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H303CAV was new to Whippet Coaches, then based in Fenstanton, on 8th October1990.
The Northern Counties bodied Volvo Citybus, the third such example purchased new, offered a seating capacity of 80, the coach-
H303CAV was only the ninth new double decker purchased by the company and only one has followed since. Remaining in the fleet until January 2017 it was the last vehicle remaining that not only carried the popular stripes livery, but also the one after that too. In fact 303 (most recently WD418) carried no fewer than four and a half liveries, the most recent being a partial repaint to remove the cream in line with the rest of the fleet.
For a vehicle of its age in an increasingly modern fleet it was perhaps surprising that it wasn't confined only to school runs in its final years of operation. Indeed the vehicle still turned out from time-
Finally Whippet, under the ownership of Tower Transit, decided to withdraw the vehicle in December 2016, in part due to legislation changes making the step entrance largely obsolete. It passed to Chartwell (dealer) with several other double deckers but remained on site at Whippet's Swavesey depot awaiting a buyer. In January 2017 the vehicle was purchased and formed part of the Eastern Bus Group collection.
It is hoped to have the bus repainted into its original livery by 2019, in time for the 100th anniversary of Whippet, but this will be subject to other priorities in the group. In the meantime the bus is expected to be on the road for the 2017 rally season in its as withdrawn condition.
VOLVO B10M MkIII CITYBUS
Stephen Longmire, Alex Cavanagh, Michael Brent