Purfleet-based dealer and operator Ensignbus has painted one of its fleet vehicles in a gold livery to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Originally founded in February 1972 and operating contracts for the Port of London Authority, it has over the years operated in many guises. Its dealership came to prominence when it purchased nearly 2,000 DMS class vehicles from London Transport on a rolling programme. It refurbished and sold these far and wide, everywhere from Hong Kong to National Bus Company subsidiaries in the UK. The DMS also became a stalwart of the sightseeing market and Ensignbus developed London Pride Sightseeing from a one bus operation to over 100 vehicles by the late 1990s. Ensign remained in sightseeing after its sale of London Pride and founded the City Sightseeing franchise model, acquired rival Guide Friday, and operated directly controlled operations in the UK, Australia and the USA.
Its familiar blue and silver liveried buses operate on its commercial network of routes centred around the Lakeside shopping centre and connecting nearby towns and villages, as well as being seen far further away working on emergency rail replacement work in which it specialises.
The dealership continues to be a core of the business selling up to 700 buses a year, and undertaking all refurbishment work in house including fitting seatbelts, conversion of double-door buses to single door, open top conversions and carrying out MOTs. Peter Newman, Ensignbus founder and Chairman, said: “It’s a great milestone to have reached and we are incredibly proud of what we as a family business have achieved.”