Yorkshire Terrier (bus company)

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Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terrier - Volvo B10m.jpg
A Yorkshire Terrier bus at Meadowhall Interchange
Slogan Sheffield's friendly buses
Parent Yorkshire Traction
Founded 1988
Headquarters Sheffield
Locale Sheffield
Service area  United Kingdom
Service type Urban bus service
Routes 30
Destinations Bradway, Crookes, Woodhouse.
Operator Stagecoach Sheffield

UK buses were freed from public ownership in 1986 and bus operators have since been able to operate bus services where and when they wish, subject only to notification to the relevant Traffic Commissioner. In this 'de-regulated' environment, Yorkshire Terrier was an early start-up company operating in Sheffield, England. The company was successful in private ownership and went on to become part of the Yorkshire Traction Group - now part of Stagecoach Sheffield, whose route network today can be easily traced to the network set up by 'Terrier'.

History[edit]

Foundation[edit]

The company was founded in 1988 to compete against South Yorkshire Transport, the dominant operator in Sheffield. The three main people involved were Messrs Baldwin, Keeling and Dixon; all three were former managers from the East Bank depot of South Yorkshire Transport (SYT) - East Bank had closed in early 1988 when SYT was in a poor financial position as a result of its network being attacked on numerous fronts by smaller operators.

Services were started using a fleet of 10-year-old plus Mark 1 Leyland Nationals, operated from the Keetona Works on Greenland Road, Darnall. This depot was right next door to the Greenland Road depot of SYT.

Initial routes operated were:

  • 13 Sheffield - Malin Bridge
  • 25 Bradway - Woodhouse
  • 36/43 Sheffield - Batemoor Circles
  • 52 Crookes - Ballifield

The livery was initially green, white and yellow which was retained more or less throughout the company's existence although later vehicles received livery less white.

Expansion[edit]

The company increased in size and quickly outgrew its depot moving to the former SYT Central Works in Queens Road (itself a former Sheffield Tramways depot). Here the company expanded to over 50 vehicles.

By this point it had purchased the remnants of the Darley Dale based Silver Service bus company (which it renamed Kingsman) and a minority share in Sheffield based operator Rotherham & District.

Vehicles purchases remained broadly the same with a mixture of mid-life and elderly Mark 1 Nationals being the mainstay. However several Scanias were acquired from British Airways which were converted for local bus service operation.

Independent consolidation[edit]

By 1992 the company was relatively secure. It had chosen to rationalise its interests; the coaching operations (which had been concentrated in Matlock with the Kingsman O-licence) were transferred to a new purpose-built depot at Holbrook - on the outskirts of Sheffield - along with the main fleet.

The transfer to Holbrook saw the end of the association with Rotherham & District, although three buses were taken over by Yorkshire Terrier.

In 1993 the company bought its first new vehicles with the purchase of 5 Dennis Darts. These were to be the only new vehicles for the fleet. Apart from these, two minibuses and the Kingsman coach fleet, the company continued to operate the Leyland-National as standard.

Traction Group ownership[edit]

A Yorkshire Terrier bus ticket from early 2005.

In 1995 the company was bought by the Barnsley-based Yorkshire Traction bus company, in private ownership but once the predominant National Bus Company subsidiary in S Yorkshire. 'Traction' had been busily buying up other bus operators - including local companies Andrews, Sheffield Omnibus and South Riding. Consolidation followed with Andrews merging with South Riding and then Sheffield Omnibus whilst Kingsman was consolidated into Yorkshire Terrier.

The two companies remained separate entities until 1998 when Yorkshire Terrier was merged into Andrews (Sheffield). However in a strange twist the Yorkshire Terrier fleetname was retained by Andrews as it was seen as the one with the better marketability. Thus, whilst Yorkshire Terrier ceased to exist as an operating company, the fleet name continued and was applied to the entire Andrews fleet.

The fleet itself had seen many new vehicles coming in and the retirement of elderly Leyland Nationals.

Remnants of the company today[edit]

A Yorkshire Terrier bus at Showbus 2004, a bus event

December 2005 saw the Traction Group taken over by Stagecoach Group, and six months later the Yorkshire Terrier name disappeared from vehicles and was replaced by Stagecoach in Sheffield (under Stagecoach Yorkshire). The last buses carrying green and yellow livery were withdrawn in March 2007.

Two of the original routes operated by Yorkshire Terrier survive today, the 25 and the 52 (which was progressively extended to Woodhouse and Hillsborough). Later addition, route 120, itself having been relatively unchanged for nearly 15 years, is also still a key route. Most of the vehicles operated by Terrier have been scrapped, the odd National passed onto other operators or even into preservation, but these were in their former operators' liveries rather than Yorkshire Terrier's.

The only buses new to the company are in the process of being withdrawn and scrapped by Yorkshire Traction. Of the depots, the site of Keetona Works is now a giant B&Q, the site of the old Central Works is now a Netto, but the depot remains in Holbrook, under Stagecoach control.

See also[edit]

References[edit]