Sunday, 20 May 2012

Sunday Lost Scenes - 20th May 2012

Today's post comes from Southampton in 2005...

A2B Travel - N919ETM - Southampton city centre - 22nd October 2005

In 2005, A2B acquired route 22 on lease from First Hants & Dorset. Route 22 connected Southampton city centre with Shirley. It was operated by this Mercedes-Benz 709D - N919ETM - which acquired from Arriva Kent and Sussex. Due to nature of the route lease, the Beaver had to wear First livery despite being operated by First, leading to many initially confused enthusiasts but a route that was part of a larger network. It ran this way until early 2009, when Black Velvet Travel won the contract for the 22. Purple Solos took over, and soon after even the route 22 number was consigned to history, renumbered as the S2. Now even the 22's sister route, the 21, has lost its number, becoming the S1. The S is for Shirley, where both operates serve local estates.

1 comment:

  1. The 22 had previously been operated by A2B using Midibuses in their own livery - they had 2 Optare Metroriders (J590/1CUB) as the two main vehicles and also had a very early MCW MetroRider (D482NOX) as a back up. When they lost it to First at retender they were quite upset so were more than happy to take it back as a franchise when First found that their resources were better used elsewhere. When the route passed to Velvet, two A2B drivers also TUPE'd across and one is still with Velvet to this day. A2B are still operating, but more on social service and special needs contracts than mainstream bus services. I think I am correct in saying that the largest vehicle they've ever run was an ex Stagecoach Alexander Dash bodied Volvo B6 (L253CCK)