On Wednesday, I was fortunate enough to attend the O2 Academy in Birmingham to see my favourite band, Within Temptation. Naturally, it's quite a long way from Norwich so I stopped off in Coventry on the way there for an hour or so to photograph the local bus scene. I had done a small bit of research beforehand so I knew what to expect and where to expect it so successfully managed to add a hundred or so buses onto my archive.
The bus station is situated adjacent to the Coventry Transport Museum, and the somewhat famous Whittle Arches which span across the entrance. The bus station itself is large, and didn't seem to have anywhere suitable to photograph. Therefore I stood on the entrance, and with the sun gleaming down onto the vehicles as they passed, I felt it was a decent spot.
|Stagecoach Midlands 36942 SN63KFY sits under the Whittle Arches on Hales Street|
There are quite a few operators in Coventry, including Travel de Courcey and Stagecoach Midlands, with smaller companies including Johnson's, Diamond, and County Links which is operated by Warwickshire County Council. The majority of the bus services however are operated by National Express Coventry, in close alliance with National Express West Midlands. The structure here reminds me of First's in Norfolk and Suffolk. If you go spotting in Norwich Bus Station, you might see a Lowestoft branded bus. In Coventry, although the majority of the services are operated by the sky blue and cream liveried 'Coventry' buses, you may see a red and white liveried National Express bus operating from Birmingham, with the 'West Midlands' branding.
|West Midlands 4897 BX13JVU operating between two Coventry branded buses on Ironmonger Row|
The average age of the fleet in Coventry seems to be rather young. The double deckers consist of 2011-2013 registered Enviro400s and some older ALX400s, with the odd 2005 Wright Eclipse-Gemini bodied Volvo dotted about. The majority of the single deckers come in the form of 13' reg Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse-Urban 2s. The only other types I saw in operation were 03' bendy Mercedes buses which were branded up and operated on service 4, and some rather old looking Mercedes-Benz O405Ns.
|6013 BJ03ESU about to enter the bus station by Coventry Transport Museum|
The O405N mentioned earlier is a type of bus that I had never heard of or seen before, and I think they look double their age thanks to the square shaped styling. There's a good sized batch operating in and around the area and I reveled in the opportunity to photograph as many as I can. One or two are still wearing the companies older livery, but the newer paintjob (see below) still doesn't distract me from how old the vehicle looks.
|O405N bodied 1571 S571VUK looks right at home in front of a tudor backdrop on Ironmonger Row|
|Dennis Trident Alexander ALX400 4398 BV52OBN sporting the older version of National Express Coventry's livery|
|2160 BX13JSZ, part of a large fleet of this type with route branding. This one, for the 9 and 9A to the Hospital|
|Stagecoach Midlands operate lots of Enviro200s in the city, like 36212 KX60LHU|
|Diamond was represented by this 'Signature' liveried hybrid Optare Versa featuring WiFi and leather seats|
|Johnsons operate three services into Coventry, this Optare Tempo has just arrived from nearby Berkswell|