The Leyland National was a joint venture between Leyland and the National Bus Company to build a more advanced vehicle using production line methods to reduce cost. The whole concept was on a large scale involving a new factory near Workington. The complete story is too complex to explain here and is in any case well documented elsewhere.
Pontypridd was the only Urban District Council to buy the Leyland National, the first arriving in 1973. This was 14 (NTX 326L) which was a 10.3m long version with B43F bodywork and unusual in featuring ZF automatic transmission. The fleet gradually increased by the purchase on an almost annual basis of small batches:
1974 - 16/17 (RUH 816/817M) 10.3m long with B41F body
1975 - 18-20 (HUH 407-409N) 10.3m long with B41F body
1976 - 21-23 (MBO 21-23P) 11.3m long with B49F body
1977 - 24-26 (RBO 24-26R) 11.3m long with B49F body
1979 - 27-29 (CBO 27-29V) 11.3m long with B49F body
The maximum fleet of Leyland Nationals (excluding the later Leyland National 2s, q.v.) was therefore fifteen, although this total soon reduced as 27 had a very short life, being destroyed by fire in 1981. The remainder survived after deregulation and the establishment of Taff-Ely Transport Ltd, but 14/16-23 were withdrawn in 1987, leaving just 24-26/28/29 to be taken over by National Welsh.
As can be seen in the gallery, many of the Nationals saw further service with other operators around the United Kingdom.
© David Beilby