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The colour PURPLE

Investigating Stagecoach East Midlands liveries on the former
Lincolnshire Roadcar InterConnect routes

by Tony Wilson Added to website 31 January 2011

Gary Nolan of Stagecoach East Midlands advises that there is a programme of repaint underway with some of the fairly modern double-decker fleet.

Prior to the takeover of the Roadcar company by the Yorkshire Traction Group in December 2005, six Volvo B7TLs with the handsome Wright Eclipse Gemini bodywork were ordered for delivery during 2006.

Indeed these duly appeared but then later the company was in the process of them too being the subject of a further takeover, this time by Stagecoach. Nevertheless the contract for them was completed and the buses were delivered in a splendid red, green and yellow livery. Along with route branding for the 6 Lincoln to Skegness service, the livery also featured the County Council InterConnect logo.

The vehicles had been acquired in order to upgrade the service and replace an earlier mixture of older East Lancs bodied step-entrance Volvo Olympians, low-floored Volvo B7TLs along with some Scania Wright bodied saloons. All of these were variously cascaded to other routes.

However, as the InterConnect network has expanded so has the requirement for suitable vehicles to operate the services. Thus the old livery is soon to be extinct as the repaint programme expands the InterConnect purple-based livery onto the Volvo B7TLs.

The following seven pictures illustrate some of the changes since 1998.

Lincolnshire InterConnect routes

1. Back in 1998 two of these East Lancs Pyoneer bodied step-entrance Volvo Olympians (687 and 688), were introduced into the Roadcar fleet and placed into service on the route 6 service from Lincoln to Skegness. With bold route branding and coach seating they replaced earlier and much older vehicles along with an increase to the service. Here 688 was posed for the photographer in the main Lincoln depot and displayed the offside aspect.

Lincolnshire InterConnect routes

2. By the following year the buses had received something of an external makeover along with the exhortation that this was a ‘Hi-liner’, I suppose a reference to the upper deck. They also sported the Lincolnshire County Council’s InterConnect logo, but the route branding had disappeared. Fleet number 687 headed down Broadgate towards the Lincoln Bus Station terminus of route 6 in April 1999.

Lincolnshire InterConnect routes

3. In 1999 three low-floored Scania L94UB with Wright bodies (801-803), were introduced onto the Skegness service to supplement the Volvo Olympians. In a similar livery to the Volvos, these were promoted as ‘Lo-liner’ vehicles owing to their design. 807 back in April 1999 had just pulled off of Broadgate in Lincoln in order to dive beneath the main road and eventually into the bus station.

Lincolnshire InterConnect routes

4. Route 6 received a further boost in 2001 when the older step-entrance Volvo double-deckers were replaced by three low-floor East Lancs Lolyne bodied Volvo B7TLs (901-903). Broadgate was once again the location with this time fleet number 901 near the end of another long run in from the east coast. The green, white and yellow livery had been altered yet again, this time with the addition of a bold angular flash of red across the bodywork.

Lincolnshire InterConnect routes

5. But then in 2006 came the next bold move. As already indicated a fleet of six handsome Wright Eclipse Gemini Volvo B7TLs (16939-16944), had been ordered by the company during 2005 prior to the takeover by Stagecoach. This order was proceeded with and accompanied by the application of an even bolder livery that featured more red, green and yellow all in great swoops but without the white. There was the addition of a ‘Coastal Connect’ brand name and an advert that boasted an hourly service on the sides. 16940 neared journey’s end in March 2008 near to the Alsthom works, and the grand Cathedral provided a nice backdrop.

Lincolnshire InterConnect routes

6. By 2009 the County Council inspired InterConnect livery had made an impression on the fleet with a number of vehicles by now repainted into the purple-based colours, but in the Stagecoach house style. East Lancs bodied Volvo B7TL 16907 captured near to Dunholme on the route 3 as it sped (within the limit), from Grimsby towards Lincoln.

Lincolnshire InterConnect routes

7. New Scania N230UD double-decker buses into the fleet have taken over from the Volvo marque and arrived already with the purple-based InterConnect livery applied. Another route taken under this banner was the 100 Lincoln to Scunthorpe service and the handsome lines of the Alexander Dennis bodywork on six such buses (15507-15511), were shown off to great effect on number 15508 as it awaited departure in the bus station at Scunthorpe in July 2009.

Back to Gary Nolan, and he has supplied a picture of one of the Wright bodied Volvo B7TLs in the current edition of the monthly Buses magazine.

And very nice it looks too.

Tony Wilson
January 2011

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