Monday, 19 September 2016

Buses I Have Known (4) : Leyland National

The famous Leyland National was built in the thousands between 1972 and 1985 though it wasn't a bus i travelled on a great deal as Birmingham (or the routes i travelled on anyway) in those days tended to be the realm of the double decker (see Fleetline and Metrobus).

However it was a bus i was familiar with and found interesting even as a kid. I remember one at Birmingham Airport i saw a few times which had a cute blue destination blind. In later years the National tended to be the last survivors of the older generation of buses with the Erdington Circular Route 600 using them for a time and Chase Buses still used them well into the 2000s on services from Birmingham to Chasetown. They were a familiar sight around Birmingham.

Now they are mostly only seen in preserved collections though in a way the Leyland National does still survive in daily revenue earning service. The "Pacer" diesel multiple units Class 142 used a modified National body and for the moment they are still in service in various areas, i saw some in Liverpool a couple of weeks ago!

Midland Red
Class 142 rail bus