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Greater Manchester PTE, through a Holding Company, acquired the rights to the largest independent bus company, Lancashire United Transport Ltd (LUT) on 1st January 1976, but the company was kept as a separate operating unit until full absorption took place on 1st April 1981.

However, it was known that this absorption would eventually take place, and consequently, the vehicle purchasing policy of LUT was altered to reflect that being operated by Greater Manchester Transport, and consequently orders for Bristol VRTs were cancelled and the last 90 double deck vehicles ordered and delivered, were Leyland Fleetlines with the corporate Northern Counties Standard bodywork.

90 buses were delivered in total, receiving LUT fleet Nos. 485-529/542/570-613 between 1977 and 1981. The first 30 of these were delivered in LUT red/grey although they did have orange moquette and orange PVC seats inside. These vehicles were eventually numbered 6901-6930. The remaining 60 were delivered in GMT orange/white with a different application than that applied to GMT's own vehicles, similar to the orange/white/orange application on Metrobuses and Titans. They also had the GMT M emblem but with the words Lancashire United Transport applied instead of Greater Manchester Transport. These were eventually renumbered 6931-6990.

It is reported earlier, that the SELNEC Preservation Society had acquired the last of the LUT Standards (and Greater Manchester's last Fleetline) 6990 (DWH 706W), which was also the last vehicle delivered to LUT. The SELNEC Preservation Society has now acquired the first of this batch, 6901 (LUT 485) (OBN 502R) which will form an interesting 'bookend' when restored into LUT red/grey livery and comparison to 6990, in its orange/white/orange special LUT/GMT livery.

Eventually, when the new livery for GMT was introduced in 1981, being white/orange/brown it was applied to all vehicles which meant that GMT Standards, LUT Standards, Metrobuses and Titans, all had a corporate appearance for the first time.

6901 was taken out of service at de-regulation on 26th October 1986, as were its counterpart vehicles 6902-6911 and sold through the Kirkby Central arrangement. It ran for Rossendale Transport and other owners before ending up with Carterton Coaches (Witney) Ltd who operated it during recent years, and with whom the SELNEC Preservation Society were in contact. We visited the bus and looked over it during our Tour of potential preservation projects on 25th May 1998, eventually purchasing the vehicle and collecting it to return it to Greater Manchester, on Sunday, 7th March 1999.



6901 - 6930 (Type iv (R))

Lancashire United

(OBN 502R)


Northern Counties H43/32F - Mark 1A



Leyland Fleetline FE30GR



1st April, 1977



7th March, 1999



The first LUT/GMT Standard delivered in LUT red and grey livery.

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