NBC receives its first Leyland National
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• A short ceremony in London on Monday marked the official handing over to the National Bus Company of its first Leyland National fully integrated singledecker bus. The bus was handed over by Mr Marcus T. Smith, director and general manager of NBC's associate company, Leyland National Ltd, and was received by Mr S. J. B. Skyrme, chief executive of the State-owned bus undertaking, signifying the completioti of a £14m development programme.
Wearing an all-red livery and, appropriately, the fleet name "Cumberland", the bus, one of a pre-production batch of 12 assembled at the purpose-built factory in Workington, Cumberland, has been certified and will soon enter service with NBC subsidiary Cumberland Motor Services Ltd, in whose operating territory Workington lies.
The bus is a standard 11-metre twodoorway model with 48 seats, plus room for 24 standing passengers, a high-geared rear axle and an unladen weight of 8 tons 9ewt.
Apart from the axle ratio, the specification and finish is virtually unchanged from the model tested by CM last November (CM December 3 1971).
A brief demonstration run writes Derek Moses, from New Street Square via Fleet Street, the Strand, Waterloo Bridge, Stamford Street, Blackfriars Bridge and Ludgate Circus, confirmed the good ride and handling quality of the Leyland National.
The styling of the bus attracted much attention from people in the street. Engine noise in the rear part of the bus was on the high side, however, although once properly run-in the turbocharged Leyland 510 fixed-head engine might well bed down to a more acceptable noise level.
Production-line construction of Leyland Nationals has now commenced at Workington, and the factory should be up to full capacity by May. Orders already received include almost 600 examples from NBC companies.