• Buses, trams & commercial vehicles: general interest
      July 2016

      From a Nickel to a Token

      The Journey from Board of Transportation to MTA

      by Andrew J. Sparberg

      Streetcars “are as dead as sailing ships,” said Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in a radio speech, two days before Madison Avenue’s streetcars yielded to buses. LaGuardia was determined to eliminate streetcars, demolish pre-1900 elevated lines, and unify the subway system, a goal that became reality in 1940 when the separate IRT, BMT, and IND became one giant system under full public control. In this fascinating micro-history of New York’s transit system, Andrew Sparberg examines twenty specific events between 1940 and 1968, book ended by subway unification and the MTA’s creation. From a Nickel to a Token depicts a potpourri of well-remembered, partially forgotten, and totally obscure happenings drawn from the historical tapestry of New York mass transit. Sparberg deftly captures five boroughs of grit, chaos, and emotion grappling with a massive and unwieldy transit system. During these decades, the system morphed into today’s familiar network. The public sector absorbed most private surface lines operating within the five boroughs, and buses completely replaced streetcars. Elevated lines were demolished, replaced by subways or, along Manhattan’s Third Avenue, not at all. Beyond the unification of the IND, IRT, and BMT, strategic track connections were built between lines to allow a more flexible and unified operation. The oldest subway routes received much needed rehabilitation. Thousands of new subway cars and buses were purchased. The sacred nickel fare barrier was broken, and by 1968 a ride cost twenty cents. From LaGuardia to Lindsay, mayors devoted much energy to solving transit problems, keeping fares low, and appeasing voters, fellow elected officials, transit management, and labor leaders. Simultaneously, American society was experiencing tumultuous times, manifested by labor disputes, economic pressures, and civil rights protests. Featuring many photos never before published, From a Nickel to a Token is a historical trip back in time to a multitude of important events.

    • Lifestyle, Sport & Leisure
      October 2018

      AEC Double-Deckers

      by Howard Berry

      Even though it is nearly forty years since the last vehicles left the Southall factory, the products of the Associated Equipment Company, more commonly known as AEC, are still synonymous with quality and reliability. In this, the second of a series of two books, Howard Berry sets out to give a pictorial overview of the bus chassis manufactured in the last years of double-deck bus production by AEC. AEC were known as ‘the builders of London’s buses’ and produced such iconic models as the RT and the Routemaster – the familiar red buses that symbolise London to people across the world, but there was much more to AEC than this. Regents, Renowns and Bridgemasters all contributed to making AEC the byword for reliability in the PSV world. With 180 informatively captioned photographs, almost all in colour, and all taken when these fine vehicles were in their operating heyday, this book is sure to appeal to enthusiasts of the AEC marque and the layman alike.

    • Lifestyle, Sport & Leisure
      March 2019

      AEC Regents in Service

      The Late 1960s and 1970s

      by David Christie

      From 1967 to the late 1970s the author visited many towns and cities in Britain, photographing the remaining traditional buses in service. This book concentrates on one marque – the AEC Regent, which was to be found generally in its Mk 3 variant and more so in the southern counties. ‘Up North’ was generally Leyland country, and a companion book covers the PD Leylands. Travelling from Romford in Essex ,the author’s home town, and starting with a brief LT selection, we call in along the south coast before heading north to the Midlands ,the Isle of Man, then on to Scotland, where the Author relocated in 1973. All the photographs are in colour, originally in slide form, from which they have been digitally restored.

    • Lifestyle, Sport & Leisure
      March 2019

      Birmingham Buses, Trams and Trolleybuses in the Second World War

      by David Harvey

      This books looks at the effects of the Second World War on public transport in the West Midlands. New regulations were introduced within days of Chamberlain’s public announcement and buses, trolleybuses and trams had to conform with new blackout regulations. Many single-deck buses were either commandeered by the War Department or converted to ambulances. Service reductions were made and significant damage to buildings and infrastructures presented a unique set of challenges for those tasked with keeping the West Midlands working. Air raids resulted in many routes being abandoned or changed as the inevitable reduction in fleet sizes put the public transport systems under even greater strain. Photographing public transport system was forbidden during the war, but many enthusiasts continued to record history. Delving into his superb collection of wartime shots, renowned Midlands bus expert David Harvey offers a fascinating snapshot of theses buses’ life during wartime.

    • Lifestyle, Sport & Leisure
      October 2018

      Hull Trolleybuses

      The Final Decade

      by Malcolm Wells, Paul Morfitt

      1955 opened with optimism for Hull’s trolleybuses. New ‘Coronation’ trolleybuses, which were replacing the last 1937 Leyland TB4s, promised a new era of one-man-operated trolleybuses, starting with the Beverley Road route. Trolleybuses carried 38.8 million passengers, producing a net surplus of £24,200. Frequencies were intensive, with an afternoon peak two-minute headway on Hessle Road, down to a five/six-minute one on Chanterlands Avenue. General Manager Mr Pulfrey promised larger trolleybuses with flat floor doorways. In November 1959 approval was given to purchase ten 35-foot-long Sunbeam single-deckers for the Chanterlands Avenue route; yet, within a year abandonment was confirmed, the trolleybuses being the victims of a general decrease in passenger numbers and the effects of housing clearance plans. The final decade was interesting, with some rebuilding and refurbishment and the transfer of trolleybuses to be withdrawn to the garage operating the doomed route. This book illustrates those years.

    • Lifestyle, Sport & Leisure
      October 2018

      The Leyland National

      by Peter Horrex, Robert Appleton

      The Leyland National was conceived as a joint venture between British Leyland and the National Bus Company to replace all the rear-engined single-deckers in the British Leyland Group – the AEC Swift, Leyland Panther, Daimler Roadliner, single-deck Daimler Fleetline, and Bristol RE. The Leyland National was built at a new factory at Lillyhall in Cumbria and had several novel features, including integral construction, a sophisticated heating and ventilation system that meant a rear pod on the roof, and a turbocharged 8.3-litre horizontal Leyland engine. Most Leyland Nationals were 10.3 or 11.3 metres long and the first was delivered to Cumberland Motor Services in March 1972, registered ERM 35K. Over 7,000 Leyland Nationals were built, but it never achieved its full production targets due to the advent of one-person-operated double-deckers. The last Leyland National was registered C49 OCM and delivered to Halton Transport in November 1985. Utilising their fantastic collections of previously unpublished images, Peter Horrex and Robert Appleton pay tribute to this popular and iconic chariot of the people.

    • Lifestyle, Sport & Leisure
      October 2018

      Lowland Scottish Buses

      by David Devoy

      In 1985 the Scottish Bus Group decided to split the Border and East Lothian operations of Eastern Scottish from the rest of the company. A new company named Lowland Scottish, based in Galashiels, would take over the operations, using a new livery of yellow and green. It was hoped the new company could tailor demand and supply in the area, which only had a population of just over 100,000. The staff and management successfully purchased the company during the sell-off of the Scottish Bus Group. With a superb collection of previously unpublished images, David Devoy tells the story of another popular operator that has now sadly vanished from Scotland’s roads.

    • Lifestyle, Sport & Leisure
      March 2019

      The McKindless Group

      by David Devoy

      The McKindless bus company started off as a small operation of a few buses, a lorry and two coaches in 1987, and traded under the name of Chartered Coaches. Its aim was to provide school contracts and private hires, but it quickly moved into local bus operation, spurred on by the problems suffered by it larger neighbour Central Scottish. The company would sell its services to Kelvin Central Buses in 1992, but restart again on a larger scale. The company ceased operation of its services abruptly at 1900 hours on Friday 19 February 2010. Many employees were not notified that the company was about to close, only discovering this when their shifts ended. With a fascinating array of previously unpublished photographs, this is the story of a family business that got out of its depth.

    • Lifestyle, Sport & Leisure
      October 2018

      South West England Buses: 1990 to 2005

      by David Moth

      In this book David Moth chronicles buses in South West England between 1990 and 2005. This was a time when there were still a lot of older buses in service in the region in a variety of different company liveries now very much consigned to the past. Areas covered include Wiltshire, Dorset, Avon, Cornwall, Gloucestershire, and parts of Somerset and Devon. Operators include, among others, Badgerline, Cityline, Cheltenham & Gloucester, Smiths, Wilts & Dorset, Southern National and First Western National. With a wide variety of buses and liveries on show, this is a nostalgic look back at an era of great variety in the buses of the South West.

    • Lifestyle, Sport & Leisure
      March 2019

      Stagecoach Beyond Scotland

      The First Twenty Years

      by Keith A. Jenkinson

      Keen to quickly expand during the 1980s, Stagecoach purchased three former National Bus Company subsidiaries during its sell-off in 1986/7 to give it a foothold in the English bus market. Finding this move to be successful, the company then set about a further expansion programme with the purchase of twenty-six more major, and several independent, companies to become Britain’s largest bus operator and followed this with the acquisition of a number of Welsh companies. Looking further afield, Stagecoach then purchased some bus companies in Malawi, Kenya, Hong Kong and New Zealand to become a global operator. With all these activities being covered within this volume it will have a wide appeal to enthusiasts across the UK and the wider world.

    • Lifestyle, Sport & Leisure
      October 2018

      Stagecoach in Scotland

      The First Twenty Years

      by Keith A. Jenkinson

      Starting in October 1980 as a small coach operator with two coaches and a service from Glasgow to London, Stagecoach rapidly developed throughout Scotland in the 1980s and 1990s when it purchased three major Scottish Bus Group companies and a number of smaller independent operators before floating on the stock market as a plc. After initially relying on the second-hand vehicle market, which produced a wide variety of buses, it ultimately began purchasing new vehicles that like their predecessors were painted in the company’s corporate livery. Stagecoach has always been an operator that has attracted a wide enthusiast following and this book traces the development of the company from its humble beginnings to its current major status.

    • Lifestyle, Sport & Leisure
      November 2018

      Arriva Serving Scotland

      by David Devoy

      Arriva came to have a presence in Scotland as a result of several purchases and mergers, with a management buyout of Clydeside Scottish eventually leading to that company becoming a part of the giant Arriva group. All subsidiary companies of the group were forced to adopt Arriva’s Aquamarine and Cotswold Cream livery, along with the Arriva fleet name; this was coupled with a region-specific strapline of ‘Arriva serving …’ The Scottish operations were detached from the other regions, and the company struggled in the face of ferocious opposition from the country’s independents and eventually retreated south of the border. David Devoy, a former employee of Arriva in Scotland, tells the story of another fascinating chapter of history in the Scottish bus scene with his superb collection of previously unpublished photographs.

    • Lifestyle, Sport & Leisure
      April 2019

      Coaches In and Around Brighton

      by Simon Stanford

      Brighton is famous for many things and coaching is one. During the summer months coaches from the four operators based in Brighton – Alpha, Campings, Unique and Southdown – would line up along Maderia Drive adjacent to the seafront with boards along the sides of their coaches advertising excursions to a variety of locations in Sussex, Kent, Hampshire and Surrey. These attracted not only tourists in the area, but local people who would travel once or twice every week. These operators had premises in or around the town with an array of advertising potential exploited; Campings led the way with their Aquarium booking office to the right of the entrance to this famous attraction. This book relives coaching in Brighton from tours and excursions to private hires and contracts, taking in the heyday of the early 1960s through to the sad decline of traditional coaching in the 1980s.

    • Lifestyle, Sport & Leisure
      November 2018

      Doncaster Buses in Transition

      Before and After SYPTE

      by Keith W. Platt

      The period after April 1974 brought about major and irrevocable changes to bus operations in Doncaster and the surrounding communities to the north-east of the town. The reorganisation of local government in England from 1974 had been brought about by the Local Government Act of 1972. It created six metropolitan counties, each responsible for running transport operations in their respective regions through a passenger transport executive. The newly formed South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive took control of Doncaster Corporation Transport in April 1974 and brought to an end the seventy-plus years of local council organisation of tramway, trolleybus and motorbus services. At first the changes were minimal insofar as the appearance of buses in service was concerned; they retained their Doncaster livery with the addition of new fleet numbers until they became due for a repaint or replacement by newly acquired vehicles. The independent companies operating bus services into Doncaster remained unchanged at first and, with their colourful and distinctive liveries, gave welcome relief to the corporate cream-and-brown that was gradually enveloping the SYPTE fleet. This situation was to change over the following few years as one by one the independent operators were acquired by the PTE and their fleets of buses were either rapidly withdrawn or repainted. The photographs in the book illustrate this process of the absorption of the bus fleets of Doncaster Corporation Transport, Felix Motors, T. Severn & Sons, Blue Line and Reliance up to 1979.

    • Lifestyle, Sport & Leisure
      April 2019

      East London Buses: The Twenty-First Century

      by Malcolm Batten

      The start of the twenty-first century saw a flurry of bus activity at Stratford in East London to provide services to the Millennium Dome – this proved to be largely unneeded. Far more significant was the award of the Olympic Games to London in 2012, with Stratford as the hub of the events and of subsequent regeneration. Following privatisation of London Transport in the 1990s, a small number of large operators had arisen, buying out many of the smaller companies that had won tendered services. The variety of liveries was also to disappear as Transport for London increasingly specified London red livery for its tendered buses. London bus travel has boomed, as a result of the popular Oyster card, Freedom passes and the fact that the population is rapidly growing. A nightlife economy has led to more routes running 24/7. With a wealth of previously unpublished images, Malcolm Batten observes what has changed in the East London bus scene since the turn of the century.

    • Lifestyle, Sport & Leisure
      April 2019

      East Yorkshire Motor Services

      by Bernard Warr

      The legendary East Yorkshire Motor Services has been providing bus services in East Yorkshire since 1926. With buses painted in a distinctive livery of indigo blue and primrose yellow the company became famous for its ‘Beverley Bar’ shaped double-deckers operated through Beverley’s North Bar between 1933 and 1970. With distinctive destination indicators and the Willebrew ticket system, here was a company with its own very idiosyncratic way of doing things. The author has been an enthusiastic observer of the company since the mid-1950s and in that time has managed to take many photographs that bring back memories of how the company fared in the boom days of bus travel in the 1950s and 1960s. Most of these images have never been published before and will provide a fresh insight into the company. The Beverley Bar roofs and the distinctive livery may have gone but EYMS seems proud of its history and is embracing the future with dignity.

    • Lifestyle, Sport & Leisure
      November 2018

      Eastern Counties

      A National Bus Company

      by Peter Horrex, Tim Moore

      The Eastern Counties Omnibus Company came about by the amalgamation of four companies – the Peterborough Electric Traction Company, Ortona Motor Company Limited, the eastern operating area of United Automobile Services and the Eastern Counties Road Car Company of Ipswich. Registered on 14 July 1931, Eastern Counties was part of the Tilling Group until the Transport Act of 1968, which announced the formation of the National Bus Company. This was to take effect from 1 January 1969. Eastern Counties was a strong supporter of the Bristol chassis and ECW bodywork, given the strong links between the company and Eastern Coach Works of Lowestoft. In 1984, in preparation for deregulation, Eastern Counties was split in to two separate companies, with Cambus being formed to take over operations in the Cambridge and Peterborough areas while, at the same time, the coaching operations were transferred to Ambassador Travel. In this book, Peter Horrex and Tim Moore take a look at the years when Eastern Counties was part of the National Bus Company through a wonderful selection of photographs depicting the various types of vehicles used.

    • Lifestyle, Sport & Leisure
      November 2018

      London's Buses: The Colourful Era 1985-2005

      by Malcolm Batten

      Ask any tourists what colour London’s buses are and they will say red - and so they are. However, that has not quite always been the case as from 1985 until around 2005 there were buses in all sorts of colours running around the Greater London area. They did not even necessarily say that they were London buses - some claimed to be Kentish buses, while others had intriguing fleet-names like Armchair, Blue Triangle or Grey-Green. Even London Buses themselves started running vehicles in the Bexley area in a blue-and-cream livery. How did this situation come about, and why did it end? This book looks at the period of route tendering and privatisation, the variety of operators who came to work London’s bus routes and the range of vehicle types and liveries they brought to the capital.

    • Lifestyle, Sport & Leisure
      May 2019

      British Independent Buses in the 1980s

      by Richard Stubbings

      The 1980s was a decade of change in the bus industry. 1980 itself saw the Market Analysis Project (MAP), which, although primarily aimed at subsidiary companies of the NBC in an attempt to recast local bus networks and identify which services would require local authority subsidy, did also involve independent operators. The Transport Act of 1985 paved the way for the deregulation of the bus industry, culminating in the dissolution of the National Bus Company and the enforced splitting up of the member companies and their eventual sale. Many independent operators continued as they always had. Some hitherto purely coach operators tried their hand as bus operators. Some well-known independent names disappeared. This book, featuring previously unpublished images, is an attempt to illustrate the range of independent operators, both bus and coach, during this decade of upheaval.

    • Lifestyle, Sport & Leisure
      December 2018

      London's Sightseeing Buses

      by Malcolm Batten

      Since the 1970s, London has developed rapidly as a tourist location. A combination of factors have helped to facilitate this - visa-less travel from Europe, cheap flights, faster long-haul flights, greater affluence in key countries like China, and (at times) favourable exchange rates have all contributed. To meet this demand, London Transport initially developed their Round London Sightseeing Tour, which was first introduced in 1951. Other companies tapped into the burgeoning market, developing new facilities like hop-on, hop-off routes and providing taped commentaries in a variety of languages. The London Coaches division, responsible for tourist services, was the first part of London Buses to be privatised. Since then, their successors and other operators have continued to compete in this thriving market. This book examines the various operators that have catered for tourists in the heart of our capital since 1970 and the vehicles that they have used.

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