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  January 2018
Bus Review 2017 Part 1
Companies with new owners

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Several major companies changed hand this year including two former municipals.   Tappins sold their open top business in Oxford to Go-Ahead, Thamesdown in Swindon also sold to Go-Ahead who invested in a a batch of new Dennis Enviro 200s, Clarke's Coaches of London were bought by National Express who in turn sold their Hotel Hoppa services at Heathrow Airport to Rotala, Rosso (the former Rossendale Transport) from Rawtenstall sold to neighbouring Transdev, Anglian Bus was absorbed by fellow Go-Ahead subsidiary Konect Bus and the biggest news was that First divested its final operations in the Scottish Borders to West Coast Motors who promptly re-branded the operation as Borders Bus and invested in new Optare Tempos and Dennis Enviros while leasing former London Scania double-deckers.


New Technology
Gas, Electric and Hybrid power

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As expected new technology continues to gather momentum with interest in electric vehicles now increasing.   Reading had the first double-decker gas powered buses delivered at the beginning of the year, the Red Arrow routes in London are now fully converted to BYD electric vehicles and Anglian Bus transferred their gas powered single-deckers to fellow Go-Ahead fleet Plymouth.   Liverpool saw an enormous investment by Arriva in BYD/Alexander Dennis single-deckers, Wright bodied hybrid double-deckers and more gas powered Caetano bodied single-deckers similar to those delivered previously to Runcorn and Darlington.


Latest deliveries

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New deliveries in London were predominantly more of the same.   There were plenty of Dennis Enviro 400MMCs, a batch of Enviro400 City's for CT Plus, further MCV bodied EvoCities for Go-Ahead and a small batch of 2-door Borismasters for London Sovereign.

Stagecoach Gold
Continued expansion
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Stagecoach continued to consolidate its Gold operations, buying new double-deckers for such places as Oxford, Camberley and Exeter as well as re-furbishing Optare Solos for a local route in Chester.



Route Losses
Services no longer operated
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A couple of major operators significantly reduced their presence this year - Abellio lost all of its TfL services in Surrey such as the 555 which is now operated by Hallmark and Rotala's Wessex Bus cut back in Bristol with the high profile ONE service being axed.   Stagecoach and their predecessor East Kent had operated the National Express service from Dover to London since its inception but they have now lost the route to Kings Ferry.


The return of the minibus
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Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the sea, there was a massive minibus revival this year.   Stagecoach bought a sizeable fleet for operations in Ashford and announced the network was to be expanded and Arriva introduced similar Mercedes vehicles throughout the group including some for the new X1 Horsham to Guildford service.


  BlueStar bought new Dennis Enviro400 MMC's for Winchester  Reading Buses rolled out Kennections branding in Newbury  Go Ahead Oxford refreshed its Park & Ride fleet  Transdev introduced new branding for services in Lancashire  Lothian rolled out new partial-top open top vehicles in Edinburgh  First continued with its woeful wedge fronts such as Weymouth. 


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Photo-Transport has been publishing themed articles about Public Transport for over 15 years.

If you enjoyed the above article you may be interested in these articles which were first published in January 2017 and February 2017.
  2016 Review Part 1
Bus Review
2016 Review Part 2
Bus Review




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