BXV

Arriva YJ09MKF Central Connect KX57KFZ

A number of second hand vehicle acquisitions at Central Connect have been reported by various sources. They are a combination of Optare Solos and Enviro 200s. The first of these to be noted in service are:

Optare Solo M880 KX57KFZ, in company colours.
Optare Solo M950 KX58AYF, also in company colours.
Optare Solo M880SL MV07DWM in Damory blue.
Alexander-Dennis Enviro200 SN57DWV in TfL red with dual doors and conventional blind boxes.
Alexander-Dennis Enviro200 LX07BXV, similar to above (LED display later added).  


A new entrant into service at Arriva is another Optare Versa, this time 4181 (YJ09MKF) whilst Versas 2401 and 4185 (see below) would seem to have been temporary and have now left. Scanias 3609 and 3613 noted in January have not reappeared.

January 2022

Vectare RX71TGK  Arriva KX62JJO
Arriva KE55GVZ Arriva KE55CVH

An unexpected change from 4th January was the renumbering of the Vectare 381 to 31 with no other change to the route itself. It's not clear who this benefits. Doubtless it could confuse some passengers. The 381 number has very long roots dating from the London Transport days and has survived being operated by an independent pre-deregulation and route tendering afterwards. The present timetable is actually a lot better than it was for much of its history with 7 end to end journeys essentially on a 2-hourly headway.

Associated with the change is the livening up of a feeder journey between Latton Bush and Harlow numbered 20 as well as some midday extensions between Coopersale and St Margaret's Hospital in Epping, numbered 30. All this with the one, better utilised, vehicle.

At Arriva, some different sightings on the local scene of late, whether loans or transfers is not yet certain.

Optare Versa 4185 (KX62JJO).
Optare Versa 2401 (YJ57EKF).
Scania L94UB / Wright Solar 3609 (KE55GVZ).
Scania L94UB / Wright Solar 3613 (KE55CVH).

All are in inter-urban livery.
 

November/December 2021

Vectare RX71TGK Central Connect CE71GAL
Arriva YJ10EYD Central Connect KP02PVO

At Arriva, two more Optare Versas have joined the existing fleet. 4183 (YJ10EYD) moves in from recently closed Guildford, whilst YJ09MKD emanates from the Midlands where it carried fleet number 2990. Both are the same length and livery as the existing members of the class.

Another new sighting is of an additional Vectare Mercedes Sprinter. Fleet number 206 is registered RX71TGK. It is in silver and carries the company logo but does not have the rear blue flashes of its sisters in the class.

Whilst with Vectare, an unusual new service has been registered. Route 20 will provide a single journey to town from Passmores Academy with an equivalent evening return facility,  starting on 4th January 2022. This would appear to be a positioning journey to and from the 381.  

At Central Connect, hot on the heels of the two brand new Alexander-Dennis Enviro 200MMCs that entered service in May 2021, are a further pair. Registered CC71GAL and CE71GAL, they mirror (but with 71 replacing 21) the personalised registrations of the first pair.

Not previously reported but in the fleet since September is a dedicated training vehicle in the shape of Dennis Dart SLF/Alexander Pointer KP02PVO. It retains dual doors from it's London operating days, latterly with Tower Transit.



October 2021


Vectare YX16OBS

Vectare
More interest on the 381 with the return of full size (even if still quite small) buses. Two former Abellio London Alexander-Dennis E200D/E20 vehicles are owned. In addition, a third example YX69NWB, this time once of Newbury and District (note the appropriate registration number) has been seen operating rail replacement services.

Epping Forest Community Transport and Essex Community Transport
Following some local reports, we have been able to update the fleet lists and believe they are now reflectove of the operational fleets.


September 2021

Arriva
In a quiet month , it has been reported that the seventh and final repaint of the Optare Versa class at Harlow, 4237 (KX13DHG), has now been completed. All are therefore in light blue.


July/August 2021 

Vectare RX20RJV Vectare RE70EZU

Central Connect KX57KGA Central Connect LJ07USU

Central Connect

New vehicle arrivals this update are:

Alexander-Dennis Enviro 200 LJ07USU, until recently an Arriva London vehicle
Optare Solo M880 KX57KGA in a white plus navy blue skirt and rear (partial Central Connect?) livery.


Repainted:
Optare Solo M850SL SGZ2223 (previously WX05RUO) into Central Connect colours (previously First Barbie livery). Sister SGZ2221 (previously WX05RUC) seems to be work in progress, with blue skirt and rear in place but otherwise still in Barbie colours.

Gone:
Of the 17 Scania Omniciti single decks that saw service from 2015 onwards, SGZ1087 (previously YN56NNE) has now left, meaning we are now down to the last example, being SGZ1098 (previously YN56NNG)

In other news:
Of course nothing is truly a strange visitor in Harlow operations, but double deck Scania Omniciti YP59OEN on town service 14 wasn't what I was expecting to see on 21st July.

Some of the HCC contract services gained on an emergency basis after Centrebus withdrew have turned out to be short-lived. Routes 308/380, 378/379 and C1 (all one bus) plus M2/3/4/5 move to Arriva whilst the 333 transfers to Vectare. These are not the only losses as the daytime 418 (Epping, St Margaret's Hospital to Loughton) moved to Stevensons from 26th July (evening and Sundays remains with Central Connect).

Go-ahead/London General
The last remnant of route 575 disappeared after Friday 27th August and with it the last link from Harlow to Romford and the presence of London General as an operator in Harlow. The 575 was operated as a spin-off from Debden to Chigwell school route 804. That service passes to Stephensons, who perhaps unsurprisingly, are not seeing value in continuing the 575. The service first reached Harlow on 19 November 2012 and at one time sported 5 return journeys (not all full length) on Mondays to Saturdays and featured summer extensions to Southend and Clacton. The final journey was provided by EN2 (SN58CDZ).

Vectare
A new operator on the Harlow scene! Essex CC route 381 transfers from Ugobus to Vectare effective 26th July. Vectare operate in the East Midlands (and other parts of the UK) but have created a presence  locally over the last year with a small but growing Essex operation on routes:

13/13A/S13 - Waltham Crosss to Epping (St Margaret's Hospital) via Upshire. Apx. hourly, Mon-Sat.
14 - Waltham Cross to Upshire (one journey on to Epping). Apx 5 return journrys, Mon-Sat.
19 - Ongar to Epping. Single return journey, Mon-Sat.
22 - Waltham Cross to Skillet Hill Farm. 4 return jpurneys, Mon-Sat
61/61A/61C - Brentwood to Blackmore, Apx. hourly, Mon-Sat

This seems to be a quality operation with a good website and service updates by Twitter. Vehicles on the 381 now sport destination indicators, and even though operation is with Mercedes Sprinters, this makes them look like service buses for all rather than the specialist community transport of its predecessor. One has to hope that tis might lead to some growth in ridership.

June 2021

Central Connect CE21GAL Central Connect CE21GAL

Arriva
Further Versa repaints, this time 4231 (KX62JWF) and 4239 (KX13DHK) leaving only 4237 (KX13DHG) in inter-urban livery.

Some shuffling around of Volvo/Wrights between Ware and Harlow has continued. We believe 9 are now based at Harlow - see Arriva fleet page for details.

Central Connect
Actually arrived in late May, the first brand new vehicles to arrive with this operator are 2 Alexander-Dennis Enviro200MMCs. Registered CC21GAL and CE21GAL, they are most often seen on Hertfordshire County Council contract services. Solos RGZ7810 and RRZ5463 are reported to have gone for scrap.


May 2021

Central Connect LJ58AVE Central Connect PO56JFE

Arriva
Another 2 Versas repainted into light blue are 4232 (KX62JWG) and 4238 (KX13DHJ), making 4 in total now in this livery with 3 remaining to be done. The Volvo/Wrights do seem to move frequently between Ware and Harlow. Native 3873 (KE57EPA) being a returner this month.

A few unexpected appearances of former Harlow inmates this month:
- VDL SB120/Wright Cadet 2 3512 on loan from Ware was noted on the 508/9/10 services during the week of 26th May.
- Mercedes Citaro 3892 (BU06HSE) was seen on the 10 on 10th.
- Volvo B7RLE/Wright Eclipse Urban 3820 (GN07AVG) seen during the week of 9th.


Central Connect
A third Alexander-Dennis E200 has been received. This time it's former Arriva London ENL20. It entered service with full London covid restriction stickers.

The Dennis Dart SLF/East Lancs Esteem reported in March has been in service. It carried the HereEast livery used on the odd London General vehicle for use on the shuttle.


April 2021

Central Connect CC54BUS Arriva Central Connect CC55BUS
Arriva Central Connect CE52UWR Central Connect FY52RZC


Arriva
LOTS report that Alexander-Dennis Enviro200MMC 4102 (YX17NYT) caught fire whilst in service on route 724.

Three of the original "route 510" batch of Volvo B7RLE/Wright Eclipe Urban vehicles are now back in service in Harlow and would seem to be being used as the school extras. The fleet numbers concerned are 3856, 3857 and 3858 (KE54LNR/LPC/LPF). Of these, 3858 carries the latest lighter blue livery.

Central Connect
The 2 Alexander-Dennis Enviro200s reported acquired last month have been treated to a full repaint and re-registration. Looking very smart and with colour LEDs , they are now CC54BUS and CC55BUS.

A couple more Optare Solos have arrived. Looking similar in blue and white of ASD Coaches, in fact CE52UWR is an M850 whilst FY52RZC is an M920. A few older examples have left the fleet, as have the Optare Versas shown under the November 2020 heading below. 


March 2021

Arriva KX62JVW  Arriva LJ09KPG

Arriva
Optare Versa 4230 (KX62JVW) is the first of the batch of 6 of that vintage to be repainted in light blue. It joins more recent stable-mate 4184 (YJ58VCC) which arrived in new livery.

The three Temsa Safari coaches (see report from September 2020 below) would seem to have left Harlow. Their place on school duties is typically filled by member of the large fleet of Enviro200MMCs 

Central Connect
Firstly a couple of re-registrations:

Optare Solo WX05RUC is now SGZ2221
Optare Solo WX05RUO is now SGZ2223

Both retain First livery.

New vehicles noted this month:

Alexander-Dennis Enviro 200's LJ09KPG and KRE.
Reported acquired is Dennis Dart SLF/East Lancs Esteem PO56JFE.

There have been many reports in the press about driver safety during the pandemic including some who have lost their lives. Circumstances can be many and varied, but whatever the reason, Galleon lost 46-year old Serghei Stolca to the virus. In tribute, a cavalcade 35 vehicles rode from Harlow to Epping with suitable displays carried. Local media carried the story.

Essex Community Transport
In the midst of the pandemic and with almost no passengers being taken anywhere, a new vehicle enters service. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 514CDI EA70OSF is in silver Ugobus livery. Like most others in the fleet, no destination display equipment is carried.
 


February 2021


Arriva YX17NYO Arriva YX17NYS

All change on Green Line 724. The dedicated fleet of Mercedes Citaros, the mainstay of the fleet since 2006, has gone. In their place, a new batch of 8 Alexander-Dennis Enviro200MMCs transferred from Kent, identical to those on the 508/9/10.

4093 YX17NYG Arriva light blue livery
4095 YX17NYK Arriva light blue livery
4096 YX17NYL Arriva light blue livery, named Zara Bowman
4097 YX17NYM Arriva light blue livery
4098 YX17NYN Arriva light blue livery, names James Hall
4099 YX17NYO Arriva light blue livery
4101 YX17NYS Arriva Sapphire livery plus route 700 (Chatham-Bluewater)branding
4102 YX17NYT Arriva Sapphire livery
 
A downturn in fortunes for Centrebus, who are closing their Stevenage depot, has resulted in a few gains for Central Connect in Herford. New HCC contract routes being taken on from 11th April 2021 will be:

308/308 - Hertford to Cuffley
333 - Hertford local service (Bengeo to Pinehurst Estate)
378/379 - Hertford to Stevenage
M1/M2/M3/M4/M4 - Ware and Wareside local services

Finally, a new addition noted on the ECC Ugobus fleet is Mercedes Sprinter KE19ZDT 

January 2021

Central Connect WX05RUC  Arriva KE57EPA

Noted new to Central Connect are former First Optare Solo M850SLs WX05RUC and WX05RUO. These have entered service in First "Barbie" livery and with original registration numbers. 

A native returning to Arriva is Volvo B7RLE/Wright Eclipse Urban 3873 (KE57EPA). This last saw service in Harlow in 2017 and returns in Arriva's light blue scheme, which is the 4th livery it has carried after Arriva National, SX Connect and Inter-urban.  


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