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The London Borough of Hounslow sponsored new ‘Hoppa’ routes H24 and H25 in the Feltham area from January 1991, and a batch of new Iveco Daily minibuses featuring wheelchair tail lifts and spaces formed the FR class. Operated from London United’s Hounslow garage, the buses were painted in a special white livery with the Hounslow council logo.
The two routes (H24, Hatton Cross to Feltham Sparrow Farm via East Bedfont, and H25, Feltham to Butts Farm via Hanworth) largely covered new ground for LT, though they did replace limited existing commercial route 600 by Fountain Coaches, which ran from Hanworth to East Bedfont via Feltham. In 1993, the two routes were merged under the H25 number, a new H26 taking over the Feltham-Sparrow Farm section from the H25 to allow the routes to run into each other at Feltham Station.
In 1996, London United replaced the unsatisfactory Ivecos with unusual Wright Crusader bodied Dennis Dart SLFs, but this did not stop the company losing the route to Tellings-Golden Miller 5 years later, TGM supplying further new vehicles in the shape of Caetano Nimbus bodied Dart SLFs – another less common bodywork style, but which is quickly gaining popularity with London’s smaller operators. TGM built quite a sizeable fleet of the type before selling out to Travel London. The different batches are not really kept separate any more, and the majority have been re-painted into Travel London's all red livery, making the original TGM white livery previously shown here extinct.
|Photo © John Bennett.|
The new order is illustrated by 8457 (RA51 KKG), from a later batch, entering Hatton Cross Bus Station on Wednesday 9 April 2008. The white roof, intended to deflect sunlight and reduce internal temperatures in the summer, is not intended to be generally visible, but can obviously be seen from a higher vantage point such as this – the top deck of a 482! Buses should be gaining large fleet numbers and a code for the operator painted on the roof to aid identification on CCTV, but this vehicle is not yet so treated.
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