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LAST UPDATED: 24 December 2018

MAN 18.220 A69

22408-13 NK06LU-


Showcasing the first generation X47 branding together with the Uppercase destination display initially carried by these vehicles is Slatyford based MAN/ALX300 'BESS THE EXPRESS', otherwise known as 22409.

Photo © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot 2007

These six vehicles were delivered new to Slatyford in May 2006 to launch the new easyACCESS express Service X47. They are identical to the 2005 batch, carrying Alexander Dennis ALX300 bodies with B42F configuration and were delivered with the new Stagecoach corporate blue interior and individual seating. The batch entered service displaying uppercase orange destinations on a digital blind.

The registrations of the batch are as follows:

22408     NK06LUR
22409     NK06LUT
22410     NK06LUW
22411     NK06LUY
22412     NK06LUZ
22413     NK06LUP

Four of the six vehicles (22408-22411) were delivered complete with distinctive branding for Service X47 while 22412/13 entered service in standard Stagecoach in Newcastle corporate livery.

Five of the batch also received names: 22408/09/10/11/13 were named BUBBLES, BESS THE EXPRESS, SPARKLE, BUSTER THE BUS and TOOTIE FRUITY, respectively. 22412 was unnamed.

During Spring 2007, all of the batch had their blinds reprogrammed to display Sentence Case text, with the scrolling facility enabled.

Seen on Barras Bridge, 22412 illustrates the second generation X47 branding while operating that service.

Photo © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot 2009

The route branding for service X47 was revised in 2007, seeing 22408-12 receive full repaint and application of the new second generation branding. At the same time, 22408-11 lost their names. 22413 was repainted during summer 2013, remaining the unbranded spare and losing the name TOOTIE FRUITY which it had carried from new.

March 2015 saw 22408-22412 debranded, with a third generation version of X47 branding applied to the same vehicles the following month. The revised branding played on the 'King' in Kingston Park, with two variations:

'WorKING 9to5 or seeKING some fun' (22408, 22409)

'LooKING for a bargain or liKING luxury' (22410, 22411, 22412)


Illustrating the third generation of X47 branding is 22409, NK06LUT, seen in Newcastle City Centre operating the service for which it carries branding.

Photo © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot 2016

Extensive service cuts in Newcastle at the end of April 2017 saw the frequency of Service X47 slashed and the service operate on boards shared with Services X77, X78, X79, X82, X87 & X88. As a consequence, 22408-22412 had their branding removed in the final week of April. Little care appeared to have been taken in removing the branding, with remnants still visible on the front, rear and sides of vehicles. 22410/11/12 were eventually repainted in June 2017, 22408 in July 2017 while 22409 continued to operate in this state for many months before repaint.

Repainted to remove all signs of former branding, 22410, NK06LUW, is seen in Newcastle city centre operating Service 10 to West Denton Park.

Photo © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot 2017

22412 spent several months out of use during the latter half of 2018 in a sorry state at the rear of Slatyford depot, eventually returning to service in November 2018.

These vehicles have thus far retained their original allocation to Newcastle (Slatyford).



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