Transdev Blazefield

Transdev Blazefield[1] is a bus group in England. It owns seven bus companies in the Lancashire and Yorkshire regions. Formed in 1991, it has been a subsidiary of Transdev since January 2006.

Transdev Blazefield
Transdev logo.svg
Pendle Travel Limited 2761 PJ05 ZWH.jpg
Founded1991; 29 years ago (1991)
Service areaGreater Manchester
West Yorkshire
North Yorkshire
Service typeBus services
Chief executiveAlex Hornby


City Sightseeing MCW Metrobus in York in March 2009

In 1991 Blazefield Travel[2] was formed when Alan Stephenson's AJS Group sold seven bus operations with 300 buses and 12 depots to two of its directors, Giles Fearnley and Stuart Wilde in a management buyout.[3][4][5]

At its inception there were seven operating subsidiaries:[3]

AJS Group had purchased West Yorkshire Road Car and London Country North East from National Bus Company in 1988.[3] Prior to the sale the latter was broken in two, Country Bus & Coach and Sovereign Bus & Coach; only the latter becoming part of Blazefield. West Yorkshire was broken into its six depots, Leeds, Bradford, York, Malton, Harrogate and Keighley.

Leeds and Bradford passed to Rider Group on 13 August 1989, which owned Yorkshire Rider, while the remaining four depots became York City & District, Yorkshire Coastliner, Harrogate & District and Keighley & District respectively. The York operation was taken by Rider Group on 29 July 1990.[6]

Expansion soon followed with the purchase in November 1991 of Cambridge Coach Services from AJS with 14 buses, and Watford based Lucketts. Ingfield of Settle was purchased in April 1992 and was merged with Keighley-based Northern Rose to form Ingfield-Northern Rose.

In 1993 Harrogate Independent Travel, which had been set up as an independent in 1986 by a number of West Yorkshires Harrogate drivers to challenge their employer, was absorbed into Harrogate & District. In 1994 Blazefield purchased Borehamwood Travel Services, with 43 vehicles, 22 of which were AEC Routemasters for London Buses route 13 (Golders Green - Aldwych). It was renamed London Sovereign. By this time the group owned 380 vehicles.

In 1994 Ingfield-Northern Rose bought Whaites Coaches of Settle. At the same time Sovereign was locked in battle with Universitybus. Blazefield was also supposedly behind Petlen Travel, trading as Noddy Bus, using old Sovereign buses.

In 1996, Harrogate & District grew again when it acquired Cowie Group's United operation in Ripon. In 1998 Huntingdon & District was created with the operations of Premier Buses, owned by Julian Peddle, but was sold to Cavalier of Sutton Bridge in 2004. Cambridge Coach Services was sold to National Express owned Airlinks in 1999.

On 15 April 2001, four garages and 230 buses were purchased from Stagecoach in Lancashire.[7] Two new subsidiaries were formed, Burnley & Pendle with depots in Burnley and Pendle and Lancashire United with depots in Blackburn, Bolton and Clitheroe. Bolton was quickly sold on to Blue Bus of Horwich.

Between 2002 and 2005, Blazefield withdrew from its operations in south England.[8] London Sovereign was sold to Transdev in 2002, the Huntingdon & District business to Cavalier Travel in 2003, and the St Albans operation sold to Centrebus in 2004.[8] In early 2005 the Competition Commission cleared Blazefield's deal to sell what was left of Sovereign to Arriva Shires & Essex.[9]

In January 2006, Blazefield Group was sold to Transdev with 305 buses.[10][11] In 2007 Transdev Blazefield purchased Accrington Transport, Blackburn Transport and Northern Blue.[12]

In 2008, Transdev Blazefield purchased two bus operations in York: City Sightseeing franchise Top Line Travel,[13][14] and Veolia Transport's bus operation, both based in Fulford.

In December 2017, Rosso was purchased from Rossendale Borough Council.[15][16]

Current operationsEdit

Blazefield operates Yorkshire Coastliner[17] and Harrogate & District,[18] both of which operate into York. In April 2002, Top Line Travel was established and took over from Guide Friday open-top bus tours in York.[13] Veolia moved into York towards the end of 2006 after it won the contracts to operate a number of local bus routes; it is administered by Top Line Travel.

As at December 2017, Transdev Blazefield had seven operating subsidiaries:[19]


Transdev YorkEdit

Top Line Travel[20] was established in May 2000 by former York Pullman manager Peter Dew.[21] As well as operating the City Sightseeing franchise in York, in 2002 it took over Guide Friday's York operations. In October 2000 Top Line Travel commenced operating two routes to service the University of York.[22] In June 2008 Top Line Travel was purchased by Transdev Blazefield with 10 open top buses and several school buses.[23]

In 2006 Veolia Transport successfully tendered to operate some services in York.[24] It agreed a deal with Top Line Travel to share their depot in Fulford. In August 2008 Transdev Blazefield purchased Veolia Transport's York operations.[25] In October 2008 both were combined under the Transdev York name. All buses operate with Yorkshire Coastliner accreditation.

In February 2012 Transdev York purchased the Unibus service and open top services of York Pullman, expanding the fleet to 49.[26][27]

Transdev York did (until Summer timetable 2015) operate DalesBus route 823 and 825.[28]

Yorkshire CoastlinerEdit

Yorkshire Coastliner Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B9TL

Yorkshire Coastliner is based in Malton. It operates services between Leeds, Tadcaster, York and Malton, and also serve the coastal resorts of Scarborough, Whitby, Bridlington and Filey, as well as the inland town of Pickering and the village of Thornton-le-Dale in the North York Moors National Park.[29] It commenced operating on 2 January 1990.[30][31][32]

As at January 2012, Yorkshire Coastliner operated a fleet of 18 Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TL and B9TLs.[33] Yorkshire Coastliner participated in the Moorsbus scheme.[34]

The whole route of the Coastliner service between Leeds and Whitby was voted Britain's most scenic bus route in an online poll in 2018. Particular mention was made about the section across the North York Moors between Pickering and Whitby.[35]


In 2016, Transdev Harrogate introduced a new fleet of buses for its 36 service. The Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B7TLs were transferred to Yorkshire Coastliner for a new direct service between Leeds and York Stonebow via the M1 and A64 that commenced on 27 March 2016 under the Cityzap brand.[36][37][38] On 5 November 2017 a second Cityzap service from Leeds to Manchester via the M62 and Ainley Top commenced operated by Burnley Bus Company.[39] However, the Leeds to Manchester service was withdrawn on 22 July 2018 [40][41]


  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 2605399 Transdev Blazefield Limited formerly Blazefield Holdings Limited
  2. ^ Companies House extract company no 2188825 Blazefield Travel Group Limited
  3. ^ a b c AJS sells remaining bus firms Commercial Motor 8 August 1991 page 16
  4. ^ Jenkinson, Keith A (1999). Small is Beautiful, The Story of the AJS Group and Blazefield Holdings. Autobus Review Publications. ISBN 0907834426.
  5. ^ First for Fearnley in UK Bus move Archived 29 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine Bus & Coach Professional 26 January 2011
  6. ^ Rider takes control Commercial Motor 26 July 1990 page 19
  7. ^ Stagecoach sells some North-West Operations for £13 Million Stagecoach 26 April 2001
  8. ^ a b "Blazefield sells up in the South". Bus & Coach Professional. Plum Publishing Ltd. 9 July 2004. Archived from the original on 16 September 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  9. ^ The proposed acquisition by Arriva plc of the business of Sovereign Bus & Coach Company Ltd Competition Commission December 2004
  10. ^ "Transdev acquires Blazefield Group". Bus & Coach Professional. Plum Publishing. 7 January 2006. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  11. ^ A new stop for Blazefield Yorkshire Post 9 January 2006
  12. ^ "Blazefield buys again in Lancashire". Bus & Coach Professional. 9 August 2007. Archived from the original on 13 August 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  13. ^ a b Briggs, Ian (22 August 2008). "Top deal will keep Top Line driving forward". TheBusinessDesk. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  14. ^ McCusker, Peter (24 September 2008). "Putting wheels in motion for deal". The Journal. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  15. ^ Rosso set to join the Transdev Blazefield family Route One 15 December 2017
  16. ^ £3 million investment promised for Rossendale bus users as Transdev announces takeover plan for council owned operator Transdev 15 December 2017
  17. ^ Companies House extract company no 2436687 Yorkshire Coastliner Limited
  18. ^ Companies House extract company no 2327319 Harrogate & District Travel Limited
  19. ^ Our Companies Transdev
  20. ^ Companies House extract company no 4412164 Transdev York Limited formerly Top Line Travel of York Limited
  21. ^ New bus is just the ticket for Emily August 2000
  22. ^ University launches city bus service as part of sustainable transport plan University of York 12 October 2000
  23. ^ Top deal will keep Top Line driving forward 22 August 2008
  24. ^ Service 20[permanent dead link] Transdev York 3 April 2007
  25. ^ Blazefield expands with York deal Archived 30 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine Bus & Coach Professional 4 June 2008
  26. ^ Veolia Transdev expands into York Archived 11 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine Bus & Coach Professional 7 February 2012
  27. ^ Liptrot, Kate (4 February 2012). "York Pullman sells vehicles to Veolia Transdev". York Press. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
  28. ^ Transdev Tork Timetables Transdev York
  29. ^ Detailed Coastliner Service Route Maps Yorkshire Coastliner
  30. ^ Coastliner's 25th anniversary Coach & Bus Buyer 4 June 2015
  31. ^ "Silver jubilee for Yorkshire Coastliner" Buses issue 724 July 2015 page 10
  32. ^ Transdev's Coastliner celebrates 25 Years Archived 24 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine Route One 8 July 2015
  33. ^ Yorkshire Coastliner Fleetlist Archived 2 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine West Yorkshire Buses January 2012
  34. ^ "Network Timetable 2013" (PDF). Moorsbus. 2013. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  35. ^ Witherow, John, ed. (29 May 2018). "Moors' magic bus is ahead of the rest". The Times (72547). p. 17. ISSN 0140-0460.
  36. ^ Changes to Coastliner from 27 March Yorkshire Coastliner 12 February 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  37. ^ Transdev aims to change perceptions with superfast Zap brand Route One 30 March 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  38. ^ Transdev Blazefield: A gimmick for growth Route One 22 June 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  39. ^ "Cityzap. Get ready to zap between Leeds and Manchester". Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  40. ^ "Bus registration details". Vehicle Operator Licensing. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  41. ^ "Bus registration details". Vehicle Operator Licensing. Retrieved 5 December 2018.

External linksEdit