London Traveller

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London Traveller
London Traveller 510 V510 EFR.jpg
East Lancs Spryte bodied Volvo B6BLE on route 487
in South Harrow in November 1999
Founded 1998
Ceased operation 2001
Headquarters Harlesden
Service area London
Hertfordshire
Service type Bus operator
Chief executive Dave Booker

London Traveller[1] was a bus operator in London in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It was partially owned by Yorkshire Traction, and was sold to Thorpes in October 2001.

History[edit]

Demonstrator Wright Crusader bodied Volvo B6BLE on route 187 in September 1999

London Traveller was formed in 1998 and initially operated local routes in Hertfordshire from a base in Potters Bar.[2] Its Managing Director was Steve Deveraux, who had experience in the London market through his former involvement with the short-lived London Forest operation.[2] 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.[3][4]

The company's biggest expansion came in May 1999, when the contract for routes 187 and 487 were won from Metroline.[5] Fifteen new Volvo B6BLEs were purchased to operate the routes.[5] Following this success, Yorkshire Traction bought a 25% stake in the company.[2] The Hertfordshire routes were 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.[2] Route 187 was extended to operate to Finchley Road in early 2000, and five more B6BLEs were acquired.[5]

Management problems at London Traveller in 2000 saw the company reformed, with Metropolitan Omnibus becoming a trading name for the first time.[5][6] Traction's share in the company increased to 35% as a result.[7] In October 2001, the company was sold to Thorpes.[8][7]

Subsequent history[edit]

Thorpes acquired all of Traveller's routes and vehicles, although the Volvo B6BLEs were later sold back to Traction and used in the Yorkshire Traction and Yorkshire Terrier fleets. They were included in the 2006 sale of Traction to Stagecoach Yorkshire.

Fleet[edit]

London Traveller used Volvo B6BLEs on routes 187 and 487, initially buying 15 and later acquiring a further five 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.[9] Traveller's other routes used double-deckers such as MCW Metrobuses,[10] Leyland Olympians[11] and a Dennis Arrow.[12] A Leyland National was also owned,[13] as was a Leyland Leopard[14] and a Leyland Lynx.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 3487484 Metropolitan Omnibus Company (London) Limited
  2. ^ a b c d "Millar's Tales: Whatever happened to... London Traveller?". Buses (546): 14. September 2000. 
  3. ^ Route 302 London Bus Routes'
  4. ^ London bus route 143 Buses at Work
  5. ^ a b c d The London Bus Page - 15/03/04 - All Change On The 187 and 487
  6. ^ Ealing News: North Greenford Residents' Association - Letters - No Spouting on the Buses Ealing News
  7. ^ a b "Sovereign and Traction Sell Up in London". Buses (573): 5. December 2002. 
  8. ^ Farewell to Thorpe's The London Bus Page in Exile]
  9. ^ London Traveller N222LFR on Flickr
  10. ^ Desmond's Trip to Timbuktu - Meet Desmond the Metrobus
  11. ^ London's Leyland Olympians: L Class countrybus.org
  12. ^ Showbus entrants 1998
  13. ^ Busworld: Buses on Rail Replacement - July/August 1998
  14. ^ Ireland's Bus Operating Museum - Annual Report 2005 kellstransportmuseum.com
  15. ^ London Traveller D156HML on Flickr