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The Foden-NC was an unsuccessful design of double-decker bus built by Foden of Sandbach and Northern Counties of Wigan in the United Kingdom between 1975 and 1978.

Background

Foden was primarily a truck manufacturer, although it had also built bus chassis in the past, whilst Northern Counties was a bus body manufacturer, building bodywork onto chassis produced by other companies. At the time of the design's conception, British Leyland had by far the largest share of the market for double-decker buses in the UK, with its Atlantean, Fleetline and Bristol VR models. The Foden-NC was intended to compete against these for a share of this market.

Design

The Foden-NC was a semi-integral design, meaning that it has an underframe (chassis), but that the bodywork is also structurally load-bearing.

The transmission proved to be a weakness, with the Foden transfer box being prone to failures and the Allison gearbox inefficient. Derby City Transport refitted its Foden-NC with Voith transmission in an attempt to overcome the problems.

In appearance, the Northern Counties bodywork was very similar to the style built on other chassis (Atlanteans and Fleetlines).

Production

Only seven vehicles were completed, one of which carried bodywork built by East Lancs instead of Northern Counties. An eighth, partially completed, bus was used for testing.

The vehicles went to the following operators:

  • Greater Manchester PTE - two, registered LNA 258P and PNE 358R, numbered 1435 and 1436
  • West Yorkshire PTE - one, registered TUB 250R, numbered 7250
  • West Midlands PTE - one, registered ROC 300R, numbered 6300
  • South Yorkshire PTE - one (with East Lancs body), registered SWG 311S, numbered 511
  • Derby City Transport - one, registered WTO 101S, numbered 101
  • Potteries Motor Traction - one, registered WVT 900S, numbered 900

Most of the vehicles experienced shorter than average working lives, although two of them (TUB 250R and ROC 300R) still exist, preserved in the care of Aintree Coachline of Liverpool.