A Leyland National at Showbus 2002
|Slogan||Serving the Peak District/Serving Derbyshire and Cheshire |
Eric W. Bowers
|Defunct||2012 (merged with trentbarton's Dove Holes & Buxton operations to form High Peak)|
|Headquarters||Operational: Aspincroft Garage, Town End, Chapel-en-le-Frith, High Peak, Derbyshire
Registered office: Centrebus, 37 Wenlock Way, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE4 9HU
|Locale||North West, East Midlands|
|Service area||Greater Manchester, Derbyshire, Cheshire East|
|Hubs||Buxton, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Glossop, Macclesfield, New Mills|
|Fleet||Optare Solo, Plaxton Beaver, Plaxton Centro, Alexander Strider|
|Operator||Eric W. Bowers Coaches Limited|
Eric W. Bowers Coaches Limited trading as Bowers (formerly known as Bowers Coaches) was a bus operator based in the High Peak district of Derbyshire in the United Kingdom. It was a subsidiary of the Centrebus Group, having been so since 2007, and prior to that an independent family business. It operated local bus services centred on the towns of Buxton, Glossop and New Mills. The company specialised in local bus services and the service area coverd the High Peak borough and some surrounding areas such as the town of Marple in Stockport and Ashbourne in the Derbyshire Dales. Some time after the Centrebus purchase of the company in 2007, the company was rebranded to 'Bowers' from the previous name of 'Bowers Coaches'; however, the legal entity of the company was still 'Eric W. Bowers Coaches Limited'.
In addition, after Centrebus takeover, the majority of buses added to the fleet were painted in the Centrebus corporate livery of orange and blue; however, they did contain the Bowers name.
The High Peak is a tourist area; during the summer, there is a large influx of visitors, and the Bowers bus network provided tourist links between the key towns of Buxton, Glossop and Ashbourne, and areas of specific tourist interest or beauty.
The company became 'defunct' on 1 April 2012 as it joined with trentbarton to create High Peak Buses.
The majority of the bus services were operated under contract to Derbyshire County Council and other local authorities; however, a number of services such as the 61 between Glossop and Buxton are operated commercially. Until September 2007 the company operated an hourly service between Hayfield and Stockport, Greater Manchester as service 62/62A; however, this service was withdrawn to run only as far as Marple due to falling revenues.
In 2009 two new low-floor buses were bought, with extra seating capacity to meet customer demand. These operated in the "Go Green" livery, promoting environmental credentials of bus travel, and these Euro 5 specification low emission buses in particular.
In Cheshire, Bowers worked in partnership with Cheshire East Council to deliver a number of key bus services, including the important Knutsford to Macclesfield route, serving the busy AstraZeneca facility, and one of the first bus routes in Cheshire to offer real-time passenger information through satellite tracking.
History and naming
The company began life as a coach operator, known as Bowers Coaches. It later expanded into local bus operation, particularly after the deregulation of local bus services in 1986. Throughout its history as a coach company, Bowers provided excursions from locations around its base in High Peak, and also provided coaches for school transport and other uses. The Bowers Coaches name continued to be used until some time after the Centrebus takeover. However, the new owners soon decided that coaches were no longer a viable asset, and thus their coaches were sold, and "Coaches" was dropped from the company name. The company continued to offer private hire, using service buses on shorter trips.
In April 2012, Bowers merged with the Buxton division of Wellglade Group's trentbarton to form a new company called High Peak Buses. The new company runs all services previously run by Bowers and the Buxton division of Trent Barton. It operates from the Dove Holes depot.
- "Bowers – serving Derbyshire and Cheshire – Home". Centrebus. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
- "Companies House – Web Check – Eric W. Bowers Coaches Limited". Companies House. Retrieved 31 December 2009. Co Reg# 00548351
- "Home". Centrebus.co.uk. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- "New High Peak bus company following merger". Buxton Advertiser. 18 May 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
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