Compass Travel is an independent bus and coach operator based in Durrington, West Sussex. Compass Travel operate over 50 bus services throughout Surrey and West Sussex, linking many places other bus companies do not serve, they operate commercial and contracted routes, including route 99, a flexible service between Petworth and Chichester. This service has a fixed route, but will deviate off the route to serve a number of small villages if pre-booked. In addition, a number of Sainsbury's special bus services are run, serving Rustington and Chichester Sainsbury's. Services to Benfield Park Sainsbury's were withdrawn in 2010. In October 2006 the operation of some of Compass Travel's routes in the Burgess Hill area, passed to Countryliner. In September 2007, Compass picked up a number of routes operated by Palaeobus, when they ceased trading; the Holmbush Express services were added to the portfolio from 20 April 2009, along with several other enhancements to existing services. In April 2009, Compass acquired the three coach Sussex Country Tours business, including a rare 25 seater Robin Hood bodied Mercedes-Benz coach.
Work with Brighton & Hove Albion football club and rail replacement for Southern from the middle of 2011 saw the company expanding into new areas. Optare Solos are seen plying between Rottingdean and Falmer Stadium, whereas the larger vehicles operate the services from Shoreham and Hangleton. Newer 10.8m Enviro 200s have strengthened the fleet to increase the number of vehicles available to rail replacement work, although at present this is restricted to services operating through Barnham under the low bridge. From 3 January 2012, Compass took over the operation of the Stagecoach South route 7 in Worthing under a franchise agreement. Unique in South East England, this arrangement gives the running of the service to Compass, whilst Stagecoach retain it as part of their network; the service was adjusted by splitting the two estates - North Sompting to be served by a modification of the original route 7, the Test Road estate to the south by the new 7A. This enabled the service to be operated by three vehicles instead of four as previously.
Stagecoach livery and route branding has been applied to the vehicles. Further expansion came when Compass won contracts to operate routes in East Sussex from 21 May 2012; these are in the Lewes / Newhaven / Seaford area. Six brand new Optare Solo SRs were ordered to operate these services. More services resulted when Compass were awarded contracts for a number of services in Brighton & Hove, which commenced on 16 September 2012. Seven brand new Alexander Dennis Enviro 200 Darts were purchased to operate these routes. In the West Sussex area, a number of changes have resulted following West Sussex County Council cuts. On 1 October 2016 the routes of The Sussex Bus were acquired. No buses were acquired.in January and February 2018, Seaford and District bus routes 125,231,261, 228 and 229 were acquired along with 2 Enviro 200 Darts from Seaford and District. Routes 228 and 229 are the company's first routes in Kent; as of September 2018 the fleets coaches. List of bus operators of the United Kingdom Media related to Compass Bus at Wikimedia Commons Company website
Buckinghamshire, abbreviated Bucks, is a ceremonial county in South East England which borders Greater London to the south east, Berkshire to the south, Oxfordshire to the west, Northamptonshire to the north, Bedfordshire to the north east and Hertfordshire to the east. Buckinghamshire is one of the home counties and towns such as High Wycombe, Amersham and the Chalfonts in the east and southeast of the county are parts of the London commuter belt, forming some of the most densely populated parts of the county. Development in this region is restricted by the Metropolitan Green Belt. Other large settlements include the county town of Aylesbury, Marlow in the south near the Thames and Princes Risborough in the west near Oxford; some areas without direct rail links to London, such as around the old county town of Buckingham and near Olney in the northeast, are much less populous. The largest town is Milton Keynes in the northeast, which with the surrounding area is administered as a unitary authority separately to the rest of Buckinghamshire.
The remainder of the county is administered by Buckinghamshire County Council as a non-metropolitan county, four district councils. In national elections, Buckinghamshire is considered a reliable supporter of the Conservative Party. A large part of the Chiltern Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, runs through the south of the county and attracts many walkers and cyclists from London. In this area older buildings are made from local flint and red brick. Many parts of the county are quite affluent and like many areas around London this has led to problems with housing costs: several reports have identified the market town of Beaconsfield as having among the highest property prices outside London. Chequers, a mansion estate owned by the government, is the country retreat of the incumbent Prime Minister. To the north of the county lies rolling countryside in the Vale of Aylesbury and around the Great Ouse; the Thames forms part of the county’s southwestern boundary. Notable service amenities in the county are Pinewood Film Studios, Dorney rowing lake and part of Silverstone race track on the Northamptonshire border.
Many national companies have offices in Milton Keynes. Heavy industry and quarrying is limited, with agriculture predominating after service industries; the name Buckinghamshire means The district of Bucca's home. Bucca's home refers to Buckingham in the north of the county, is named after an Anglo-Saxon landowner; the county has been so named since about the 12th century. The history of the area predates the Anglo-Saxon period and the county has a rich history starting from the Celtic and Roman periods, though the Anglo-Saxons had the greatest impact on Buckinghamshire: the geography of the rural county is as it was in the Anglo-Saxon period. Buckinghamshire became an important political arena, with King Henry VIII intervening in local politics in the 16th century and just a century the English Civil War was reputedly started by John Hampden in mid-Bucks; the biggest change to the county came in the 19th century, when a combination of cholera and famine hit the rural county, forcing many to migrate to larger towns to find work.
Not only did this alter the local economic situation, it meant a lot of land was going cheap at a time when the rich were more mobile and leafy Bucks became a popular rural idyll: an image it still has today. Buckinghamshire is a popular home for London commuters, leading to greater local affluence; the expansion of London and coming of the railways promoted the growth of towns in the south of the county such as Aylesbury and High Wycombe, leaving the town Buckingham itself to the north in a relative backwater. As a result, most county institutions are now based in the south of the county or Milton Keynes, rather than in Buckingham; the county can be split into two sections geographically. The south leads from the River Thames up the gentle slopes of the Chiltern Hills to the more abrupt slopes on the northern side leading to the Vale of Aylesbury, a large flat expanse of land, which includes the path of the River Great Ouse; the county includes parts of two of the four longest rivers in England.
The River Thames forms the southern boundary with Berkshire, which has crept over the border at Eton and Slough so that the river is no longer the sole boundary between the two counties. The River Great Ouse rises just outside the county in Northamptonshire and flows east through Buckingham, Milton Keynes and Olney; the main branch of the Grand Union Canal passes through the county as do its arms to Slough, Aylesbury and Buckingham. The canal has been incorporated into the landscaping of Milton Keynes; the southern part of the county is dominated by the Chiltern Hills. The two highest points in Buckinghamshire are Haddington Hill in Wendover Woods at 267 metres above sea level, Coombe Hill near Wendover at 260 metres. Quarrying has taken clay for brickmaking and gravel and sand in the river valleys. Flint extracted from quarries, was used to build older local buildings. Several former quarries, now flooded, have become nature reserves; as can be seen from the table, the Vale of Aylesbury and the Borough of Milton Keynes have been identified as growth areas, with a projected population surge of 40,000 in Aylesbury Vale between 2011 and 2026 and 75,000 in Milton Keynes within the same 15 years.
The population of the Borough of Milton Keynes is expected to reach 350,000 by 2031. Buckinghamshire is sub-divided into civil parishes. Today Bucking
Chatham is one of the Medway towns located within the Medway unitary authority, in North Kent, in South East England. The town developed around Chatham Dockyard and several Army barracks, together with 19th-century forts which provided a defensive shield for the dockyard; the Corps of Royal Engineers is still based in Chatham at Brompton Barracks. The Dockyard closed in 1984, but major naval buildings remain as the focus for a flourishing tourist industry. Following closure, part of the site became a commercial port, other parts were redeveloped for business and residential use, part became the Chatham Historic Dockyard museum, which features the submarine HMS Ocelot among a good many other attractions; the town has important road links and the railway and bus stations are the main interchanges for the area. It is the administrative headquarters of Medway unitary authority, as well as its principal shopping centre; the name Chatham was first recorded as Cetham in 880. The Domesday Book records the place as Ceteham.
Most books explain this name as a British root ceto plus Old English ham, thus meaning a forest settlement. The river-valley situation of Chatham is, more consistent with cet being an Old English survival of the element catu, common in Roman-era names and meant'basin' or'valley'. Chatham stands on the A2 road along the line of the ancient Celtic route, paved by the Romans, named Watling Street by the Anglo-Saxons. Among finds have been the remains of a Roman cemetery, it long remained a small village on the banks of the river, but by the 16th century warships were being moored at Jillingham water, because of its strategic sheltered location between London and the Continent. It was established as a Royal Dockyard by Queen Elizabeth I in 1568 and most of the dockyard lies within Gillingham. A refitting base, it became a shipbuilding yard. In its time, many thousands of men were employed at the dockyard, many hundreds of vessels were launched there, including HMS Victory, built there in the 1760s.
After World War I many submarines were built in Chatham Dockyard. In addition to the dockyard itself, defensive fortifications were built to protect it from attack. Upnor Castle had proved ineffectual; the fortifications, which became more elaborate as the threat of invasion grew, were begun in 1756 as a complex across the neck of the peninsula formed by the bend in the River Medway, included Fort Amherst. The threat of a land-based attack from the south during the 19th century led to the construction of more forts; the second phase of fort-building included Fort Pitt. The 1859 Royal Commission on the Defence of the United Kingdom ordered, inter alia, a third outer ring of forts: these included Fort Luton, Fort Bridgewood, Fort Borstal; these fortifications all required military personnel to man them and Army barracks to house those men. These included Kitchener Barracks, the Royal Marine Barracks, Brompton Artillery Barracks and Melville Barracks. H. M. S. Collingwood and H. M. S. Pembroke were both naval barracks.
In response to the huge manpower needs, the village of Chatham and other nearby villages and towns grew commensurately. Trams, buses, linked those places to bring in the workforce; the area between the High Street and Luton village illustrates part of that growth, with its many streets of Victorian terraces. The importance of Chatham dockyard declined as Britain's naval resources were reduced or moved to other locations, in 1984, it was closed completely; the dockyard buildings were preserved as the historic site Chatham Historic Dockyard, under consideration as a World Heritage Site the site is being used for other purposes. Part of the St Mary's Island section is now used as a marina, the remainder is being developed for housing and other uses, branded as "Chatham Maritime". Chatham lost its independence as a borough under the Local Government Act 1972, by which, on 1 April 1974, it became part of the Borough of Medway, a non-metropolitan district of the county of Kent. Under the most recent change, in 1998, with the addition of the Borough of Gillingham, the Borough of Medway became a unitary authority area, administratively separate from Kent.
It remains part of the county of Kent for ceremonial purposes. Medway Council has relocated its main administration building to Gun Wharf, the site of the earliest part of the Dockyard, a former Lloyd's office building. Chatham is part of the parliamentary constituency of Chatham and Aylesford. Prior to 1997, Chatham had been included in the constituencies of Mid Kent and Chatham and Chatham. Like several other Kent constituencies, Chatham has proven to be a marginal seat, swinging backwards and forwards on the political tide and always following the national trend. Since 1945, the members of parliament for Chatham have been as follows: Chatham is situated where the lower part of the dip slope of the North Downs meets the River Medway which at this point is flowing in a south-north direction; this gives the right bank, where the town stands, considerable advantages from the point of view of river use. Compared with opposite bank, the river is deep.
First Berkshire & The Thames Valley
First Beeline Buses, trading as First Berkshire & The Thames Valley, is a bus operator providing services in and around Slough. It is a subsidiary of FirstGroup. In January 1986 Alder Valley North Limited renamed, The Berks Bucks Bus Company took over the Bracknell, High Wycombe, Newbury and Wokingham operations of Alder Valley as part of the preparation for privatisation of the National Bus Company, trading as "Beeline" once the name was changed in October 1986. In late 1987 The Berks Bucks Bus Company was sold to Q Drive. In 1990 the High Wycombe operations were sold to the Oxford Bus Company, in 1992 the Reading and Newbury operations were sold to Reading Buses. In 1993 Beeline purchased the Slough operations of Luton & District Transport, until 1986 the Slough depot of London Country Bus Services and part of the London Country North West division. In March 1996 Beeline was sold to CentreWest who in turn was sold to FirstGroup in March 1997. Trading as First Beeline, in 2001 it was rebranded as First Berkshire & The Thames Valley.
Following the loss of nine Bracknell Forest Council supported services to Courtney Buses on 13 July 2015 and the sale of route 90 Bracknell to Reading to Reading Buses on 26 July 2015, the Bracknell garage closed on 28 August 2015. The company operates services in Slough, as well as services to surrounding areas such as Heathrow Airport, High Wycombe; the company was the dominant operator in Maidenhead, but town services there were abandoned in 2004 and are now run by Courtney Buses. As well as normal First branded services, there were five specially branded groups of routes; some routes to Heathrow Airport were run with blue Heathrow 7 Series Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaros and have been using Volvo 7900 Hybrids. Some routes in Slough were branded as Slough Trading Estate Hoppa, used red liveried Optare Solos, but these vehicles were transferred away from Slough in 2014 and several routes through the Trading Estate have been abandoned; the Legoland Shuttle is run with yellow buses in Legoland graphics.
A new service, route 100, started on 2 June 2012. Coach services are run under different brands; the Reading to Heathrow service are branded as RailAir, routes 701 and 702 as Green Line. Operation of the Green Line services transferred to Reading Buses in December 2017. First Berkshire & The Thames Valley operates American Blue Bird school buses from an outstation in Chertsey for schools around Runnymede; the company used to operate Ride Pegasus!, a larger scheme run under contract to Surrey County Council from an outstation in Merrow, Guildford. This ceased in July 2010; as at August 2017 the fleet coaches. List of bus operators of the United Kingdom First Berkshire & The Thames Valley website First Group website First Berkshire gallery
Leyland Titan (B15)
The Leyland Titan is a rear-engined double-decker bus manufactured by Leyland between 1977 and 1984 for London Transport. The Titan was conceived in 1973 as project B15 and was intended as a replacement for the Bristol VRT, Daimler Fleetline and Leyland Atlantean. Following the success of the single-decker Leyland National, it was decided, from the outset, that the vehicle would be standardised and of integral construction; this allowed more flexibility in the location of mechanical components and allowed a reduced step-height. The move away from body-on-chassis construction caused concern for the bodybuilders, who had lost market share to the Leyland National. Talks regarding licensing agreements were held with Alexander and Northern Counties, both major suppliers to their respective local markets, but no agreements were reached. Leyland saw London Transport as a major market, so the specification was influenced by their preferences. LT was suffering problems with its Daimler/Leyland Fleetline one-person-operated double-deckers and wanted more input into the design.
Leyland, too wanted to gain more operator input. Five prototypes were constructed between 1977, two of which were evaluated in London; the Titan was 2.50 metres wide and 4.4 metres high. The main body structure was aluminium and the body was assembled using Avdel'Avdelok' rivets similar to the Leyland National. Single and dual-door layouts were offered, with a number of options for the location of the staircase. Mechanically, independent front suspension and a drop-centre rear axle were used, with air suspension and power hydraulic brakes as standard; the prototype engine was a turbocharged version of the Leyland 500 series, although this was changed to Gardner 6LXB for production, as a result of customer preference and concerns over fuel economy and reliability of the 500 series. The Leyland TL11 engine was available for production versions; the engine was mounted vertically at the rear, with the radiator located separately in a compartment above the engine. This led to an unusual off-centre square rear window.
The overall design was advanced for the time and improved on noise and emission requirements by considerable margins. The Titan name used for a front-engined double-decker, was revived for production in June 1977, it was intended that Park Royal Vehicles would build the first 100 vehicles, with production transferring to AEC in Southall. This caused industrial relations difficulties at some 200 skilled craftspeople left. Production was slow and the first vehicle was not delivered until August 1978. In October 1978 Leyland announced the AEC factory would close, with the intention of keeping Titan production at Park Royal; the slow production rate continued, causing cancellation of a number of existing orders. The industrial relations problems continued, as Leyland sought to replace the skilled staff, who had left, with semi-skilled workers. Leyland announced in October 1979 that Park Royal would close in May 1980. Once this decision had been made and a productivity-related redundancy package negotiated, production increased dramatically.
Whereas Park Royal had taken 14 months to build the first 100 vehicles, it took just seven months to build the final 150. Efforts to transfer production to Eastern Coach Works in Lowestoft failed, again due to industrial relations problems, so it was decided that production would recommence at an expanded facility in Workington, which built the Leyland National, it took a year to expand the facility, transfer the jigs and tooling from Park Royal and recommence production. The continued delays caused the loss of further orders. Besides the production difficulties, other aspects of the Titan specification, influenced by London Transport, were unpopular. Power hydraulic brakes, a fixed height of 14 feet 5 inches and an inability to specify local bodywork all limited the Titan's appeal. Outside London, the Greater Manchester PTE bought 15 and the West Midlands PTE bought five which were sold to London Transport; the first deliveries for each operator were displayed at the 1978 British Motor Show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.
Reading Transport bought two Park Royal Titans to full London specification and a further 10 from Workington, five of which had high-ratio rear axles and coach seats for express services into London. However planned orders for Greater Glasgow PTE, Lothian Regional Transport, Maidstone & District, Merseyside Transport, Southend Transport and Tyne & Wear Transport were cancelled and never got built due to these delays. One entered service with China Motor Bus. A 36 feet long version of the Titan had been planned for this operator but that too was cancelled as a result of the difficulties at Park Royal and two Leyland Victory Mark 2s were built instead. A demonstrator, built in 1982, failed to secure any further orders, operators preferring the flexibility and lower cost of the Leyland Olympian; this vehicle was sold to a Scottish independent operator, Ian Glass of Haddington. London's orders were split between the Titan and the MCW Metrobus but production of Titan for London alone was proving uneconomic.
Strong pressure was brought to bear to increase the Titan share of the London orders. As a result, Leyland received the entire order for 275 vehicles in 1982; this led to layoffs at Metro Cammell Weymann. The 1983 order favoured Leyland, with 210 Titan and 150 Metrobuses; the decision was made to end production, upon completion of a final batch o
The Green Bus
The Green Bus is a bus company based in Birmingham operating services in Berkshire, Surrey, the West Midlands and Worcestershire. The origins of Green Bus can be traced to 2001 when King Edward VI Five Ways School, Birmingham commenced operating a bus service to transport its students. In September 2005, it became a separate company, it soon began operating services serving other schools within the Foundation of the Schools of King Edward VI. By 2013 it was operating 55 school bus services in Berkshire, Surrey, the West Midlands and Worcestershire. In August 2010 it began operating services during Aston Villa and Birmingham football clubs home matches. In September 2011 The Green Bus commenced operating commercial passenger services; the Green Bus won the "Innovation of the Year" prize at the 2010 Route One Operator Excellence Awards in recognition of its iPhone application which allows users to track the real time location of their bus. The Green Bus operated routes 50 and 50A from Birmingham to Maypole and Redditch until December 2014.
It operates services to Birmingham and West Bromwich Albion football clubs during home matches. The Green Bus commenced operation of route 22 on 3 March 2014, which served Birmingham Town Hall, Bartley Green, Colley Gate and Merry Hill, which ended in the summer of the same year; as of the 2015-16 academic year, The Green Bus operates 21 school services to 9 schools in the West Midlands, with one return journey on each route per day. As of January 2016, the fleet consisted of 25 buses. Media related to The Green Bus at Wikimedia Commons Company website
The Plaxton Pointer was a single-decker bus body manufactured during the 1990s by Reeve Burgess and latterly built by Alexander Dennis. With the launch of the Dennis Dart in 1989, Plaxton launched the Pointer body on the short 8.5 metre chassis. It was built by its Reeve Burgess subsidiary, before moving to Plaxton's Scarborough factory. Launched in 1991, at 2.3 metres wide, this proved popular with many operators, they sold in big numbers to London Regional Transport. The modular nature of both chassis and body meant for various permutations in length, with 8.5, 9.0 and 9.8 metre variants being manufactured. The Pointer became the most successful midibus body; the Pointer was available with Volvo B6 chassis. The introduction of the Super Low Floor version of the Dennis Dart, the Dart SLF, in 1995 saw the Pointer body redesigned with a 2.4 metre width, with a step-free entrance, giving easy access for the disabled. This redesigned Pointer bodywork was built on the Volvo B6LE, one for the UK and the other 20 for Citybus of Hong Kong.
The low floor Plaxton Pointer 1 and the Plaxton Pointer 2 have a rounded roof dome with a double-curvature windscreen. Not long after, the body received an all-new lower front end design, alterations to the rest of the body - the Pointer 2 was born, has proved to be just as successful; this was available in a range of lengths to suit individual needs - 9.3 m, 10.1 m, 10.7 m, 11.3 m "Super Pointer Dart", after 3 years of production, the 8.8 m "Mini Pointer Dart". The 11.3 m "Super Pointer Dart" is considered as a full-sized single-decker bus. The Pointer 2 was built exclusively on Dart SLF chassis, except for a single prototype - NK53TJV, delivered to Arriva North East -, built on the experimental Blue Bird LFCC9 chassis. In 1998, the Mayflower Group, owner of Alexander Coachbuilders, took over Dennis; the future of the Pointer at that time appeared uncertain as it was thought the Dart may be bodied by Alexander. As a result, Plaxton built two Pointer bodies on the Volvo B6BLE chassis known as Bus 2000, but the project was scrapped when Mayflower purchased Plaxton, forming TransBus International.
Certain design features of the scrapped Bus 2000 project have since been used on other designs, most notably the Alexander Dennis Enviro300 and Enviro500. With the collapse of TransBus in 2004 and subsequent restructuring by the administrators and Alexander Dennis were sold to different parties; as Pointer production had been transferred to the former Alexander plant at Falkirk, it became an Alexander Dennis product. Plaxton, once again an independent company, signalled its return to the bus market by developing the Centro on VDL and MAN chassis in 2005 to join its Primo low-floor minibus in competition with the Pointer. In August 2006 Alexander Dennis launched the Enviro200 Dart as a replacement for the Pointer Dart. Media related to Plaxton Pointer at Wikimedia Commons Alexander Dennis Pointer product website - Web archive