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Friday, 4 June 2010

Go Ahead London Merton Garage [AL]

Today was something new. The first time I had ever visited a London General Garage. The reason for me doing this was to view the MCV double decker that was brought there for the officials of the company in the main office to view.

 The MCV Double Decker I was chasing is probably the rarest bus on the streets of London, with just the one model being built. However when I arrived at the premises today, it was confirmed to me that the vehicle had left, route-bound for MCV's base in Ely, Cambridgeshire. However it was not all a downer as today was the day I met on of my now best mates, Rohan!

Now for a bit of info on the garage...Merton Garage, located just south of Wimbledon is the headquarters for the company Go Ahead London, which include the following subsidies; London Central & General, Blue Triangle, Docklands Buses and East Thames Buses. The Garage opened in the early 1900s and for years was the largest garage within the LGOC company. At one stage it even housed in excess of 220 AEC bodied Regents and in the 1950s it housed all 181 D-Class Daimlers. This is made possible by the layout of the garage. It has quite a unique longitudinal structure to it which allows buses to make use of all available space in the garage. In addition to this it also has a rear yard which is predominantly used to store PVLs, which are the company's Plaxton President bodied Volvo B7TLs.

In the early 60s, the garage was modernised and in 1991, it was modified further, thus seeing the introduction of a new roof structure and more welfare facilities located throughout the garage to prevent obstruction, which was prior to this very long and narrow. The modification of this allowed the company to make abundance of the space in the garage. During the works many buses were parked at the nearby Colliers Wood.

Over the years the garage capacity or PVR has fluctuated between 83 vehicles and 134 vehicles, never really reaching its full potential. However the garage is responsible for maintenance in many areas of the company.

As of today the garage runs the following routes; 22 (Sundays only), 44, 77, 118, 155, 163, 164 (Monday to Saturday), 200, 201, 219, 270, 280, Night Bus route N155 and school route 655. It also runs the St. Bedes School private bus services 514 and 519, which run between the Caterham area and the school, on behalf of Surrey County Council. Located below are some pictures from the visit. Due to the lighting in the garage, there are a lot of reflective shots.

However before I can proceed, credit must go out to the Go Ahead London staff who ensured my safety whilst on site. Kudos to you all!

London General PVL160 X616 EGK
London General LDP194 SN51 UAG
A nearside view of PVL78 W478 WGH,
when it still had its hub caps on the wheel
A fire damaged Cadet. 
PVL127 and PVL288 at Merton Garage
LDP261, PVL160 and SE21 at Merton Garage
London General SOE35 LX09 EVC and SOE21 LX09 AZD
London General PVL290 PJ02 RDU and PVL153 X553 EGK
Wilts Dorset Visionnaire No.403 HD54 KXV
London General LDP240 SN53 ETV


Rhys says:
at: Tuesday, December 04, 2012 10:42:00 pm said...

The Fire Damaged Cadet is DW10 which went on fire in Herne Hill

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