There were two major outbreaks of so called competition after deregulation in October 1986. Basically this meant an operator could register services and run alongside an exisitng operator meaning a bus every minute along some sections of route. One competitor was Camms, based in Nottingham. After much activity and bad press for both sides a deal was reached whereby Derby bought the operating rights from Camms. A number of Fleetlines were repainted into Camms livery although they remained Derby owned. The one good thing was a temporary life extension for several Roe bodied examples. The very last Roe bodied Fleetline, 288 (RCH 288R) is seen (above) in Derby bus station in Camms livery.
After the disastrous Blue Bus fire there was a requirement for low height vehicles capable of passing under the 13 feet 3 inch Willington bridge (A double deck three inches higher could pass under it with great care!). A batch of three Alexander bodied Fleetlines (51 - 53, NAL xxP) were delivered with the final Roe batch. Above is 53 (NAL 53P) which had recently been reinstated to traffic wating to depart from Derby Bus Station with the 1900 service 104 to Burton of 30/12/86. This service was normally operated by Trent, a staff dispute over Christmas workings saw Derby City Transport operating their routes; a return to the halcyon days of joint workings in Derby before deregulation. Today the view behind the roadsign on the left of the picture is now occupied by a multi-storey car park, another winner from the City planners.........NOT!
A batch of six low height Fleetlines with Northern Counties bodywork were purchased, starting with 50 (XRR 50S) in 1978 which was joined by 45 - 49 (GTO 45 - 9V) in 1980. 45 keeps company with 50 at Ascot Drive. A withdrawn former London DMS, latterly Derby 254 (MLK 441L) is visible on the right.
The present Derby Depot is located at Ascot Drive. Above is a view from the front gate with (left - right) 101 (WTO 101S), 274 (NNN 274P), 281 (RCH 281R) awaiting their next duties. 101 was one of only 7 Foden NC chassis built. New in 1978 it had a rather chequered career and was finally broken up for spares in 1986.
Click HERE for 289 onwards and secondhand vehicles.