Shamrock Buses

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Shamrock Buses
Shamrock Buses 192 at Castlepoint. This bus is an ex-Bournemouth Transport Leyland Olympian and is no longer with Shamrock Buses.
Founded 2002
Defunct 2011
Headquarters Holton Heath Trading Park, Poole, Dorset
Service area  United Kingdom
Service type Urban bus services, School Contracts
Destinations Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole, Wimborne, Wareham
Fleet 56
Website Official Website

Shamrock Buses was a bus operator based in Poole on the south coast of England. It operated many contracted routes in Poole, Bournemouth and the surrounding area. It was formed in 2002 to fund the Bournemouth Passenger Transport Association's museum fleet, but collapsed in July 2011.


The company, registered as Dorset Heritage Transport Services Ltd, was set up in 2002 to help create funds for the maintenance and restoration of the Bournemouth Passenger Transport Association (BPTA) museum fleet. The BPTA had previously operated a small number of routes in competition with Yellow Buses between 1993 and 1994, and had cooperated with the company to run a joint heratige operation, Christchurch Buses, which closed in 2000. Its original purpose was to operate contracted services and to use the money generated by those services for the BPTA. The trading name of Shamrock Buses and fleet livery of orange and cream were inspired by Shamrock & Rambler, a coach company based in the Bournemouth area until its closure in 1989. Its fleet initially consisted of four Leyland Fleetlines; these were replaced by newer Leyland Olympians a year later.[1]

Originally operated out of Unit 31 at the Newtown Business Park in Poole, Shamrock gradually expanded and, with a fleet at one time numbering over 40 vehicles,[2] moved to a bigger site at the Holton Heath Trading Park just outside the Poole boundary.[3] In August 2005 the company expanded its school bus operation by taking over five routes from other local operators.[4]

From early 2009, Shamrock Buses invested in buying a few second hand single deck low floor buses for the bus services run on contract to Bournemouth and Poole Borough Councils.[2] These are used on route 8, which the company began operating when Poole-based independent Roadliner collapsed in August 2009.[5]

On 6 July 2011, Shamrock Buses went into bankruptcy. Around forty jobs were lost and five schools left without transport for students. The administrator who closed the company cited high fuel costs and competition as the main reasons for the company's failure.[6] Many of Shamrock's routes were taken over by Wilts & Dorset, which stated its intention to hire around 20 former Shamrock employees, while RATP Yellow Buses accepted school bus passes valid on Shamrock routes on its own services [7] and have taken up running the 111 from 7 July 2011 rather than the takeover date of 25 July 2011. RATP Yellow Buses will also run a handful of School Routes until the end of term.


  1. ^ Prince, James (April 2007). "Shamrock rambles where Routemaster feared to tread". Buses (Ian Allan Publishing) (625): 24–26. 
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ Shamrock
  4. ^ Borough of Poole News - Changes to bus services
  5. ^ Roadliner
  6. ^ Poole-based bus firm Shamrock goes bust BBC News, 7 July 2011
  7. ^ Local bus companies cover Shamrock bus services BH Beat, 7 July 2011

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