London Bus Livery

SatoshiAaron

Well-Known Member
May 24, 2016
220
One thing that I remember as a kid was all the different liveries. Back when I was a kid I didn't quite understand or know the concept of different operating companies. I thought the operating company logos were like different type of buses and bus lines. I remembered ruffly what operating company was serving routes that I would frequently see when I was out more on the livery than the logo.

London buses used to very rarely be completely red. You would always get the op companies signature strip of colour along the bottom of the bus or even covering a big 10% of the body. Custom op company liveries have slowly disappear though. I always believed that this was because TfL became stricter on the standards that the buses would have to be in to serve a London Route, meaning companies had to make their buses mostly red so that it was kept consistent. I always believed that this was the reasoning behind it, but someone said that I was incorrect. They believed it was just that the companies stopped adding the extra colour to save time and money, which I couldn't really envision considering that seat fabric is still in the op's branding and that all the companies stopped using custom liveries around the same time.

Does anyone know if my theory was correct or the actual reason they stopped the custom liveries?

Thanks,
 

The_Growl

Masterswitch Studios
Mar 7, 2017
420
Don't quote me on this but I'm pretty sure TFL just got stricter and stricter. There's a 90% red requirement all bus ops have to adhere to.
 
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Jacobthebus

Weeeeeeeeeee
Mar 7, 2016
1,047
Go-Ahead and Metroline kept their 'signature' design on until very recently-I remember last year seeing quite a few E and EH class Go-Aheads still wearing their grey strips. I think they've become more lenient recently, especially in the heritage livery and all-over advert department.
 
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D

Deleted member 422

Don't quote me on this but I'm pretty sure TFL just got stricter and stricter. There's a 90% red requirement all bus ops have to adhere to.
One thing that I remember as a kid was all the different liveries. Back when I was a kid I didn't quite understand or know the concept of different operating companies. I thought the operating company logos were like different type of buses and bus lines. I remembered ruffly what operating company was serving routes that I would frequently see when I was out more on the livery than the logo.

London buses used to very rarely be completely red. You would always get the op companies signature strip of colour along the bottom of the bus or even covering a big 10% of the body. Custom op company liveries have slowly disappear though. I always believed that this was because TfL became stricter on the standards that the buses would have to be in to serve a London Route, meaning companies had to make their buses mostly red so that it was kept consistent. I always believed that this was the reasoning behind it, but someone said that I was incorrect. They believed it was just that the companies stopped adding the extra colour to save time and money, which I couldn't really envision considering that seat fabric is still in the op's branding and that all the companies stopped using custom liveries around the same time.

Does anyone know if my theory was correct or the actual reason they stopped the custom liveries?

Thanks,
TfL. I believe for new buses it's now 100% red, with the white roundels as well...
 
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Road-hog123

An Orange Bus
Administrator
UKDT
Dec 10, 2015
1,772
ec157e91e7cc111d1ce7ec6eb1f0dfe8.jpeg ec157e91e7cc111d1ce7ec6eb1f0dfe8.jpeg
These photos showed up on my Flickr the other day and I share your sentiment. While buses do often look quite good in all-over red,
ec157e91e7cc111d1ce7ec6eb1f0dfe8.jpeg
there is something about it being broken up a bit that does look nice. :)
 

Planesandbuses

Well-Known Member
Apr 9, 2016
260
With the X26 route getting branding when it goes to metrobus, and a rumoured branding of the roundabout routes in Orpington, things might start to get a little more interesting... 5 may also be gaining tri-axles.
 

Rhys

Veteran Member
Mar 20, 2016
1,426
Don't quote me on this but I'm pretty sure TFL just got stricter and stricter. There's a 90% red requirement all bus ops have to adhere to.
100% red mate. This excludes logos/ decals/ black window surrounds/etc. This rule is applicable for all new/refurbished buses after September 2011. It was more or less 90% before hence the main reason you'd have all these multi-coloured skirts and what have you.

@SatoshiAaron The main reason is simply due to TfL wanting London buses to be more unified amongst each other.

Go-Ahead and Metroline kept their 'signature' design on until very recently-I remember last year seeing quite a few E and EH class Go-Aheads still wearing their grey strips. I think they've become more lenient recently, especially in the heritage livery and all-over advert department.
None of Go-Ahead's EH's have carried the grey and yellow skirt. The original 5 in 2008 was put into a "green leaves hybrid" livery prior to being refurbished into all red last year. The remaining 35 were all delivered 100%red.

Go-Ahead's E1-E162/E173 (Enviro400 Euro 4 & 5) all originally sported the grey skirt, most have since been refurbished into all red. However, E1-E15 were refurbished in 2011 with the grey skirt just before the 100% rule came in :tongueout:

Metroline are a bit more different. I noticed they started ordering their buses without the blue skirt from around 2009, this was mainly done on their own accord prior to the rule being implemented.

All over adverts are a lot different as that is mainly sourced from TfL's advertising contractors, "Exterion Media". All buses that sport an all over advert must have the front face of the bus left in all red (This rule is bent for the New Routemaster only).

TfL are very strict to this day with the 100% rule, however exception have been made for the New Routemaster and a few other convential buses such as Arriva London's HV64
 

Enviro400Taco

that annoying one from Leeds
Oct 30, 2016
1,757
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Scania
There are definitely some Go Ahead London buses running around with the grey stripe. I saw some E class (Enviro 400), a PVL class (Plaxton President Volvo B7TL) and EH class (Optare Olympus Volvo B9TL) in Kingston with it. I live up north though and had been to Chessington World Of Adventures. I got to Kingston via the 71 bus. Oh and London United SP102 has a light grey band.Mind you in 2013 it was all over red. Not my pictures.

Kingston BS.jpg


DOE31&VE3.jpg


SP102 Red & Grey.jpg


SP102 Red.jpg
 
D

Deleted member 422

There are definitely some Go Ahead London buses running around with the grey stripe. I saw some E class (Enviro 400), a PVL class (Plaxton President Volvo B7TL) and EH class (Optare Olympus Volvo B9TL) in Kingston with it. I live up north though and had been to Chessington World Of Adventures. I got to Kingston via the 71 bus. Oh and London United SP102 has a light grey band.Mind you in 2013 it was all over red. Not my pictures.

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He said since 2011. So most buses before then carried the grey/yellow stripe. London United abolI she's the grey bottom and white roofs a while ago, and since all their buses havery been repainted into all over red.
 
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Rhys

Veteran Member
Mar 20, 2016
1,426
There are definitely some Go Ahead London buses running around with the grey stripe. I saw some E class (Enviro 400), a PVL class (Plaxton President Volvo B7TL) and EH class (Optare Olympus Volvo B9TL) in Kingston with it. I live up north though and had been to Chessington World Of Adventures. I got to Kingston via the 71 bus. Oh and London United SP102 has a light grey band.Mind you in 2013 it was all over red. Not my pictures.


View attachment 9044
Please re-read my post.
SP102 was painted with the grey bands livery as part of TfL's "Year of the bus" celebration in 2014, LT60 recieved a "General" livery at that time. These were both exceptions as I discussed already.
c1b1947fc722f0e20867985dfef445a7.jpeg


Last year, Stockwell Garage's LT50 was also painted in a vintage "General" livery. This was unveiled at Stockwell garage open day.
cd3992070242b6382947dbe3dafa3b13.jpeg

Other than those small exceptions and everything else I have listed. TfL have a 100% rule.

Moreover, all the pictures of the Go-Ahead buses you posted were all refurbished prior to 2011. The Optare Olympus/Enviro 400 picture you posted a picture of was refurbished a few months ago and now is all red.
 
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The_Growl

Masterswitch Studios
Mar 7, 2017
420
Yep, 100%. But the bit about windows surrounds is odd, since ops always go for red pillars. Oh, and there's quite large amount of charcoal skirt buses near where I am, but some have been repainted into 100% red, some partially, and some of them, still have the old london general logos. And unless something's changed in the last 5 minutes, the 196 have all it's E400s in charcoal too.
 
D

Deleted member 422

Yep, 100%. But the bit about windows surrounds is odd, since ops always go for red pillars. Oh, and there's quite large amount of charcoal skirt buses near where I am, but some have been repainted into 100% red, some partially, and some of them, still have the old london general logos. And unless something's changed in the last 5 minutes, the 196 have all it's E400s in charcoal too.
As Rhys said, if they were last refurbished before 2011, they had a smaller percentage of red as standard. They must be from the Exxx batch if they are London General (presuming that's what you mean by charcoal skirts).
 

Rhys

Veteran Member
Mar 20, 2016
1,426
Yep, 100%. But the bit about windows surrounds is odd, since ops always go for red pillars. Oh, and there's quite large amount of charcoal skirt buses near where I am, but some have been repainted into 100% red, some partially, and some of them, still have the old london general logos. And unless something's changed in the last 5 minutes, the 196 have all it's E400s in charcoal too.
Yeah the 196's batch was refurbished in 2011, one of my locals. It was refurbished alongside the 468/68's WVLs which still retain the grey skirt :). All three routes are up for tender, so I have no doubts that the E400's and B7TL Gemini's will most likely be replaced with a hybrid of some sort