They're being used to carry plant and tools for British Gas central heating installation engineers.

A single passenger seat is fitted rather than the standard bench seat and all the vehicles are air-conditioned.

Also joining the Centrica fleet, and also built at Southampton, are 85 short-wheelbase low-roof Transit 300s. To be used by British Gas service engineers throughout the UK, they're equipped with the 85hp 2.2-litre.

All the Transits have load areas fitted with Bri-Stor racking and the short-wheelbase vans boast Bri-Stor roof-mounted ladder racks too.

Scheduled to cover 60,000 miles apiece and stay in service for five years, the newcomers are being acquired subject to finance leases. So far as the medium-wheelbase models are concerned the agreement is with Hitachi Capital; a deal with Lombard covers their short-wheelbase stablemates.