182 (registration G621OTV) was new to Trent Barton in December 1989. It would be numbered 621, and would be part of a batch of a further 12 Volvo B10M Citybuses, with registrations G612-G623 OTV.
It arrived in an allover red livery, with ‘Trent Buses’ applied on both sides of the bus.
It proved very popular with Trent and it would provide ten years of sterling service before being withdrawn in the middle of 1999. It would then be sold onto Plymouth Citybus, along with G612OTV, G614OTV, G615OTV and G623OTV. These were all sold onto Plymouth Citybus between August and September 1999, and were to replace the remaining Leyland Atlanteans. It would enter service along with other sister vehicles on the 46 and 47 routes.
It wasn’t long before all the Ex-Trent Volvo B10M Citybuses were painted into what was the standard Citybus livery, which was a red roof, white in between the upper and lower decks, with a red line in the middle. Below the lower deck windows was red too, with the Citybus logo applied in white. The skirt would be painted grey, and 182 would remain in this livery until March 2005.
182 would be one of the first of the batch to be painted into the very widely recognised ‘Student Link’ livery, as these vehicles would be cascaded off the 46 and 47 routes, and would be mainly used on schools services.
The whole batch would go onto prove extremely popular with drivers with Citybus and it was thought at the time they would all be withdrawn on July 19th 2012. This was because at that time, Plymouth Citybus announced they would be withdrawing all school bus services, following a cut in Council funding. However, with a new MD Richard Stevens at the helm, nearly all of the school services were able to be saved. Consequently, there wasn’t time to find enough suitable replacement vehicles and refurbish them in time for the new school year in September 2012, so the ex-Trent Volvos would amazingly soldier on for another year.
From April 2012,182 would be mainly working the school services 127 and 128 to Tavistock. The school buses upon reaching their terminus have for years provided an extra trip in the peak time rather than run back dead, and 182 often appeared on the 28B which departed Derriford at 17:18 after the 127, and the Service 40 from Southway at 17:30 after the 128.
Sister vehicles 184, 185 and 186 would be withdrawn on May 24th 2013. This marked the beginning of the end for the batch, and 182 would be finally withdrawn for good on 12th July 2013. Her last ever service would be the 15:45 from Plymouth High School for Girls Service 127 to Tavistock, on Thursday 11th July 2013. She is pictured below returning to Milehose on what would be her last ever trip with Citybus.
182 would remain parked down the Lower Yard at Milehouse along with its withdrawn sisters until it was acquired by the PCTPG on Monday September 16th 2013. Following its acquisition, 182 has been fully converted into an open top vehicle, in what is believed to be a first in the field of bus preservation.
182 made her first public appearance as an open-topper on October 21st 2013, tree lopping in Eggbuckland.
Longer term plans for 182 include the fitting of an LED destination display, enabling our own messages and displays to be shown on the vehicle.
The Plymouth City Transport Preservation Group has today created what is believed to be another first in the field of bus preservation. The group recently acquired a pair of recently withdrawn Plymouth City Bus yellow "Student link" buses for onward preservation, today we can reveal that one of the pair has been converted to open top format for use on trips in the busy summer rally season as well as performing a vital tree lopping role for Plymouth City Council in the Autumn and Winter months.
The conversion, carried out at our Colebrook depot, lead by Group Chairman Ralph Delbridge has created a much needed additional open top facility for the group taking the pressure of its other existing preserved 1960's Leyland Atlantean open topper and also providing the City of Plymouth with a vital service vehicle to keep the bus lanes free of the danger of overhanging branches in the future. Group Chairman Ralph Delbridge added "Whilst we actively preserve the Public Transport of the past for future generations to enjoy, it is equally important that future public transport connections are developed and we are pleased to be able to play an important part benefitting both the travelling public and local Bus Operators. Our sincere thanks to Plymouth CityBus MD, Richard Stevens and Engineering Director Mark Horide in their open support of our Group in the acquisition of this and other former service vehicles. "
Written by: Tom Michaels - January 2014
The bus was originally one of a batch of 19 Volvo Citybuses purchased second hand from Trent and other operators in 1999 to replace the remaining elderly Leyland Atlanteans and modernise the fleet. The remaining half dozen or so left of this type of bus which were all Student Link liveried examples with Alexander bodies were withdrawn in July 2013.
With the support of Plymouth CityBus we were able to secure two of the buses,185 F602GVO will be preserved as it was in original condition with its roof, whilst 182 G621OTV (pictures attached) has become our new open topper. We believe this to be another first achieved by the Plymouth City Transport Preservation Group to convert a preserved bus to open top format whilst in preservation. The group has a collection of 24 vehicles and has grown from small beginnings in June 2006 to over 100 members in 6 years. For more information on the groups collection and activities or to join please visit our website at plymouthcitytransport.co.uk.