After the Guy Arab LUFs the next single-deckers were AEC Reliances, which became the standard chassis for single-deckers until near the end of Pontypridd UDC’s existence in 1974. The first four Reliances all had Roe bodies to that builders clean and pleasant design.
The first pair arrived in 1961 as 83/84 (976/977 HTX). These had Roe B44F bodies on a 2MU3RA chassis, which had synchromesh gearbox and air brakes. The following year two almost-identical vehicles entered service. 85/86 were this time on 2MU3RV chassis with the same body. This chassis had vacuum brakes instead of air, which was an unusual step as the industry trend was very much towards air brakes. Even Pontypridd themselves were only to buy two further vehicles with vacuum brakes (Reliances 89/90). One can only presume that these first air-braked vehicles were found difficult to drive smoothly.
All these Reliances were withdrawn in 1977 apart from 86, which survived another two years as the solitary remainder of the fleet of Roe-bodied buses bought by Pontypridd
© David Beilby