704 FE02 AKV
New To: Nottingham City Transport
Chassis: Scania L94UA YS4L6X20001841182
Body: Wright Solar Fusion E314 AB59D
Scania L94UA 704 was new to Nottingham City Transport in March 2002 and was delivered in the then new GO2 Lime Line livery for service 58 from the City Centre to Arnold. 704 was one of a batch of 5 Scania bendy buses for Nottingham City Transport.
According to John Lowrie (the former engineering director who placed the order for the bendy buses) “the bendy buses were ordered to show Nottingham City Council there was an alternative to a tram network.” The bus is licensed for 59 seated passengers but with a standing load can carry up to 146 passengers.
702, 703, 704 and 705 were new to the 58 route to Arnold, with 701 arriving in the livery 704 can be seen in today. 701 and 705 went onto Navy Line 48 before the entire fleet of Bendy Buses, then moved onto the dedicated Nottingham Trent University, campus to campus service, Unilink 4. This later became GO2 Uni Navy Line 4. The route operated from the City Centre Campus via the Train Station, Trent Bridge and Wilford to the Clifton Campus. During service on the Unilink 4s, they were all based out of Gotham Depot. Over the years the bendy buses became an icon within Nottingham City Centre. The end of the road came for them in June 2014, being replaced by 2005 Scania Omnidekkas in August 2014 ready for the next term.
704 is now the only surviving mechanically complete example from the Nottingham bendy fleet as all the others except 702 were canabalised for useful parts by NCT and then scrapped. 703 went to Barnsley for scrap, the others (including 700, the ex Lothian former London Omnicity bodied demonstrator) were broken up at Langar. 702 has been converted by the Territorial Army for use by a school in Chilwell as a library within the school grounds. £40,000 was gleaned from the MOD towards this project. It no longer has an engine or gearbox.
In August 2014 the vehicle joined the charity. It was purchased for a nominal value after removal of the seats, destination equipment and CCTV by Nottingham City Transport. As Our intended use did not require any of these to be in situ such removal did not deter our interest and we are grateful to NCT for recognising our interest in one of the vehicles. Our intention had been to secure the original demonstrator vehicle 701 Y701LRB but NCT required the gearbox from this and others as by removing part of the casing they could be used in the Scania Omnidekkas. With 704/705 both having uprated engines and gearboxes such use was not possible. We had viewed 705 prior to 704 but it was suffering from rather unsightly crazing of the bodywork on the front end, clearly from involvement in an RTC at an earlier date. Since arrival at our site we have removed the internal handrails, most of the vinyl advertisements and renewed much of the internal lighting owing to missing inverters and inoperative wiring. Unfortunately the vehicle turned out to be in rather a poor state requiring a large injection of cash towards mechanical repairs. One of the power steering pipes had been rubbing on the chassis frame to the rear of the coupling area. On inspection it became necessary to replace this from the coupling to the rear of the vehicle. We have replaced 7 out of the 10 airbags on the vehicle and repaired other smaller faults. In June 2015 the bus returned to the road again after being reticketed. Our appreciation must be extended to Wrightbus for their assistance by way of supplying the manuals and service details for the vehicle after failing to locate them locally. It is rather disappointing that none of the 5 sets of handbooks originally supplied with the vehicles when delivered to NCT appear to exist. We have since been very kindly donated the original seats by NCT, which have been refitted along with the correct handpoles.
Relevance To The Collection
704 is now the last Nottingham City Transport Bendy Bus that is complete.