Durham Travel Services

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Durham Travel Services
East Thames Buses ELS8 2.JPG
East Lancs Myllennium bodied Scania N94UB in April 2009 that passed to East Thames Buses
Parent Peter Lee
Eric Bowerbank
Founded 1987
Ceased operation 21 August 2002
Headquarters Seaham
Service area London
North East England
Depots 2

Durham Travel Services[1] was a bus and coach operator in England.


Durham Travel Services was founded in 1987 by Peter Lee and Eric Bowerbank, initially as a coach charter operator in Durham. In 1993, it expanded with the acquisition of York Pullman from Kingston-upon-Hull City Transport.[2] In 1997, it gained a contract to operate disabled services under contract to Nexus.[3]

In February 2000, the York Pullman business was sold to First York.[2] Durham Travel Services also operated express services under contract to National Express.

On 20 January 2001, Durham Travel Services diversified into operating bus services under contract to Transport for London, when it commenced operating route 185 under the London Easylink banner.[4] It was awarded the contract to operate route 42 from 20 April 2002, but actually began operating the route on 19 January 2002 under sub-contract to Connex.

On 21 August 2002, Durham Travel Services was placed in administration after it was discovered company director Peter Lee had embezzled £590k, rendering the business insolvent.[5][6][7] The routes were initially taken over initially by Blue Triangle using a combination of its own buses and those of other operators.[8] Both later passed to East Thames Buses with the new operator taking over the leases of the former London Easylink buses.


London Easylink operated route 185 with Plaxton President bodied Volvo B7TLs, and route 42 initially with Dennis Darts leased from Connex, until the intended East Lancs Myllennium bodied Scania N94UBs were delivered.[9]


Durham Travel Services operated out of a depot in Seaham, County Durham. London Easylink operated from the Transo premises facility on Old Kent Road.[4]


  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 2208734 Durham Travel Services Limited
  2. ^ a b York bus firms in take over York Press 19 January 2000
  3. ^ Boss spent £1/2m on call girl Evening Standard 26 February 2004
  4. ^ a b "London Easylink" Buses issue 552 March 2001
  5. ^ Buses recalled as firm goes into bankruptcy BBC News 21 August 2002
  6. ^ Boss cost 170 their jobs Evening Chronicle 26 February 2004
  7. ^ Call girl boss is jailed BBC News 5 March 2004
  8. ^ "No blinds needed, it's a 185" Buses issue 572 November 2002
  9. ^ London Bus Handbook (1 ed.). Telford: British Bus Publishing. 2003. ISBN 9781897990353.