The London Volvo B7TL (Kindle)
At the turn of the century Volvo found itself in a three-way tussle with Dennis and DAF to design and produce Britain’s first low-floor double-deck buses. The resulting B7TL was later into service in London than its competitors, but quickly caught up to achieve parity with the Dennis Trident. Two lengths were available and three bodies, by Alexander, Plaxton and East Lancs. Between them, London’s TfL-contracted London bus operators took over two thousand Volvo B7TLs between 2000 and 2006, after which noise problems obliged Volvo to develop the B9TL and its later B5LH hybrid. The Volvo B7TLs saw sterling service in the capital for two decades, with the last leaving service in the first week of 2021.
This is the latest in Matthew Wharmby’s series on the various London bus types, and is similar in style and content. There is comprehensive text covering the history of the type, followed by full details of the introduction changes and final demise. It is copiously illustrated throughout. The period covered was one where much of the variety of liveries was largely supercede by overall; red, but it is interesting to see that even with this restriction variety did survive.PSV Circle - December 2021