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Sullivan Buses South Mimms Garage [SM]

Around two weeks ago, I visited Sullivan's South Mimms Garage in Hertfordshire, just north of the M25. Since the company began operating just over a decade ago, they have become renowned for their diligent work for LUL when services are suspended.  

The Garage located in South Mimm's opened in 1999 when former LUL Manager Dean Sullivan decided to start up a bus company. This derived from his earlier career within London Underground which saw him directly take responsibility for providing LUL with replacement bus services during times of engineering work or network downfall. However outside of his work responsibilities, Dean was also an enthusiast which made him excellent at his job, he independently owned three preserved ex London Buses and with the help of a very large bus operator, Dean managed to certify one of these for PSV License to make it eligible to carry passengers whilst in operation.

One of the the first jobs that Sullivan Buses was over a decade ago in 1998 and this was to provide replacement bus services for the DLR and London Underground following major engineering work on both networks.  The success of this operation helped to build the backbone on what we now know as Sullivan Buses today. Later on that year the company purchased an Ex London Buses Leyland Titan numbered T85 from Leaside Buses (a subsidy of Arriva). From here on, work opportunities for the company began to grow and the first two buses were joined by T890 which is interestingly still owned by the company today!

Over the years, the company grew from strength to strength, winning many Hertfordshire County contracted routes, and becoming LUL's preferred replacement bus operator. From their humble beginnings with two Buses, the fleet grew to a respectable 50 vehicles, which were easily noticeable with their yellow doors and white roof tops. In addition to this the company's vehicles have been heavily used in over 30 Television productions, including BBC's Eastenders and 'The Bill'. The company have a smaller base located in Stained which is used to house their Thorpe Park Express services which run from Staines to Thorpe Park.

On the 27th of June 2003, the company gained their first London Buses tendered contract, in the form of the Route 383 which was respectively won off Metroline, operation smoothly commenced using 3 Ceatano Slimbus bodied Dennis Dart SLF Buses coded as 'DN'. However upon the re-tendering of this contract in June 2008, the route was respectively re-gained by Metroline and the DNs were absorbed into their commercial fleet.

Despite the set back in 2008, Sullivan's kept on pushing towards providing diligent bus services and their efforts were awarded when it was announced that the company had won the route 298 from Arriva, with a contract commencing on the 4th of February 2012. The company also gained four other school route contracts, placing them back within the London Buses tendered services operations.

We would like to thank Dean Sullivan for arranging and allowing us to visit his amazing garage and for ensuring that we were safe on his premises by following all codes from the Health and Safety at Work Act. More photos from our visit are available below.

Three Heritage Routemasters

Metrobus B69 WUL and Titan WYV 66T

Routemaster Interior

Routemaster Interior

Routemaster Interior

Routemaster RML889

Two Heritage Routemasters

Routemaster Interior

Routemaster Interior

Sullivan Buses AE15 TW61 SUL

Sullivan Buses AE15 TW61 SUL dashboard

Former President B7TL Demonstrator X157 JOP and former
London General PDL26 PJ02 PZZ

TPL296 EY03 FNL and EL04 SUL

WVL1 GD52 SYC and former London United VP119 W466 BCW

President B7TL dashboard

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