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LAST UPDATED: 10 July 2019

MAN 18.220 A69

22050/51 NK53K--


Following the delivery of 23 identical 03 registered examples, 22034-22051 completed a large order of low floor vehicles for Newcastle; the first for several years. September 2003 saw their delivery to Slatyford commence, being completed by the end of October 2003. This batch, bodied by Transbus with the ALX300, is identical to the NK03--- batch with B42F configuration and new Stagecoach corporate blue interior and individual seating. All 18 arrived wearing Stagecoach in Newcastle livery, allocated to Slatyford and entered service with uppercase yellow digital destination displays.

Illustrating the once standard Uppercase destination display carried by the batch, 22048 is pictured on Gallowgate, operating Service 36 to Fenham.

Photo © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot 2007

The registrations of the batch are as follows:

22034     NK53KDZ
22035     NK53KEJ
22036     NK53KEU
22037     NK53KFA
22038     NK53KFC
22039     NK53KFD
22040     NK53KFE
22041     NK53KFF
22042     NK53KFG
22043     NK53KFJ
22044     NK53KFL
22045     NK53KFN
22046     NK53KFO
22047     NK53KFP
22048     NK53KFR
22049     NK53KFT
22050     NK53KFU
22051     NK53KFV


Their arrival at Slatyford saw the cascade of further Scania saloons to Teesside (28903/4/7/9-11/13/14/16/20/22/25/29) and Walkergate (28902/24/26/27/28).


Seen on Gallowgate and illustrating the Sentence Case destination layout together with the 'pants' Megarider Mega-rear, Newcastle based ALX300 bodied MAN 18.220 A69 22034, operating Service 71 to Throckley.

Photo © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot 2011

22034 received a Mega-rear advertisement for the Tyne & Wear Superoute network while 22046/47 received Mega-rear advertisements for the Dayrider travelticket. 22034 lost the Superoute Mega-rear in 2007, in favour of the new pants Megarider Mega-rear. 22037, previously without Mega-rear application, received the pants Mega-rider advert during summer 2007. All of the batch have subsequently lost their Mega-rear's, being painted back into full corporate fleet livery.

In spring-summer 2007, the batch had their blinds reprogrammed to display Sentence Case text.

The first movements of the batch took place in 2011, when 22049-51 were transferred to South Shields. They were released at Slatyford by the arrival of the Enviro400 Hybrids at Walkergate, which saw the cascade of standard Enviro400's to Slatyford. 22049/50 moved in August 2011, and assisted in the withdrawal of the remaining B10BLEs at the South Shields. 22051 transferred in November 2011, enabling a further ALX200 bodied Dart SLF withdrawal. 22049/50 initially operated in South Shields in standard corporate livery, complete with South Shields fleetnames, before being repainted in December 2011 (22050) and March 2012 (22049) into a special (if unimaginative and unfortunately washed-out looking) all-blue livery with branding for Service X34. Both subsequently received orange scrolling Sentence Case destination displays.

This version of the X34 livery was carried by two members of the fleet, 22050 (pictured) and sister vehicle 22049.

Photo © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot 2012

22051 carried standard corporate livery with Stagecoach in South Shields names during its relatively brief stay in the town, being transferred back to Slatyford in May 2012, indirectly released by the arrival of new Enviro200s in the town. The return of 22051 to Slatyford theoretically replaced, in combination with a reduced Slatyford PVR, older T-registered MANs, though in reality the vehicles in question continued to operate for Slatyford.

The X34 livery carried by 22049/50 was short-lived as the pair were repainted to corporate livery in February 2013 (22049) and June 2013 (22050).

August 2014 saw 22049 transfer from South Shields to Slatyford, assisting in the replacement older non-DDA compliant MAN 18.220 A69s. The vehicle was one of two replaced in South Shields by the arrival of new Enviro200s 37143 and 37144.

South Shields' last remaining example, 22050, was withdrawn to reserve in October 2015 following the arrival of the former Stathtay Enviro400s at the depot. The following month saw 22050 reunited with the rest of the batch at Slatyford (offically in reserve, but operating in active service, before eventually 'officially; joining the Slatyford fleet).

Following the arrival of a batch of new Enviro200 MMC single decks during December 2016, 22034-48 were withdrawn for disposal and 22049 was withdrawn to reserve.

In May 2017, withdrawn examples 22037, 22040, 22045, 22047 & 22049 were loaned to Stagecoach West Scotland's Ayr depot to cover for defective examples north of the border. 22040/47/49 returned to withdrawn status at Slatyford in June 2017. 22045 returned to withdrawn status at Stockton in early July 2017.

The last pair of vehicles from this batch remaining in service with Stagecoach North East, 22050 & 22051 have outlasted several newer 54-plate vehicles which have been selected for disposal ahead of this pair, both still in regular service at Slatyford.

Photos © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot 2016

In late August 2017, 22047 was one of a pair of ALX300 bodied MAN 18.220 A69s which transferred to Stagecoach in the Highlands. Like the earlier transfer to Scotland, this proved short term, with the vehicle returned to the North East, awaiting disposal, in September 2017.

With time running out for the batch, long-term withdrawn 22038 was sold for scrap in October 2018, followed by 22046/48 in November 2018 and 22034/35/40/41/45/49 in December 2018. 22036/39 were similarly scrapped in January 2019 while 22047 is currently being broken up for spares at Slatyford. April 2019 saw 22042/43/44 sold for scrap, followed by 22047 (which had been broken up at Slatyford in the preceeding months) in May 2019.

These vehicles are currently operated by Newcastle (Slatyford).

The rest of the batch

22037 spent most of it's stay with Stagecoach West Scotland in Reserve, prior to being listed for disposal in June 2018. It remained as such until being written off in January 2019.


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