DLA1 - Confusion, Lies, and Arriva London

Hullian111

bruh momentum
Aug 5, 2017
562
DLA1 - R101 GNW - New to Arriva London
London's first low-floor double decker, soon became a Driver Trainer but earmarked for preservation by London Transport Museum.

Status: MISSING

R101 GNW, also known as DLA1, is a DAF Alexander ALX400-bodied double decker new to Arriva London in 1999 that was the first ever ALX400 produced in the Alexander plant, and more importantly, was the first low-floor accessible double decker put into service in London. The production of such an innovative, 21st-century bus by Alexander and DAF was recognised by many operators around the county, and so it started out life as a demonstrator, being shown to operators such as Travel West Midlands, as above, to demonstrate what was the gamechanger from old Olympians and Routemasters, and what would soon be the new norm for the upcoming Disability Discrimination Act PSV laws.

DLA1 was soon put into serve by Arriva London, and stayed in the general fleet up until recently, when it was painted all-over light blue and converted to become a Driver Trainer.

As it was the first ever low-floor double decker used in service in London, it was announced in 2014 that it would be preserved and put into the London Transport Museum, despite it still being used as a driver trainer at the time. According to unknown sources on Wikipedia, it was destined to be wrapped in an all-over livery for 'Rubi's Shoes' upon preservation, although this source has no backing, and has since been removed.

However, on the 11th of September, 2016, DLA1 was pictured in the 'Accident Shop' yard, sans engine cover and with some superficial panel damage, after a major tyre blow out that was said to have damaged the wiring underneath the bus. As seen from the comments section, major concern about the status of DLA1 was spread, with speculation of the damage caused, and worry that DLA1 might not make it to preservation.

According to Flickr's 'Date Taken' source, this is the last-known image of DLA1, the interior in a very sorry state.

Searching through numerous registration and MOT trackers such as regit.com claim that DLA1's last MOT had expired on the 5th of January 2017, with no further MOTs to date. Owing to it being last seen in the repairs yard with some nasty superficial damage in September and to that date, I believe that DLA1 has been withdrawn from use, and has not been seen since.

A failed MOT is worrying, and with no photos of DLA1 in over a year, I am starting to point to two theories:​
  1. DLA1 has been scrapped by Arriva London, as it could possibly not be economically-viable to repair for driver training or general purpose standard. If this is the case, then this is an extremely disappointing action by Arriva London, as this vehicle was promised to go into preservation. Those who potentially declared that DLA1 should go for scrap should hang their heads in shame.​
  2. DLA1 has been finally acquired by the London Transport Museum, and is quietly undergoing preservation work to return it to original 1999 standard, including the removal of intricate Driver Training equipment, which may also require a repaneling of the floor. As modern buses (in 1999 standard) can be quite intricate, it may be no surprise if this takes a while to come into fruition.​
In the end, I think we all could just deserve some closure about the status of DLA1 by Arriva London and the London Transport Museum. DLA1 would have been able to join the ranks of Stagecoach's TA1, but with developments that newer Driver Training vehicles are being used by Arriva, and that Arriva aren't well known for keeping vehicles in top condition (according to conversation in a seperate Discord server), I am beginning to fear that DLA1 was heartlessly sent away for scrap by Arriva London.

So, what has happened? Can you dig up anything about DLA1 - R101 GNW? It is about time, after a year of silence, that we get to know what has happened to the first ever low floor London bus - a true museum piece in itself.
 

LT586

SimJourneys Defunked
Oct 25, 2016
480
Chris I felt the same but they retained an MCW edge which made me like them a little bit but they felt plastic and empty (lack of seats yes) as the MCWs which they were replacing felt proper but time had to move on I guess, still these didn't last as long, but then again I had heard DAF gets horrid after a while, look at the DWs.
 

stc350

Pingu Penguin!
Sep 6, 2017
123
It's at ADL Being refurbished for the Transport Museum.
They wont let people take pictures of it as apparently it's being totally rebuilt and in quite a state. It's supposed to be ready for the end of the year i think.
 

LT586

SimJourneys Defunked
Oct 25, 2016
480
I quote a man who said DAF does get horrid after a while.

But news of its rebuild is great. A bus I fondly remember on the 144 /W3 when it was a new dawn for buses in London. I grew up on the Metros and what I liked about the DLA is the same sounding Voith whine (not known at the time as wasn't clued up like now) and the Bus Stopping light similar to the MCW. Later to realise the chassis was used on the Optare Spectra when DAF /Optare took over MCW.

Just a shame the DLA left London so quick, stupid Euro rating, Euro 6 every bus is now slow.
 

SeaHawk14

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2017
116
Cool post, never really considered the importance of preserving old buses but I'm glad to see a good outcome. Also, surely a Freedom of Information request to Arriva would have yielded results?
 

whistlehead

Alias Mr Hackenbacker
Staff Team Leader
Forum Moderator
UKDT
Premium Subscriber
Dec 10, 2015
1,379
Cool post, never really considered the importance of preserving old buses but I'm glad to see a good outcome. Also, surely a Freedom of Information request to Arriva would have yielded results?
I'm afraid FOI has exactly zilch to do with information held by private companies - it only relates to information held by public authorities, such as local councils or the police
 

LT586

SimJourneys Defunked
Oct 25, 2016
480
Im glad I was at the age to remember when this was at Edmonton Green on the 144, then W3 and 221.

These buses embodied the MCW in small parts, the rear axle and bus stopping sign plus the massive steering wheel, finally that Voith soundtrack
 
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LT586

SimJourneys Defunked
Oct 25, 2016
480

She is home at Enfield (E) for now! But side blind for the 102 but I doubt she’ll be able to do a full days mileage. ©️Peter Horrex 2019
 

ROBLOX Bus Simulators

Founder of TMT and Project Merseyside
Jun 18, 2017
958

She is home at Enfield (E) for now! But side blind for the 102 but I doubt she’ll be able to do a full days mileage. ©️Peter Horrex 2019
Is Peter the BristolRE person on YouTube? Nice to see it back in it's original livery.
 

stc350

Pingu Penguin!
Sep 6, 2017
123
it apparently has an engine from a Y Reg DLA as the original was completely shot i believe.