Otago Heritage Bus Society member Alastair Stewart (left),
Citibus mechanic Mike Jeffery and society
secretary-treasurer Janet Parker share their thoughts
before the departure of the last of Dunedin's Citibus
Leyland buses. Photo by Linda Robertson.
The last of the Citibus Leyland buses left the firm's
Dunedin depot yesterday, marking the end of an era in the
city's public transport history.
English-manufactured Leyland buses have operated in the city
for nearly 90 years, and Otago Road Services Ltd continues to
use two other Leyland Leopard buses on school routes.
Citibus, which was previously owned by the Dunedin City
Council through its holding company, Dunedin City Holdings
Ltd, was recently sold to Invercargill Passenger Transport
The last of the Citibus Leyland buses, No 194, was previously
bought by Philip Riley, chairman of the recently-established
Otago Heritage Bus Society Inc, and was yesterday driven from
the depot to a new temporary home at the Dunedin Gasworks
Watching the last of the Leylands go, a Citibus mechanic,
Mike Jeffery (41), said Leyland Leopards had been the
mainstay of the city's public transport bus fleet in the
city, with more than 20 operating, when he had done his
apprenticeship in the city about 20 years ago.
Society secretary-treasurer Janet Parker said the Leyland
Leopard bus, built in 1981, was simply "making another
"It's not the end; it's the beginning of a new era," she
The establishment of the heritage society earlier this year
had been a positive move for the preservation of the city's
heritage buses, she said.
Society organisers said they planned to fully restore the
Leyland and to use it for special occasions, and were also
seeking a permanent covered storage area for the vehicle to
protect it from the elements.