Central SMT

Single-Deckers : Leyland National

Had Central been a subsidiary of the National Bus Company in England & Wales, it would probably have had a mostly-National single-deck fleet throughout much of the 1970s. In the event, of course, the Scottish Bus Group was slow to adopt the type. A batch was bought by Eastern Scottish in 1977 for service in Monklands, as one way out of the difficult vehicle shortages in that fleet at the time. The experience proved to be a good one, however, and soon Nationals were being ordered in quantity throughout most of the SBG.

Central's first Nationals arrived in 1978 and were put to work on Hamilton town services. Two years later, the MkII models arrived, sounding not dissimilar to the much more common Central Leopards. On acquisition of Airdrie depot from Eastern Scottish in 1985, further MkI and MkII Nationals joined the fleet. The MkII Nationals were lost en masse to Kelvin Scottish soon after de-regulation, to assist that company's struggling efforts to fend off competition in Glasgow.

Central's Nationals wore some notable liveries. The standard scheme was a pleasant red and cream combination, lighter than similar schemes elsewhere in the SBG due to Central's practice of using cream window surrounds. Some Nationals - the first batch of MkIIs in particular - arrived in a drab allover red, relieved only by an artificial-looking cream panel to hold the fleetname. N25 (MDS858V) also carried an experimental half-and-half red and cream (or possibly white!) scheme.

Two other very notable Central Nationals were N51 (GSX864T) and N54 (GSX867T). These ex-Eastern Scottish buses started life at Baxter's Victoria Depot in Airdrie, but never wore Baxter's traditional blue and grey colours. (Like all Eastern Scottish Nationals, they were green and cream.) In Central's final days, following a disastrous industrial relations problem and with the impending merger with Kelvin as a prelude to privatisation, the company tried out local identities as a means of winning back lost custom. One of these identities was Monklands Bus, a throwback to Baxter's days, being very similar to that company's double-deck livery. N51 and N54 carried these colours in 1989.

N1-20Chassis Leyland National 11351A/1RBuilt 1978/79
Bodywork Leyland National B52F
1 EGB78T5 EGB82T9 EGB86T13 EGB90T17 EGB94T
2 EGB79T6 EGB83T10 EGB87T14 EGB91T18 FNS160T
3 EGB80T7 EGB84T11 EGB88T15 EGB92T19 FNS161T
4 EGB81T8 EGB85T12 EGB89T16 EGB93T20 FNS162T
N21-45Chassis Leyland National 2 NL116L11/1RBuilt 1980/81
Bodywork Leyland National B52F
21 MDS854V26 MDS859V31 MDS864V36 SNS822W41 SNS827W
22 MDS855V27 MDS860V32 MDS865V37 SNS823W42 SNS828W
23 MDS856V28 MDS861V33 MDS866V38 SNS824W43 SNS829W
24 MDS857V29 MDS862V34 MDS867V39 SNS825W44 SNS830W
25 MDS858V30 MDS863V35 MDS868V40 SNS826W45 SNS831W
N46-54Chassis Leyland National 11351A/1RBuilt 1977/78
Bodywork Leyland National B52F
Formerly Eastern Scottish N766-70, 864-7
46 BSF766S48 BSF768S50 BSF770S52 GSX865T54 GSX867T
47 BSF767S49 BSF769S51 GSX864T53 GSX866T 
N55-68Chassis Leyland National 2 NL116L11/1RBuilt 1980/81
Bodywork Leyland National B52F
Formerly Eastern Scottish N579-86, 302/4/6/5/1/3
55 RFS579V58 RFS582V61 RFS585V64 YFS304W67 YFS301W
56 RFS580V59 RFS583V62 RFS586V65 YFS306W68 YFS303W
57 RFS581V60 RFS584V63 YFS302W66 YFS305W 


Single-deck Types