On the surface it was a surprise move when a quantity of Dennis Lance vehicles with Optare 'Sigma' bodies were transferred to the Blue Apple fleet. A good move for the University authorities who wanted nice new buses instead of elderly Leyland Nationals. The main underlying reason was the questionable reliability of the type particularly on longer distance runs which are so tightly timed the vehicle has to be thrashed half to death (or even to death where 354 (M354 PRA) was concerned, it caught fire! The theory is that the vehicles on Derby University work are never more than 3 miles away should the worst happen. Oddly enough they have thus far put in quite an exemplary performance - says a lot about tight scheduling in the name of profit really!

A most rare working. Owing to low trees in Weston-on-Trent double deck vehicles are not allowed on service 73. However during the evening there is a one way journey from Derby at 17:10. 718 (C718 LTO) poses at the terminus in Weston having been reversed into position!

723 (C723 NNN) is seen between duties at the University of Derby Kedleston Road site. This vehicle now carries 'Unibus' livery as applied to 1364 (above).

Click HERE for the Contents page of my website which includes views of Bristol built buses, Derby Fleetlines and views of British Rail in the 1980s