26/03/2014

The Irisbus Agoraline: Bonus Feature ~ photo special!

Following our special feature yesterday 'The Irisbus Agoraline in Norfolk' our regular correspondent David Bell has been in touch with some further photographs of the type operating elsewhere in East Anglia enabling us to produce this bonus feature!

Agoralines 3 (c) David Bell
The first photo in this feature shows SM Coaches Irisbus Agoraline AU05 FKC, acquired from Norfolk County Services/Norse in 2011 © David Bell.

This post focuses on the fleet of six Irisbus Agoralines operated by SM Coaches, Harlow in Essex up until late 2012, the company originally purchased EU06 KHK new, this was followed in 2010/11 by four ex Norwich Park & Ride Norfolk County Services/Norse examples in the shape of OY53 RDU/RDX/RFE and later AU05 FKC, another one SN06 AFK from Scottish operator Mitchells of Plean later followed making SM Coaches the second largest operator of the type in the UK.

Agoralines 3 (c) David Bell
SM Coaches Irisbus Agoraline SN06 AFK, this one was previously with Mitchells of Plean and now resides with M Travel, Pontefract © David Bell.

Agoralines 4 (c) David Bell
Another ex Norfolk County Services example which passed to SM Coaches was OY53 RDX seen here wearing it's old Norwich Park & Ride livery with SM fleetnames applied, this bus later passed to M Travel, Pontefract and has now believed to have been scrapped © David Bell.

Although all were later painted in SM Coaches white/blue livery at least one of the ex Norwich Park & Ride examples ran in it's former owners colours for some time as seen above, their stay at SM Coaches however turned out to be relatively brief and all six were withdrawn from service in late 2012 after being replaced by older, more economical Alexander ALX200 bodied Dennis Darts.

Agoralines 5 (c) David Bell
We finish with GX07 ARF, an example of the Irisbus Agoralines operated by M Travel, Pontefract who acquired five of this type from SM Coaches, although this wasn't one of them © David Bell.

After withdrawal by SM Coaches all of the Irisbus Agoralines except AU05 FKC (whereabouts unknown) were sold to M Travel, Pontefract as illustrated above, where they remain today, although we believe OY53 RDX has recently been withdrawn and scrapped by that operator.