Commemorative livery marks Ensignbus 50th anniversary

Ensignbus marks 50th anniversary with gold bus

Ensignbus has painted a member of its fleet into a commemorative gold-based livery to help celebrate the Essex company’s 50th anniversary in 2022.

The business was founded in 1972 and it remains in the control of the Newman family. Originally operating contracts for the Port of London Authority, it came to prominence from the late-1970s when it purchased on a rolling programme almost 2,000 DMS-class Daimler Fleetline double-deckers that, while modern, has proved unwanted by London Transport.

Those double-deckers were refurbished and sold far and wide, from independent operators such as Stevensons of Uttoxeter to National Bus Company subsidiaries and buyers in Hong Kong. Ensign also used the DMS to develop the successful London Pride Sightseeing brand from a one-bus operation to over 100 by the late-1990s, a business that also became known for its use of MCW Metroliner double-deck coaches that were converted to open-top

Ensign entered the contracted London bus market, while after the sale of London Pride it founded the City Sightseeing franchise model, acquired rival Guide Friday and ran directly controlled operations in Australia, the UK and the United States.

In more recent years Ensign’s core operating area has been focused on its Essex home, with a fleet of blue and silver vehicles serving a commercial network centred on Lakeside shopping centre and serving nearby towns and villages. Numerous accolades have been won by Ensignbus and its staff, including multiple triumphs at the routeone Awards.

It also specialises in emergency rail replacement, while this summer its open top buses will again be seen on Southend sea front duties. The business is also well known for its collection of heritage coaches and buses, while its dealership side continues to flourish, selling up to 700 buses per year and undertaking all manner of refurbishment work in-house. Operations Director Ross Newman estimates that up to 22,000 vehicles have passed through in total.

The gold bus is a Volvo B9TL with Wrightbus Gemini 2 bodywork. Speaking about the 50th anniversary, Ensignbus Founder and Chairman Peter Newman says: “It is a great milestone to have reached and we are incredibly proud of what we as a family business have achieved.”