All four Futuras in the Reading fleet entered service in two tone blue London Line livery for express services to London. 271/2 were bought new in 1995 to assess customer support for the type whilst the rest of the service was operated by similarly liveried Optare Spectras 751/2, Plaxton Paramounts 261/2 and a mixture of VanHool Alizees and Jonckheere Jubilees. 273 was purchased in 1997, and 274 in 1999, these two both originally being Bova demonstrators.
The quartet were repainted in July/August 1999 along with the rest of the London Line and Goldline fleets. The London fleet received different branding to the private hire / excursion vehicles, but wore the same basic livery as the rest of the coaching fleet for the first time since 1993. In May 2000 the London services were withdrawn, the Bovas were transferred to the private hire fleet, and the branding was altered to match.
The four were offered for sale in May 2003, the vehicles having become quite tired after a number of years of running up and down the motorway to London, and then a few more years doing more local private hires in town. One of the original duo is said to have clocked up nearly a million miles during its time with Reading!
272 is seen below at St. Mary's Butts on 24th July 2002:
272 is seen below at Baldock Services on 30th March 2002 enroute to a wedding in St. Neots in Cambridgeshire in its current Goldline private hire livery. The vehicle was hired as a comfortable way to transport a number of guests from Reading to the wedding, and then later for the bride and groom to get from the church to the reception. Thats to Chris Hopper (the groom) for supplying this photo that was taken by John Bayley:
The next two pictures are of Futura 274 departing Reading for London. The first shot was taken in May 1998 and shows it at Reading Station wearing London Line livery. The second shows it in August 1999, emerging from Blagrave Street wearing the current Goldline livery but with London branding.
271/3 passed to Thorn (APT Coaches), Rayleigh in November 2003 upon arrival of Scania / Irizar Centurys 210/1. They were then advertised for sale again at the end of January, 271 having received all over white livery. 272/4 followed on 31st March 2003 when 212/3 arrived.
Last updated: 15-09-08