Optare Tempo in May 2009
|Slogan||The brighter bus company|
|Parent||RATP Group 90%
Bournemouth Council 10%
|Service type||Bus services|
Yellow Buses traces its origins to July 1902, when Bournemouth Corporation began operating trams. Bus services commenced in 1906 to act as feeders to the tram system. In 1930 more bus services were started away from the tram system, to serve Kinson and Holdenhurst when those areas were added to the borough of Bournemouth.
With the passing of the Transport Act 1985 and subsequent deregulation of bus services, Yellow Buses was incorporated. Unlike most other municipal owned operators, ownership was retained by Bournemouth Borough Council. In 2005 with a perceived need to modernise the fleet and a realisation that full privatisation would better equip the operator to overcome the increasing competition it was facing from Wilts & Dorset, the council offered the company for sale.
Transdev then decided to make its mark on Yellow Buses by giving the entire network a complete overhaul. This became the Big Network Change of 2 July 2006, where each bus, each journey, and each route (even route numbers) was changed. To make sure that the public were made aware of these changes, Transdev Yellow Buses held road shows across Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch to publicise its new network, livery, branding and new fare structure. Transdev subsequently made slight changes to the network with funding from Bournemouth Borough Council, including the introduction of routes 37 and 38, the extension of Route 41 at both ends to Boscombe Pier and to Throop Church, and the re-introduction of Route 24 to Bournemouth and to bring back the route in the evenings and on Sundays between the Rail Station and Alum Chine. Also, for the first time in recent years, Transdev Yellow Buses decided not to run services on New Year's Day 2007 except route 747, which ran a normal Monday service.
A revised timetable was introduced on Sunday 22 July 2007, and Monday 29 October 2007 saw TYB take over the operation of routes 18 and 19 from Wilts & Dorset, combining them to make new route 18 between Broadstone and Bournemouth. Unlike the old Wilts & Dorset route, there is no service between Broadstone and Corfe Mullen, and no Sunday or evening buses. During the later part of 2007, TYB lost the airport bus contract to Discover Dorset (who renumbered it back to the A1).
Transdev Yellow Buses invested in a Real Time & Next Stop display system. Screens were put in most of the low-floor fleet and the system was in operation from end of April 2008.
In May 2008, new route 39 was started, with the help of Bournemouth Borough Council, when a timetable change saw Littledown/Harewood Estates with no service. This is an hourly service running between Bournemouth Hospital and Bournemouth via Boscombe.
Another revision to the timetable took place on 3 May 2009, with various improvements on routes 1 and 3 and many timing changes. Sunday 24 May saw the start of a brand new hourly route 21 service, taking over from the Wilts & Dorset route X12 Bournemouth to Burton service and part of the C1 (the other part along with the C2 being run by Shamrock Buses).
27 September 2009 saw the start of a new winter timetable with changes to routes 1, 6, and 25, and the merging of routes 37 and 38 to make new route 36.
May 2010 saw the start of three new services being the 20, 27 (both on 4 May) and 40 (29 May). Route 20, which was a merge of routes 53 (operated by Wilts & Dorset) and 42 (operated by Shamrock Buses), ran between Poole and Castlepoint via Lilliput, Penn Hill, Square (Bourne Avenue), Winton and West Way. Route 27 ran between Kinson and Poole via Bear Wood and Alderney and was a commercial replacement for Wilts & Dorset's route 11 (although W&D still run the service as normal on Sundays and run a service between Poole and Bear Wood on Mondays to Fridays). Route 27 ran hourly Monday to Saturday. Route 40 ran between Christchurch Civic Offices and Bournemouth Square/Pier. This was a partial replacement to the old route 12 service, although it was run with single-deck buses and not open-top double-deckers. It ran via Tuckton Bridge, Hengistbury Head and Boscombe Pier.
In 2009 Transdev's majority owner, Caisse des dépôts et consignations, commenced negotiating with Veolia Environnement to merge Transdev with Veolia Transport. As part of the resulting agreement, it was agreed that the RATP Group, which had a minority shareholding in Transdev, would take over ownership of some of Transdev's operations in lieu of cash payment. Transdev Yellow Buses was included and was transferred on 3 March 2011. The business resumed trading as Yellow Buses.
15 May 2011 saw a few changes made to routes 1, 3 & 5, either in frequency or timing. 26 June 2011 saw the start of the new summer timetable with changes to most routes including the withdrawal of routes 24, 29 & 49. Routes 24 was replaced with revised routes 2a, 2b and 20, and route 29 was renumbered 4c, with timing changes. 6 July 2011 saw Shamrock Buses go bust which meant that Yellow Buses started operation of the 111 on 7 July rather than the original planned date of 25 July and also take on a handful of school routes. 5 September saw further changes with YB operating more school services as well as routes 31 & 41 gained from Wilts & Dorset. 23 October will see a new route, the 4d between Bournemouth and Wimborne (replacing the hourly 4a journey that operates between Bournemouth and Northbourne Roundabout), and a change of route for the 1b between Poole and Upper Parkstone. The 1b operates via Poole College & Ashley Cross and the 1c remains unchanged in its route.
24 June 2012 saw a brand new route, the N6, running between Bournemouth Square and Bournemouth University via Bournemouth Interchange and Winton every 30min on Thursday, Friday and Saturday Nights. Route 27 was extended beyond Northbourne to Castlepoint via Wimborne Road and Castle Lane restoring the link between Alderney/Bear Wood and Castlepoint. The 31 and 39 also merged into a new route 33 between Bournemouth Square and Christchurch via The Pier, East Cliff, Boscombe, Littledown Estate, Bournemouth Hospital, Iford, Pokesdown, Southbourne, Broadway & Kings Avenue. Due to Shelley Manor not being served by the new 33, this part of the route was transferred to route 41 which was extended beyond Boscombe Pier via Boscombe Overcliff Drive. There were also minor timing changes to routes 6, 36 and 111.
3 November 2013 will see timing or route changes to some of the services (2a, 2b, 2c, 4d, 6, 111) and the replacements of routes 27 with the new route 19 (operating between Poole and Rossmore only) and all current 2a, 2b services between Bournemouth Square & Westbourne/Alum Chine with the new route 24.
16 November 2013 saw the A1 (Airport Shuttle) once again become a Yellow Buses route (after 6 years of it being operated by Discover Dorset) after winning back the contract to operate the service.
As at September 2013 the fleet consisted of 171 buses and coaches.
In the 1980s the fleet mainly consisted of Daimler/Leyland Fleetlines (most of which had unusual Alexander AL type bodies as opposed to the AD type) and Leyland Atlanteans. 20 Leyland Olympians with Marshall bodies (the only ones of their kind) were also owned, as were a small number of Ford Transit minibuses. Some of the Daimler/Leyland Fleetlines were convertible open-top buses for what was once an extensive summer service.
Five Volvo Citybuses, five with East Lancs coach-style bodywork were purchased in 1986 (fleet numbers 200 to 204 inclusive). They spent much of their time in what was then the coaching division of the Yellows—"Yellow Coaches of Bournemouth". They eventually made their way to the Yellow Buses fleet and into regular service. Ten Volvo Citybuses with Alexander RV-type bodies were bought, five in 1988 and a further five in 1989.
18 Dennis Dominators with East Lancs E-type bodies (built to Alexander R-type design) were purchased, and have turbo-charged Gardner 6LXCT engines: seven in 1990, seven in 1991 and four in 1992 (fleet numbers 266 to 269 inclusive). Six East Lancs EL2000-bodied Dennis Lances were bought in 1993.
In 1995/6, a large batch of Dennis Darts with East Lancs EL2000 bodywork were purchased, and are worth noting as the bodies are wider than usual Darts (regardless of bodywork): 12 in 1995 and 10 in 1996.
In 1997/8, delivery of Dennis Dart SLFs with East Lancs Spryte bodywork: two in 1997 and eight in 1998. The 1998 batch were originally in "Super Route 6" livery. In 1999 Yellow Buses took delivery of its first new double decks since 1992, being nine East Lancs Lolyne-bodied Dennis Tridents.
Yellow Buses took delivery six Volvo B7TLs in 2003, the bodywork of which were split equally between East Lancs Vyking and Wright Eclipse Gemini. This year also saw another one of the original 18 Dennis Dominator/East Lancs E Types taken out of service. The company withdrew all six East Lancs EL2000-bodied Dennis Lances. The Leyland Fleetlines in the fleet were sold to Thamesdown between 2003 and 2006.
The only deliveries in 2004 were a further six further Volvo B7TLs, again equally split between East Lancs, this time with East Lancs Myllennium Vyking bodywork, and Wright Eclipse Gemini. A further three East Lancs Myllennium Vyking Volvo B7TLs arrived in 2005, plus four VDL SB120/Wright Merits, the latter in a revised livery (before the sale to Transdev) of yellow and white, relieved with two blue upward sweeping bands to the rear.
In 2006, under Transdev ownership, a selection of 21 second-hand single decks arrived, all of which were low-floor Dennis Darts on either Plaxton Pointer, East Lancs Spryte or Wright Crusader bodies, all in the new Transdev Yellow Buses livery. The remaining East Lancs coach-style Volvo Citybuses were withdrawn for sale.
In 2007 the company commenced repainting the remainder of the Volvo Citybuses, but this stopped when the company started looking into purchasing some double-deckers.
The driver-training fleet has also been changed. The company withdrew the last two East Lancs EL2000-bodied Dennis Lances. In their place, the 1997 batch of Dennis Dart SLFs with East Lancs Spryte bodywork were painted up in special yellow and purple driver-training livery.
10 reasonably new buses arrived, all being 55-plate Alexander Dennis Dart Pointers. These came from Manchester Airport, and because Yellow Buses were due to stop running the airport service in November, the buses had their luggage racks removed. To this end, a large part of the 1995 batch of Dennis Darts with East Lancs EL2000 bodywork were withdrawn and put up for sale by Ensignbus. Two were sold to Brighton-based independent The Big Lemon. In November 2007, an ex-demonstrator Alexander Dennis Enviro400 arrived.
A single deck Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart went into service in mid-January 2008, numbered 515. In September 2008, 11 brand new Optare Versas arrived at the depot. These had registrations to match their fleet numbers in the Txx TYB range (18 to 28 inclusive) and entered service on Route 1a (Bournemouth-Somerford) on 1 October 2008. In November, an order was announced for 11 Optare Tempos to follow on from the Versa order.
Towards the end of the year, Dennis Dart East Lancs EL2000s 460 to 463 were withdrawn.
Your Bus was also launched during September 2008 by TYB, to run the school specials they had contracts for, with three Volvo Citybuses and one Dennis Dart East Lancs EL2000 in the TYB "Your Bus" Livery. This fleet was expanded in September 2009 with the introduction of the Bournemouth & Poole College contract, with extra Darts and an extra Volvo Citybus added to the fleet.
11 Optare Tempos entered service during May 2009.
The early part of 2010 saw the withdrawal of the remaining Volvo Citybuses that were not then in the Your Bus section of TYB.
Spring 2010 saw the refurbishment of the Trident Lolynes. Notable differences were the addition of a wheelchair ramp and area, more stop buttons on both decks, flooring to the same specification as the Optare single-deckers already in the fleet, new seating with different arrangements both on the lower and especially the upper deck where the seats were spaced further apart, increasing leg-room, slightly reducing capacity, and improving CCTV.
June 2010 saw the introduction of seven new Optare Tempos.
Spring 2011 saw the continuation of the refurbishment of the fleet with the East Lancs Myllennium Vykings and the Wright Eclipse Geminis (fleet numbers 180 to 185 inclusive) receiving new flooring, seating and improved CCTV. Five new Volvo B9TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini 2s arrived in May 2011.
Summer 2011 saw the remaining step-entrance Darts in the Your Bus fleet leave the fleet leaving only the Citybuses in the Your Bus fleet to cover the St Peter's School contracts from September 2011. Also, YB acquired from sister company, London United, four ALX400 buses converted from dual door to single door format, three of which were Dennis Tridents and the other being a Volvo B7TL. YB also acquired five Optare Solo's, two being from Door to Dorset. The remaining three Optare Solo's origins are unknown.
Autumn 2011 saw two Alexander Dennis Enviro300 single deckers arrive.
Summer 2013 saw the arrival of eight Wright StreetLite Max single deckers at a cost of £1.1M These buses are typically allocated to the 2's.
- Companies House extract company no 2004964 Bournemouth Transport Limited
- History Yellow Buses
- Bus company sell-off under fire BBC News 14 December 2004
- Transdev wins race for Yellow Buses busandcoach.com 22 July 2005
- National Express Coach Handbook - 8th Edition. British Bus Publishing. 2012. ISBN 978-1-904875-78-9.
- "Pictures of new buses". Ant3645. 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2011.