Buses in Swindon

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Main article: Transport in Swindon

Buses in Swindon have been the major method of public transport in the region since the beginning of the 20th century.

Introduced in 1927 and replacing the tram system in 1929, the area is now served by numerous operators.

History[edit]

Swindon Corporation was the local council formed by the 1901 Municipal Borough charter, and Swindon Corporation Tramways started to operate electric trams in 1904.

Motor-bus operation started in 1927 and two years later all the trams were replaced by this form of transport. In 1942 Swindon became one of the first authorities to take delivery of the "Arab" made by Guy Motors.[1] One of these, No. 51 (DHR 192), is now preserved at RAF Wroughton near Swindon which is an Annex of the National Museum of Science and Industry and open to the public on certain days of the year.

On local government re-organisation in the early 1970s the name was changed to Thamesdown Transport under which it operates to this day.

Rural and inter-urban bus services around Swindon were mainly operated by Bristol Tramways (later known as Bristol Omnibus Company), which established a branch in Swindon in 1921. Bristol became part of the National Bus Company, and in 1983 the Swindon branch was transferred to a new company, Cheltenham & Gloucester Omnibus Company, operating in Swindon under the name Swindon and District. Cheltenham & Gloucester was sold to its management in 1986, and absorbed into the Stagecoach Group as Stagecoach in Swindon in 1993.

Bus station and Fleming Way[edit]

Original bus station[edit]

A bus stop in Fleming Way

Before 1966 Swindon had no bus station, and buses departed from street stops in and around Regent Circus. The first bus station was opened in 1966 on the site of the tram station in Corporation Street. Following expansion it eventually took up most of the land between Manchester Road and Fleming Way.

The main bus station area was demolished in the 1980s on construction of the current facility, with the old site being redeveloped into office accommodation now used by Zurich Financial Services.

Existing bus station[edit]

Constructed in the 1980s adjacent to the former site of Thamesdown Transport's garages, the current bus station consists of a number of bays with an adjacent Multi-storey car park.

It predominantly acts as a terminus for buses serving destinations outside of the Swindon urban area or non-frequent services. It is also used as a coach station, with services for National Express, Megabus and international services leaving from here. In recent years, following increased immigration from Eastern European countries, regular services to Poland have been introduced.[citation needed]

Redevelopment of area[edit]

In 2004, Swindon Borough Council announced the proposed redevelopment of the town centre area including the bus station.[2] Thamesdown Transport moved from their Corporation Street home to a new facility at Barnfield in 2005,[3] with the land earmarked for conversion to commercial properties. As well as town centre offices, the project area also makes provision for housing, shops, cafes and restaurants.[4] The plans announced would lead to the demolition of all buildings in this area, including the current Bus Station,[5] and also the change in use of Fleming Way to public transport use only. A new bus station development is part of the proposal.[5]

Operators[edit]

Coachstyle[edit]

Coachstyle provides services to Royal Wootton Bassett, Malmesbury and Yate from the Bus Station. The company won the tender for these services from Andybus, who lost all their bus work in the tender exercise.[citation needed]

AD Rains[edit]

AD Rains provides services to Royal Wootton Bassett, Ashton Keynes and Crudwell from the Bus Station, AD Rains also operate a service X70 from Swindon to Marlborough on College days.

APL Travel[edit]

APL Travel provide services to Lechlade and Fairford, from the bus Station.

Go Ride CIC[edit]

Go Ride CIC have taken over parts of the 47 from Thamesdown Transport between Swindon and Lambourn as their service 90, operating up to seven times per day on Mondays to Saturdays. Service 90 continues beyond Lambourn to/from Hungerford.[citation needed]

Hatts Coaches[edit]

Hatts Coaches provided services to Chippenham and Cirencester from the Bus Station and also operated a service X56 from Swindon to Lackham College on College days. The company went into administration in July 2014.[6]

Megabus[edit]

Megabus provide low-cost bus services to Cheltenham, Gloucester and London from a stop adjacent to the Sainburys Superstore at Stratton.

National Express[edit]

National Express provide nationwide coach travel from the Bus Station.

Pulhams Coaches[edit]

Pulhams Coaches, based in Bourton-on-the-Water, won the contract for service 64 operating from Carterton to Swindon. The contract was previously operated by Stagecoach in Oxfordshire following the failure of RH Transport in 2012. The service operates broadly every 2 hours on Mondays to Saturdays.

Stagecoach West[edit]

Stagecoach West operate in West and North Swindon and in rural areas. The company also provides a Sunday service on some Thamesdown routes. This is indicated on the timetable by SS above the buses scheduled departure time.

Thamesdown Transport[edit]

Thamesdown Transport operate the majority of Swindon's urban services and school buses. They also provide the Hospital Express (for the Great Western Hospital) and contract lunchtime link services to companies such as Thames Water. Services terminate at both the Bus Station and Fleming Way.

Salisbury Reds[edit]

Salisbury Reds operate services to Avebury, Marlborough, Pewsey and Salisbury from the Bus Station.

Fares[edit]

The majority of tickets purchased on Thamesdown Transport and Stagecoach in Swindon services are honoured by both operators. For more information on fares and tickets offered, refer to the individual operators' article.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Swindon Corporation". Retrieved 2007-01-30. 
  2. ^ "Plans for New Swindon unveiled". Swindon Report. swindonweb.com. 2004. Retrieved 2007-01-30. 
  3. ^ "Thamesdown Transport unveil modern new bus depot". swindonoffice.com. 2005. Retrieved 2007-01-30. 
  4. ^ "Second piece of New Swindon Jigsaw falls into place". Swindon Report. swindonweb.com. 2004. Retrieved 2007-01-30. 
  5. ^ a b CB Richard Ellis Limited. "The Exchange" (PDF). New life for New Swindon. The New Swindon Company. Retrieved 2007-01-30. 
  6. ^ "Hatts Travel: Jobs go and hundreds of customers hit". BBC News. 25 July 2014. 

External links[edit]