London Buses in the 1970s: 1975-1979: From Crisis to Recovery (Pen & Sword)

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A second volume of photographs from the extensive archives of Jim Blake. This book examines the second half of the 1970s, when both London Transport and London Country were still struggling to keep services going. Both were plagued by a shortage of spare parts for their vehicles, leading to great unreliability, particularly amongst the MB, SM and DMS types.

In 1975, both operators had to hire buses from other companies, so desperate were they. Many came from the seaside towns of Southend, Bournemouth and Eastbourne and continued until much later in the decade, particularly with London Country.

As the decade progressed, the two fleets began to lose their 'ancestral' vehicle types. London Country followed the National Bus Company trend of buying Leyland Atlanteans and Nationals, common to most other NBC operators throughout the country. Having virtually abandoned the MB and SM-types, London Transport had to persevere with buying the unreliable DMS well into 1978, but their later replacements, the Metrobuses and Titans would finally prove successful. In the meantime, plans to convert trunk routes serving Central London to one-person-operation were largely abandoned.

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