Stagecoach in Lincolnshire
Stagecoach Lincolnshire is a bus company, formerly known as Lincolnshire RoadCar, which runs services throughout Lincolnshire.
Alexander Dennis Enviro400 in Lincoln in 2008
|Slogan||Greener Smarter Travel|
|Service area||Lincoln, Scunthorpe, Gainsborough, Skegness, Newark-on-Trent, Louth and Grimsby|
|Service type||bus service|
|Chief executive||Brian Souter|
The Lincolnshire Road Car Company was formed in 1928. Under the Transport Act 1968 it became part of the National Bus Company. Lincolnshire RoadCar ran services from throughout the county of Lincolnshire including some services over the county boundaries to such towns as Newark-on-Trent. Many rural services ran from Lincoln St. Marks Bus Station to the outlying villages surrounding the city. Although these services ran within the city boundary, passengers were not allowed to use them for internal journeys within the city. Bus services within the city of Lincoln were provided by Lincoln City (Corporation) Transport. Lincolnshire RoadCar not only provided long distance services within the county but also town services within many towns in the county, such as Louth and Sleaford.
When the Transport Act 1985 deregulated bus services, the National Bus Company was broken up and RoadCar was acquired by the Yorkshire Traction Group in 1988. Upon deregulation passengers were also permitted to use RoadCar services for journeys wholly within the city of Lincoln and RoadCar and city buses started competing on many routes in Lincoln and around the surrounding villages, the city buses leaving the confines of the city for rural routes for the first time. Lincolnshire RoadCar/Yorkshire Traction took over Lincoln City Transport in 1993.
On 11 April 2004, a Volvo B7TL double-decker bus with East Lancs Vyking bodywork operated by Lincolnshire RoadCar collided with a number of pedestrians outside the main entrance to Fantasy Island amusement park on Sea Lane in Ingoldmells. Five pedestrians were killed and six more injured, two critically, in the accident. Following the accident, RoadCar were found guilty of breaching safety provisions for allowing the driver to operate the vehicle type without proper training and for operating a vehicle with faulty brakes; as a result, they were fined £2,000 at Skegness Magistrates Court on 8 August 2005. The bus driver was found guilty of five counts of causing death by dangerous driving and a single count of driving without due care and attention, and was sentenced to five years' imprisonment on 9 November 2005.
RoadCar became a subsidiary of the Stagecoach Group in December 2005, when that company purchased RoadCar's parent company, Traction Group. The company now trades as Stagecoach in Lincolnshire.
From March 2006, Stagecoach purchased new buses for the company, among them four Alexander Dennis Darts and five MAN 18.220/Alexander Dennis ALX300s for the Gainsborough area, in a bid to improve services, gradually phasing out the oldest of RoadCar's buses. The new vehicles temporarily featured RoadCar logos in the front and side windows, and buses from other Stagecoach areas were seen in the area during the transition. The existing fleet then had their RoadCar logos removed.
At the beginning of August 2006, Stagecoach caused considerable controversy with their decision to make major changes to the bus network in Lincoln. Some services were withdrawn without replacement while others benefited from frequency increases. Following a local media campaign, the company agreed to make some changes to return services to those areas which had lost them. At the same time, the company also lost a majority of its service work in Nottinghamshire to Veolia Transport's subsidiary Dunn-Line and local company KJB.
In Autumn 2007 Stagecoach announced the withdrawal of some services in Louth, Lincoln and Gainsborough. The threatened services survived after successful negotiations with the district councils over subsidies.
In August 2008, the company's depot in Louth was closed, with some routes being taken over by Skegness and Grimsby depots and a number of contracted routes surrendered.
The company opened their brand new depot in Skegness in September 2009. It is located on Burgh Road and cost £2.2 million.
Stagecoach in Lincolnshire has used and still uses several different branding schemes throughout their network:
- A selection of single-deck vehicles in Lincoln carried branding for "Access LN6" in-line with a government scheme - Access LN6 routes ran to Hykeham, Birchwood, Hartsholme, Boultham and Teal Park.
- Routes 1 and 2 in Gainsborough carry Lincolnshire County Council 'IntoTown' branding, as part of the county council funded improvements to the town services, which saw brand new vehicles introduced in 2006.
- Route 2 in Lincolnshire use to carry "Your Route 2 The City" branding, which linked Branston and Washingborough with Lincoln.
- The Scunthorpe town services are branded as the 'Scunthorpe Shuttle' and a number of Optare Solo midi-buses wear this branding on standard Stagecoach livery. This branding was also used by RoadCar, on their standard urban 'SuperBuzz' livery.
- The Newark town services were re-branded as the 'BusAboutTown' from January 2009, in line with similar branding used in Retford and Worksop by Stagecoach in Bassetlaw. In 2013 they were rebranded again as "I love Newark" however some of the BusAboutTown branding still exists on buses.
- A number of inter-urban routes in Lincolnshire are branded as 'InterConnect' in partnership with Lincolnshire County Council. These were introduced from 1999 prior to Stagecoach's takeover of the company and are mostly operated with double-deck vehicles. Stagecoach in Lincolnshire introduced a new InterConnect livery in December 2008.
- On 23 March 2009 the 350 route between Scunthorpe and Hull was relaunched as the Humber FastCat using six brand-new Alexander Dennis Enviro300 single deckers, wearing a special orange livery and running to an improved timetable. This service is jointly operated with EYMS who use the same livery on an MCV Evolution bodied Volvo B7RLE single decker.
- A number of open top buses operate the Skegness 3 (Skegness - Butlins - Fantasy Island - Ingoldmells Anchor Lane) and on occasion the 1/1a (Skegness - Butlins - Fantasy Island - Ingoldmells - Chapel St Leonards) services with character names Rocky, Sandy, Piere, Candy, Salty, Shelly, Hattie, Rolly and Milly. Two open top buses also operate the Cleethorpes 17 (Cleethorpes - Pleasure Island - Thorpe Park) service with character names Lolly and Splash. All 11 of these characters are known as 'The Seasiders'. In 2018 Stagecoach introduced 3 new Seasiders to the Seasider fleet, Teddy, Sunny and Sweetie. Teddy and Sunny are branded for the Skegness service 3 (Skegness - Butlins - Fantasy Island - Ingoldmells Anchor Lane) while Sweetie will be operating in both Skegness and Cleethorpes and therefore does not carry branding for either route.
- The remainder of routes operated by Stagecoach in Lincolnshire are operated by vehicles in standard Stagecoach livery, without any route branding. No vehicles are now in RoadCar livery, the last buses having now been repainted out of the livery.
- Making connections in Lincs :: Bus and Coach Magazine Archived 8 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- New Stagecoach depot means Skegness services can grow :: Skegness Standard