540 OTO 540M
New To: Nottingham City Transport
Chassis: Leyland Atlantean AN68/1R 7302378
Body: East Lancs 2501 H47/30D
Delivered in December 1973 to Nottingham City Transport as part of a batch of 46 similar vehicles, 540 is fitted with an East Lancs Double Deck body, seating a total of 77 passengers, 47 upstairs and 30 downstairs. It is the very first Leyland Atlantean AN68 for Nottingham City Transport. 540 and a few others from the batch were the last vehicles in the fleet to carry the old style gold company fleet names.
It is built to what is known as the “Nottingham Standard” design, which gave Nottingham’s buses a distinctive look for many years. The Nottingham Standard included many features such as, an angled destination allowing it to be viewed easier, higher internal ceilings, a front bumper to reduce accident damage, curved upper deck front windows, curved windscreens and a standardisation of parts between different vehicles for ease of maintenance.
540 entered service on December 10th 1973 from Trent Bridge garage, where it spent most of its working life predominantly on West Bridgford routes. The vehicle was repainted into dual green band livery in 1979 retaining gold fleet numbers and then again in 1982 and 1986. It was withdrawn from service in 1989 and stored in Trent Buses depot on Manvers Street, followed by a period at Bulwell depot. On September 1st 1989 it was relicensed and put back into service at Trent Bridge Depot prior to its final withdrawal and acquisition by Confidence of Oadby. 540 became number 20 in the Confidence fleet. For nearly twelve years the vehicle was to operate on school contracts and private hire work around the Leicester area.
Nottingham Heritage Vehicles purchased the bus in February 2001. The bus was stored until May 2004 when restoration work was started. The bus was completely rebuilt and repainted into original Nottingham City Transport livery by August 2005.
Relevance To The Collection
540 was the first of the AN68 Atlanteans purchased by Nottingham City Transport. The AN68 was an updated version of the Atlantean, which dealt with a number of issues from earlier versions. Nottingham bought over 230 of this chassis until they went out of production in 1984.