Routemaster Buses have introduced a new hourly commercial service between Chester and Crewe, to plug a gap in service after Arriva North West reduced their 84 service to hourly.
Arriva North West’s service 84 between Crewe and Chester was revised to operate every 15 minutes between Crewe and Nantwich, with just one journey per hour extending through to Chester from Sunday 27th December 2015. With that, Routemaster Buses registered their hourly C84 service to plug in the gaps in service with the withdrawal of the Arriva journeys.
When something which began as a hobby turns into a business can go either way, fortunately for Routemaster Buses, they’ve managed to turn their occasional weekend wedding hires into a fully fledged and prospering business with a carefully crafted business plan. Their operation has grown progressively since their formation and have transformed into a well-presented operation, which now includes commercial and contracted services through mid-Cheshire, school work and the occasional rail replacement.
As their name suggests, Routemaster Buses started with two Park Royal bodied AEC Routemasters owned by current directors Andy Hayward and Graham Meadows, who at the time of starting their new venture, were already employed in the transport sector, Andy was a railway conductor following a long period in London buses, and Graham as a freelance coach driver and tour organiser.
With the recent introduction of DDA regulations, the single deck fleet has been modernised appropriately, seeing off the use of their Leyland Lynx and National buses in a move to low-floor vehicles. The registration of their C84 service prompted the recent arrivals from the former Fishwicks fleet in Leyland which saw the introduction of VDL SB200’s with Wrightbus Commander and Centro bodywork join two Dennis Dart SLFs.
In terms of the double-deck fleet, Routemaster’s core fleet consists of Leyland and Olympians. Up until recently, however, with the introduction of their new Chester to Crewe service, their first low-floor decker joined the fleet – they were previously put off purchasing low-floor deckers due to their poor fuel consumption versus an Olympian.
Interestingly, the Routemaster Local Buses website also mentions the imminent introduction of their C82 service [reference to C82 since removed from their website] between Chester and Northwich, no details have been published so far, however. GHA Coaches have recently registered the 84 service too, it’s certainly going to get a little bit interesting over the coming months to see how things pan out for the 82 and 84 services in the long run.4 comments