Volvo Ailsa Mk III (Vo B55-10)
Volvo TD70H Diesel
Northern Counties 2102
Taybus Vintage Vehicle Society member(s)
Cardiff Bus 2000 (Refurbished)
Restored and on the road since 2015
NDW415X, fleet number 415, entered service with Cardiff Bus / bws Caerdydd in 1982 as one of a batch of 18 (NDW401X to NDW418X). There were 2 more batches of 9 vehicles (RKG420Y to RKG427Y and A428VNY to A436VNY) taking the fleet of Ailsas to 36 vehicles. In 2000 due to a reduced need for double deckers some of the Ailsas were withdrawn and sold to other operators, notably Edwards Coaches in Llantwit Fadre.
Most of the remaining Ailsas with Cardiff Bus, including 415, were refurbished and repainted in a brighter version of fleet livery and were fitted with electronic destination equipment. Ailsa operation finally ended in Cardiff in December 2007 and 415 was bought by Edwards and painted yellow for use on school contracts and often on rugby park and ride services in Cardiff.
In 2014 it became apparent that Edwards' remaining Ailsas would be withdrawn at the end of the school term as the council wished to move to 70 seat coaches for school transport. In July 2014 the 5 remaining Ailsas were withdrawn and offered for sale. The current owner contacted Edwards early in 2014 expressing their interest in 415 and was notified in June to advise of the forthcoming disposal of the Ailsas. Towards the end of July 2014 NDW415X was purchased and driven to Bewdley then on to Wigan a week later where restoration work began almost immediately.
Restoration of the bus got underway soon after purchase and almost every panel was found to be dented, although not immediately apparent in photographs due to the flat yellow paintwork. Restoration work concentrated on replacing most of the exterior side and rear panels. The electronic destination works and the bus has been restored to its refurbished condition as it would have been in 2000.