Ipswich withdraws open-top Atlantean

The open-top Atlantean, 9 (MRT 9P), departing Tower Ramparts bus station in the town centre in 2015. DAVID JENKINS

Ipswich Buses has parted company with its 43-year-old Roe-bodied Leyland Atlantean open topper. It had entered service in closed top format in May 1976 and was converted to open top by 1993 following a top deck fire. In recent years, it was used on a series of excursions and tours each summer, but these were not reintroduced this season. As well as wearing contemporary fleet colours at different periods in its career, it also carried City Sightseeing livery at one point.

Phil Smart, portfolio holder for transport at Ipswich Borough Council — sole shareholder in the company — told the Ipswich Star newspaper that the exemption from PSV accessibility regulations that allows older stepentrance vehicles to operate in service for up to 20 days a year was ‘totally uneconomic for a comparatively small company that has to operate on quite tight margins’.

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