In 1956 when laws were relaxed to allow 30ft 2 axle double-deck buses, Leyland introduced the PD3 as a longer alternative version to their already existing shorter PD2 chassis. In usual Leyland practice, the chassis type code indicated the particular combination of specification, the PD3A/12 featuring the Leyland 0.600 engine, air brakes, pneumocyclic gearbox and a concealed radiator.
A Government grant scheme in the late 1960’s allowed bus operators to take better advantage of the more modern rear-engined, one-man operator buses being produced thanks to a edict by the then Transport Minister Barbara Castle, which would see the steady decline and ultimate end to half cab, front engined buses. Leyland, therefore in 1969, ceased production of their front engined Titan chassis, which was first designed by Leyland chief engineer Mr G J Rackham in 1926.
After the massive intake of AEC Regents in the 1950s up to 1964, and the 1966 delivery of Daimler CVG6’s, the orders for 1967 were split between the Transport Departments first PD3s, together with their first rear engined batches of Leyland Atlantean and Daimler Fleetlines. These rear-engined vehicles were ordered again for the following year, but in 1969 Bradford unusually reverted back to a delivery of Titan PD3s. These 15 vehicles carrying Alexander bodies, entered the fleet as numbers 301-315 and were to be the last PD3s to be delivered concurrent with a batch for Stockport, an export order for India, and two (including the very last) for Ramsbottom.
When placed new in service in April 1969 LAK 309G was allocated to the Bankfoot Depot, running on Manchester Road and City Circle routes. It was transferred to the Hall Ings (Interchange) Depot when opened in 1977 carrying its new fleet number 2309, after the formation of the West Yorkshire PTE 3 years earlier. It continued in service with the PTE until May 1984 when it was withdrawn, passing to the West Yorkshire Transport Museum being restored into its original Bradford livery.
It was acquired by Keighley Bus Museum from the administrators of Transperience in September 1998 with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Science Museum PRISM Fund and Bradford Metropolitan Borough
This vehicle is currently undergoing restoration to Class VI standard for our private hire fleet