Southdown sluggishness

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I was interested in the comment about the sluggishness of Southdown’s PD3/5s. This was in the article ‘Queen Mary to Coaster’ in Buses December.

I believe all the PD3s were sluggish in the early 1960s. This was a result of the then chief engineer’s belief that savings could be made on maintenance costs if the engine speeds on the company’s Leylands was reduced.

I was a company trainee in this period and I can vividly remember an occasion when I was conducting as part of the training programme. We were heading north from Portsmouth on a PD3/4 when the driver told me that although his foot was flat on the floor, the speedometer was registering 28mph.

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