Livery variety in Southend City

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Just over one year ago on 1 March, Southend-on-Sea was granted city status. Richard Sharman takes a look at the bus scene there on a cold but sunny February afternoon, which turned out to be anything but standard, with multiple heritage liveries on show

Arriva Southend’s ADL Enviro400MMC 6515 sports a vinyl wrap to celebrate Southend’s recent city status. RICHARD SHARMAN
Painted into Southend Corporation Transport livery in 2019 to celebrate 100 years of service 1 to Rayleigh is Arriva Southend ADL Enviro400MMC 6499. RICHARD SHARMAN

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Wearing a heritage livery originally designed by John Lidstone in 1988 for Southend Transport’s Routemasters, Arriva’s Volvo B7RLE/Wright Eclipse Urban-bodied Volvo B7RLE 3816 has carried the colour scheme since November 2019. RICHARD SHARMAN
First Bus Wrightbus Gemini 2-bodied Volvo B9TL 37986 has lived somewhat of a charmed life, having been purchased new for Green Line services between London and Windsor. It then moved to Essex where it gained X30 livery for the limited stop service between Southend and Stansted Airport. In 2021 it gained Eastern National X10 coach heritage livery dating from 1968. It is seen alongside an Alexander Dennis Enviro400 in the recently introduced Essex Bus livery from First. RICHARD SHARMAN
Sister vehicle to the one pictured above 37985 also had the same history but gained Westcliff Motor Services heritage livery in 2020. RICHARD SHARMAN
The only independent operator serving the city is Stephensons of Essex. This had previously included Ensignbus with its open-top service 68 in the summer months but that has now moved to First Bus ownership. Alexander Dennis Enviro400-bodied Scania N230UD 603, EU13 EBK, is seen operating service 24. RICHARD SHARMAN //
Although wearing Arriva’s ‘Journey Mark’ base livery, Optare Versa 4182 sports a beach-themed design for service 9. RICHARD SHARMAN