Bakers’ B10M was unique

Among the thousands of Volvo B10M-based coaches and buses purchased by UK operators were a handful that differed from the norm.

One of these was delivered to Bakers Dolphin of Weston-super-Mare for its London Flyer service along the M4 corridor.

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During the ’80s many B10M chassis carried high-floor bodies which featured a separate rear ‘lounge’ below the main cabin, behind the rear axle. Bakers’ tri-axle example – officially making it a B10MT – carried Van Hool bodywork, and was different.

It was finished as a full double-decker, seating 82 and also including a servery and toilet. As the only B10M-based double-decker coach, it was exceptionally high, at 15ft 3in (4.7m), which presumably did nothing for stability when pounding the M4.

Powered by Volvo’s 9.6-litre engine, it had a six-speed gearbox with splitter, to give 12 ratios. Delivered in October 1985, the coach had a very long life with its first owner, surviving well into the new millennium as a back-up for Bakers’ more modern vehicles on the London run. It later passed to a Scottish operator, and was last seen in a derelict state in a yard in North Lanarkshire.