Sunderland may buy foreign
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• Criticism of Leyland buses, voiced this week by Alderman R. Spain, Sunderland Corporation transport committee chairman, has brought strong reaction from a British Leyland spokesman. Because of trouble with their Leylands, Ald. Spain had said that the corporation might buy from foreign manufacturers.
He commented adversely on maintenance costs of the Leylands, saying Sunderland citizens must have the best possible value for their money and in order to get it they might be compelled to go overseas. Among other things, delivery dates were bad. Many of the heaters now blew cold instead of hot.
A factory spokesman told CM that in Sweden, for instance, some 3.000 Leyland buses were in use. whereas there were very few foreign-manufactured buses used in Britain: waiting time for delivery was of the order of 12 months, much the same as any other British manufacturer. So far as value was concerned-, he continued, one would expect to pay nearly half as much again for a Swedish bus as for a Leyland. Some of the detailed criticism that had been levelled against the vehicles actually referred to fittings which were the bodybuilders' responsibility and not the product of the chassis manufacturers.
ACM contributor comments that Sunderland has a mixed fleet, the majority of the singledeckers being Leyland Panthers (70), although AEC (23). Bristol (10). Atkinson (3) and Daimler (3) are also represented in this section. The corporation made an extensive purchase of Leyland Panthers around the time that the town's flat-fare system was introduced hut at the buyer's request the specification was subject to extensive modifications.