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April 2007
2006 Review The year saw the usual round of bus industry news.   Plenty of new vehicles were bought, new vehicle types were introduced, competition flourished particularly between the big boys, and several major companies changed hands.   Plus there were lots of sunny days.
More Mercs Gradually Mercedes has established itself in the UK marketplace with Arriva, Solent Blue Line and Wilts & Dorset taking deliveries.
Unusual Purchases Thamesdown bought Scanias to join its sizeable fleet of Darts, and Stagecoach bought MANs to join its sizeable fleet.
Bus Stations A few new bus stations were opened including the redeveloped site in Havant and the brand new site at High Wycombe.
Fresh Faces Electric buses in Newcastle, hybrid buses in London, the Enviro range from Alexander/Dennis and accessible coaches from Caetano all made their debut.
Competition and Takeover Stagecoach bought the Yorkshire Traction group and started competing with First in Sheffield via its Yorkshire Terrier subsidiary.   They also do battle with Arriva in Merseyside.   Transdev bought Blazefield and Stagecoach sold its London operations to Macquarrie Bank.
Decker Delights Reading continued to invest heavily with two new batches of Omni Scanias, First withdrew its last Dominators in Sheffield and Southern Vectis unveiled a new livery.
Round-Up Bus route development grant continued to fund varied routes including the revival of an old one between Kilmarnock and East Kilbride.   Money was also provided to upgrade the service through Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire.   And Ulsterbus went all low floor in Derry.
 2006 Review
Click to enlarge photos.
Photo Facts (top to bottom)
Arriva 3907 (BU06HSL) in St Albans in February 2007
Solent Blue Line 404 (HX06EZD) in Southampton in October 2006
Wilts & Dorset 160 (HF55JZK) in Salisbury on a hot July Friday in 2006
Thamesdown 501 (WX55ZZR) on an even hotter day in Swindon in July 2007
Stagecoach Fife 22405 (SP06DBX) in St. Andrews in August 2006.
Stagecoach 6010 (NK05PXH) in Newcastle in August 2006.
Travel London ES5 (LJ56VSX) at Victoria Railway Station in January 2007
Arriva Fox County 3253 (FJ56PDK) in Taunton in March 2007
London Central WHY6 (LX55EAJ) on Embankment in March 2007
Yorkshire Terrier 139 (T139JKY) in Sheffield in March 2006
Stagecoach 20145 (R645LSO) and Arriva 6599 (N599CKA) in Liverpool in March 2006
Yorkshire Traction 230 (YN04WMC) in Barnsley in January 2006
Burnley & Pendle 2750 (PJ05ZVN) in Burnley in March 2006
East London 23064 (LX04LCA) in Oxford St in January 2007
Reading Buses 822 (YN06JWF) at Calcot in April 2006
First Mainline 30516 (D489OWE) in Sheffield in March 2006
Southern Vectis M749HDL at Ryde ferry terminal in October 2006
Stagecoach Western 22386 (SF55VUM) at Hamilton in March 2006
Stagecoach Cheltenham 18501 (VU06KFP) passing through Wootton Bassett in September 2006
Ulsterbus 2201 (WCZ2201), the first Wright Eclipse Commuter bodied vehicle, at Derry in August 2006
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    Copyright 2001-2006, Ray Ward