|Service area||Greater London
London Traveller was the trading name of Metropolitan Omnibus, a bus operator in Greater London in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The company was partially owned by Yorkshire Traction, and was sold to Thorpes in October 2001.
London Traveller was formed in 1998 and initially operated local routes in Hertfordshire from a base in Potters Bar. Its Managing Director was Steve Deveraux, who had experience in the London market through his former involvement with the short-lived London Forest operation. A small number of contracted school bus workings on London routes 143 and 302 were gained in June 1998, and operated with second-hand double-deckers.
The company's biggest expansion came in May 1999, when the contract for routes 187 and 487 were won from Metroline. 15 new Volvo B6BLEs were bought to operate the routes. Following this success Yorkshire Traction bought a 25% stake in the company. The Hertfordshire routes were technically registered to a separate company so were expected not to be involved in the deal, but were ultimately integrated into the London Traveller business. In mid 2000 Deveraux left the company, and his successor Dave Booker immediately cancelled the two remaining off-peak commercial services in Hertfordshire. The 187 was extended to operate to Finchley Road in early 2000, and five more B6BLEs were acquired.
Management problems at London Traveller in 2000 saw the company reformed, with Metropolitan Omnibus becoming a trading name for the first time. Traction's share in the company increased to 35% as a result. The routes and operation continued stably until October 2001, when the company was sold to Thorpes.
Thorpes acquired all of Traveller's routes and vehicles, although the B6BLEs were later sold back to Traction and used in the Yorkshire Traction and Yorkshire Terrier fleets. They joined the fleet of Stagecoach Yorkshire in 2006 when Stagecoach Group took over Traction. In 2003 the former London Traveller school bus contracts were won back by Metroline from Thorpes. Metroline went on to buy Thorpes in 2007. By this time, however, the contract to operate routes 187 and 487 had been won by First London.
The company used Volvo B6BLEs on routes 187 and 487, initially buying 15 and later acquiring a further 5 following a route extension. Another similar bus was delivered as a spare in 2001, taking the total to 21, the number acquired by Thorpes. These were joined on the routes by a unique MAN NL222 single-decker for a short period. Traveller's other routes used double-deckers such as MCW Metrobuses, Leyland Olympians and a Dennis Arrow. A Leyland National was also owned, as was a Leyland Leopard and a Leyland Lynx.
- "Millar's Tales: Whatever happened to... London Traveller?". Buses (546): 14. September 2000.
- Route 302 londonbusroutes.net
- London bus route 143 busesatwork.co.uk
- The London Bus Page - 15/03/04 - All Change On The 187 and 487
- Ealing News: North Greenford Residents' Association - Letters - No Spouting on the Buses
- "Sovereign and Traction Sell Up in London". Buses (573): 5. December 2002.
- Farewell to Thorpe's << The London Bus Page in Exile
- London Traveller N222LFR on Flickr
- Desmond's Trip to Timbuktu - Meet Desmond the Metrobus
- London's Leyland Olympians: L Class countrybus.org
- Showbus entrants 1998
- Busworld: Buses on Rail Replacement - July/August 1998
- Ireland's Bus Operating Museum - Annual Report 2005 kellstransportmuseum.com
- London Traveller D156HML on Flickr