The past few weeks have been very good in terms of amounts of step entrance Dennis Darts on the roads of Plymouth. As Plymothian Transit reported in the week the old face of M420 CCV has returned to the streets of Plymouth under new ownership. Of course the bus previously worked for FDC, but was new to Western National in 1995 as a batch of 19. I really don't know how M420 has managed to escape the axe so many times, but here she is today! M420 was one of the last few step entrance Darts FDC ran alongside some slightly later P reg examples right up until last year. M420 I believe was then bought by Plymouth Argyle but then was subsequently sold to Target Travel. Today she has been tidied up, and placed into service. Strangely its haunt seems to be the 14, which is usually Solo operated. This could be because of the extra capacity needed for certain school journeys on the 14, and therefore the bus simply stays on the route all day, with one of the '14' liveried Solos operating the other service. Really good to see it still going into the new decade though.
It has also been a good time for PCB's step Darts. With time being taken up in the workshops doing work on the London Darts and the Poole B7s, apparent vehicle shortages have led to a fair amount of the older Darts getting out to stretch their wheels on routes they aren't often seen on any more. I shall therefore take a direct report taken from the Yahoo Group, with thanks to the original poster:
There seemed to be a shortage of SLF/Citaros yesterday. Never seen so many Step Darts and Mercs out for a long time.
Route 16 - L119YOD
Route 26 - L121YOD, M130HOD
Route 28/28A/35 - M132HOD
Route 34 - M127HOD
Route 40 - L123YOD
Route 46 - L116/117YOD, M128HOD
Route 47 - L120/124YOD, M129HOD
Route 49 - L122YOD
Route 45 - N287PDV
Route 59 - N282/288PDV
Indeed today I spotted L123 YOD out on the 34, replacing the usual Enviro 200. Really good to see, as we draw even closer to the end of the Step Darts.