MBK1, BU13 ZVE

©Terry O’Neill

BU13ZVE, or MBK1 as it was known as throughout most of its life, began London service on the 27th of July 2013 with Quality Line.

It was unusual in the fact that it was delivered with LED blinds as opposed to the usual blinds, making life a lot more difficult for photographers! It was one of the first Euro 6 buses in London, the only other at the time being Abellio’s 9544 (now EN48 with GAL.)

It worked route X26 for much of its stay with Quality Line, however worked a rounder of route 406. It worked its last there on the 28th of August 2013.

It then moved to Go-Ahead, first appearing on the 11th of September, where it solidly worked route 355. It worked its last there on the 27th of that month.

MBK1 then moved to Abellio TF, first appearing on route 235 on the 9th of October. It received the fleet code XMS1, an oddity for Abellio which uses only numbers usually. It worked routes 235, 290, 490, H25, K3 and R70 and worked its last there on the 24th of that month.

©Peter Horrex

The final operator it was used by in 2013 was Arriva, starting on the 2nd of December. It solidly worked route 313, and worked its last on the 16th of that month.

In 2014, MBK1 went with its sibling BV14 TZY (the second C2K built for the UK) to Ireland for trials. It was pictured there on the 15th of September 2014.

MBK1 reappeared in London service once more on the 30th of November 2015, with RATP. It only worked route 110, and worked its last on the 7th of January 2016. It was recoded MCS1 during its stay.

It then moved to Stagecoach Plumstead, and was renumbered 80030 during its time there. It worked routes 380 and 227 from the 26th of February until the 28th of March.

©Waterfordman

MBK1 returned on the 23rd of July with Tower Transit. It worked with them until the 10th of August.

©Terry O’Neill

It reappeared with Quality Line on the 5th of December 2016. It worked with them, alongside their own new Citaro C2Ks, until the 27th of June 2017. It was recorded MCS10 during its stay there.

MBK1 disappeared for just over a year, returning to London service on the 31st of July 2018, this time with Go-Ahead at MB. Interestingly, it avoided the bus fire at MB, as it had moved to MG, entering service on the 1st of October there.

©Ryan’s Random Buses

It returned to MB on the 19th of February 2019. It remained there until the 23rd of September 2019, when it was withdrawn.

It was acquired by Kent Coach Tours in June 2020, and was repainted into a light and dark blue livery. It retains its dual door layout, although there is vinyl covering a section of the rear doors. A rather fitting end!