When First Essex decided to close Braintree depot earlier this year Stephensons stepped in and started operating some of the routes discarded by First. One of them is the route now branded "Three Rivers", the 38/38A which operates between Witham and Halstead via Braintree. Yesterday Stephensons took delivery of 5 brand new ADL E200's for the route, and I am grateful to James, who via the North West Bus Blog made these pictures available. I would think. these are some of the last E200's built that are not MMC's (unless both versions are still available). For reference the buses are fleet numbers 471 - 475 and registered EU65 EOG/H/J/K/L.
Stephensons new 473 E200 EU65 EOJ
Rear view of 473
Interior of 473
The Three Rivers Branding on 473
As a postscript it is noticeable that since First turned Braintree into an outstation the fleet based there has improved immensely. Presidents are replaced by ALX400 B7tl's, including ex Lowestoft 32651/2/4, and old Darts by B7rle's. Also of interest is the apparent transfer of ex Ipswich P&R B7rle 69421 AU58 FFLfrom Colchester to Chelmsford.