Oddball Wednesday - Optare Sigma

Ipswich Buses' solitary Optare Sigma, also notable for being the
only dual door example built (Steven Hughes)
Optare are very well known for their mass-produced products on the British market, but what about something a little less common?

The Sigma was produced during the same period of the DAF SB220 based Delta, MAN 11.190 based Vecta and DAF DB250 based Spectra - all of which shared common styling. Only fifty four of the type were ever produced, with operators preferring the slightly shorter Vecta and slightly larger Delta.

The deliveries of the type were very much split into three main batches; with fourteen for Gateshead & District, seventeen for Trent and twenty for Brighton & Hove. One each was produced for Ipswich Buses, Busways and Optare themselves for demonstration purposes.

The first Sigma was delivered to Ipswich Buses in 1994, becoming their 169 L169ADX and seeing a variety of service work. It was notable for being the only dual door example produced. 169 lasted up until 2006 with Ipswich Buses, with it later passing to the notorious Far East Travel. Three years later, L169ADX was withdrawn and sent to Geoff Ripley's Scrapyard in Yorkshire, where a shot at reselling it was taken. I believe it ended up being scrapped due to it finding no favorable buyer.
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About Kieran Smith

Norwich Buses Blog was founded in December 2013 by Sam Larke after he left another popular blog, Norwich Bus Page. Since it's launch, the site has grown dramatically, especially whilst written solely by Kieran Smith during 2015. The blog is now in it's third year and we look forward to more success and growth in the future. If you think you'd make a good writer for Norwich Buses Blog, please do get in touch via email: samuel.larke@gmail.com
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  1. Dennis Lance/Optare Sigma. IB also had 2 x East Lancs bodied Dennis Lances at the same time (all L plates). One East Lancs bodied Lance was painted in blue (L161) with Suffolkbus lettering. this wasnt always reliable so was regularly covered by the other East Lancs Lance (162) or L169 (the Sigma). I believe both L161/162 were dual door.L161 was converted to single door and i think L162 is now also single door and is used on school work in my area.(Debenham High School).