Yellow Buses

Yellow Buses[1] is a bus operator based in Bournemouth, on the south coast of England. Yellow Buses is the trading name for Bournemouth Transport Ltd.

Yellow Buses
YellowBusesLogo (cropped).jpg
SloganFilling your community with colour
ParentSimon Newport (33.3%)
Phil Pannell (33.3%)
David Squire (33.3%)
FoundedJuly 1902
Service areaDorset
Service typeBus services
Routes24 (Not including school routes)
DepotsBournemouth - Yeomans Way (Depot) Poole - Nuffield Industrial Estate (Outstation)


Alexander bodied Leyland Atlantean in March 1976


Yellow Buses traces its origins to July 1902, when Bournemouth Corporation began operating trams. Bus services commenced in 1906 to act as feeders to the tram system. In 1930 more bus services were started away from the tram system, to serve Kinson and Holdenhurst when those areas were added to the borough of Bournemouth.

In 1933 the corporation began to operate trolleybuses, and by 1936 replaced all the trams with trolleybuses. The trolleybuses were replaced by buses between 1963 and 1969.[2]

Bournemouth Transport LimitedEdit

With the passing of the Transport Act 1985 and subsequent deregulation of bus services, Yellow Buses was incorporated as a private limited company, Bournemouth Transport Limited.[1] All shares in the limited company were owned, however, by Bournemouth Borough Council. In 2005, with a need to modernise the fleet and a realisation that full privatisation would better equip the operator to overcome the increasing competition it was facing from Wilts & Dorset, the Council offered the company for sale.[3]


Transdev Yellow Buses logo

In December 2005 Bournemouth Borough Council sold 90% of the shares in Bournemouth Transport Limited to Transdev. The Council retained a 10% shareholding.[4] The operation was rebranded as Transdev Yellow Buses.

Transdev then decided to make its mark on Yellow Buses by giving the network a complete overhaul. This became the Big Network Change of 2 July 2006, where each bus, each journey, and each route (even route numbers) was changed. To make sure that the public were made aware of these changes, Transdev Yellow Buses held road shows across Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch to publicise its new network, livery, branding and new fare structure. Transdev subsequently made slight changes to the network with funding from Bournemouth Borough Council, including the introduction of routes 37 and 38, the extension of route 41 at both ends to Boscombe Pier and to Throop Church, and the re-introduction of route 24 to Bournemouth, also restoring this route's evening service and its Sunday service between Bournemouth Railway Station and Alum Chine. Also, for the first time in recent years, Transdev Yellow Buses decided not to run services on New Year's Day 2007 except route 747, which ran a normal Monday service.

In April 2010 services were expanded into East Dorset with the launch of the hourly route 29 between Bournemouth, Winton, Ferndown and West Moors.[5]

RATP GroupEdit

RATP Yellow Buses logo

In 2009 Transdev's majority owner, Caisse des dépôts et consignations, commenced negotiating with Veolia Environnement to merge Transdev with Veolia Transport. As part of the resulting agreement, it was agreed that the RATP Group, which had a minority shareholding in Transdev, would take over ownership of some of Transdev's operations in lieu of cash payment. Transdev Yellow Buses was included and was transferred on 3 March 2011. The business resumed trading as Yellow Buses.

On 16 November 2013 the A1 (Airport Shuttle) once again become a Yellow Buses route, after six years of being operated by Discover Dorset.[6] In 2016, RATP Group purchased the 10% shareholding in Bournemouth Transport Limited that it did not already own.[7]

2017 route changes and financial lossesEdit

In January 2017, Yellow Buses announced it was reorganising most of its routes "after extensive research into the life and work patterns of passengers".[8] The 1a, 1b and 1c services between Poole and Christchurch were replaced with new 'P' services ('P' standing for 'Priory', denoting Christchurch Priory) and ceased to run along Christchurch Road, taking a more lengthy route via Holdenhurst Road. Other lettered services included 'B' for 'Bourne', 'U' for 'University', and 'V' for 'Kinson Village'.[9] The new routes, and the rushed introduction of the new timetables, led to scores of complaints from passengers[10] and in October that year, Bournemouth Transport Limited, which owned and ran Yellow Buses, posted pre-tax losses of £124,000 at Companies House (generating a loss after tax of £193,000).[11][12] Andrew Smith, the managing director, announced his resignation days after the accounts were published.[12]

Further financial losses and 2019 buy-outEdit

In early 2018, it was announced that Yellow Buses would be reverting to its old route-name format - '1', '1a', '1b' and so on - these changes coming into effect on 8 April 2018.[13] This necessitated painting and rebranding the company's entire fleet of 140 buses and updating the timetable information at more than 1,000 stops. David Squire, who had replaced Andrew Smith as MD, said: "Everything is in place for Sunday's launch of our revised network. It has been a tremendous team effort and I think our 15 million passengers will notice a positive difference in our services from April 8."[13] The company continued to post losses at Companies House, however, generating pre-tax losses of £1,818,000 in the year ending 30 December 2017[14] and further losses of £1,975,000 in the year to 31 December 2018.[15] On 2 July 2019, following a review of its operations, RATP Group sold Bournemouth Transport Limited to the three directors of the latter company in a management buyout.[16][17]



Marshall bodied Leyland Olympian in October 1997

In the 1980s the fleet mainly consisted of Daimler/Leyland Fleetlines (most of which had unusual Alexander AL type bodies as opposed to the AD type) and Leyland Atlanteans. 20 Leyland Olympians with Marshall bodies (the only ones of their kind) were also owned, as were a small number of Ford Transit minibuses. Some of the Daimler/Leyland Fleetlines were convertible open-top buses for what was once an extensive summer service.

Five Volvo Citybuses, with East Lancs coach-style bodywork were purchased in 1986 (fleet numbers 200 to 204 inclusive). They spent much of their time in what was then the coaching division of the Yellows—"Yellow Coaches of Bournemouth". They eventually made their way to the Yellow Buses fleet and into regular service. Ten Volvo Citybuses with Alexander RV-type bodies were bought, five in 1988 and a further five in 1989.


18 Dennis Dominators with East Lancs E-type bodies (built to Alexander R-type design) were purchased, and have turbo-charged Gardner 6LXCT engines: seven in 1990, seven in 1991 and four in 1992 (fleet numbers 266 to 269 inclusive). Six East Lancs EL2000-bodied Dennis Lances were bought in 1993.

In 1995/6, a large batch of Dennis Darts with East Lancs EL2000 bodywork were purchased, and are worth noting as the bodies are wider than usual Darts (regardless of bodywork): 12 in 1995 and 10 in 1996.

In 1997/8, delivery of Dennis Dart SLFs with East Lancs Spryte bodywork: two in 1997 and eight in 1998. The 1998 batch were originally in "Super Route 6" livery. In 1999 Yellow Buses took delivery of its first new double decks since 1992, being nine East Lancs Lolyne-bodied Dennis Tridents.


Eight East Lancs Vyking bodied Volvo B7TLs arrived in 2000. 2002 saw another eight East Lancs Vyking bodied Volvo B7TLs being added to the fleet, three of them (convertible to open-top format.

Yellow Buses took delivery six Volvo B7TLs in 2003, the bodywork of which were split equally between East Lancs Vyking and Wright Eclipse Gemini. This year also saw another one of the original 18 Dennis Dominator/East Lancs E Types taken out of service. The company withdrew all six East Lancs EL2000-bodied Dennis Lances. The Leyland Fleetlines in the fleet were sold to Thamesdown between 2003 and 2006.

The only deliveries in 2004 were a further six further Volvo B7TLs, again equally split between East Lancs, this time with East Lancs Myllennium Vyking bodywork, and Wright Eclipse Gemini. A further three East Lancs Myllennium Vyking Volvo B7TLs arrived in 2005, plus four VDL SB120/Wright Merits, the latter in a revised livery (before the sale to Transdev) of yellow and white, relieved with two blue upward sweeping bands to the rear.

In 2006, under Transdev ownership, a selection of 21 second-hand single decks arrived, all of which were low-floor Dennis Darts on either Plaxton Pointer, East Lancs Spryte or Wright Crusader bodies, all in the new Transdev Yellow Buses livery. The remaining East Lancs coach-style Volvo Citybuses were withdrawn for sale.

In 2007 the company commenced repainting the remainder of the Volvo Citybuses, but this stopped when the company started looking into purchasing some double-deckers.

The driver-training fleet has also been changed. The company withdrew the last two East Lancs EL2000-bodied Dennis Lances. In their place, the 1997 batch of Dennis Dart SLFs with East Lancs Spryte bodywork were painted up in special yellow and purple driver-training livery.

10 reasonably new buses arrived, all being 55-plate Alexander Dennis Dart Pointers. These came from Manchester Airport, and because Yellow Buses were due to stop running the airport service in November, the buses had their luggage racks removed. To this end, a large part of the 1995 batch of Dennis Darts with East Lancs EL2000 bodywork were withdrawn and put up for sale by Ensignbus. Two were sold to Brighton-based independent The Big Lemon. In November 2007, an ex-demonstrator Alexander Dennis Enviro400 arrived.

A single deck Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart went into service in mid-January 2008, numbered 515. In September 2008, 11 brand new Optare Versas arrived at the depot. These had registrations to match their fleet numbers in the Txx TYB range (18 to 28 inclusive) and entered service on Route 1a (Bournemouth-Somerford) on 1 October 2008. In November, an order was announced for 11 Optare Tempos to follow on from the Versa order.

Towards the end of the year, Dennis Dart East Lancs EL2000s 460 to 463 were withdrawn.

Your Bus was also launched during September 2008 by TYB, to run the school specials they had contracts for, with three Volvo Citybuses and one Dennis Dart East Lancs EL2000 in the TYB "Your Bus" Livery. This fleet was expanded in September 2009 with the introduction of the Bournemouth & Poole College contract, with extra Darts and an extra Volvo Citybus added to the fleet.

11 Optare Tempos entered service during May 2009.


The early part of 2010 saw the withdrawal of the remaining Volvo Citybuses that were not then in the Your Bus section of TYB.

In spring 2010 the Trident Lolynes were refurbished. Notable differences were the addition of a wheelchair ramp and area, more stop buttons on both decks, flooring to the same specification as the Optare single-deckers already in the fleet, new seating with different arrangements both on the lower and especially the upper deck where the seats were spaced further apart, increasing leg-room, slightly reducing capacity, and improving CCTV.

In June 2010 seven new Optare Tempos were introduced.

In spring 2011 the refurbishment of the fleet continued with the East Lancs Myllennium Vykings and the Wright Eclipse Geminis (fleet numbers 180 to 185 inclusive) receiving new flooring, seating and improved CCTV. Five new Volvo B9TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini 2s arrived in May 2011.[18]

In summer 2011 the remaining step-entrance Darts in the Your Bus fleet left the service with only the Citybuses in this fleet covering the St Peter's School contracts from September 2011. Also, YB acquired from sister company, London United, four ALX400 buses converted from dual door to single door format, three of which were Dennis Tridents and the other being a Volvo B7TL. YB also acquired five Optare Solo's, two being from Door to Dorset. The remaining three Optare Solo's origins are unknown.

In autumn 2011 two Alexander Dennis Enviro300 single deckers arrive.

In summer 2013 eight Wright StreetLite Max single deckers were purchased at a cost of £1.1 million.[19]

In late March 2014 ten Wright StreetLite Max single deckers entered service at a cost of £1.4 million.[20]

On 2 April 2015, Yellow Buses announced the arrival of 8 new Wright Eclipse Gemini 3 double deckers at a cost of £1.6 million.[21] During the launch of these vehicles, 4 further Gemini 2 vehicles were also added to the fleet.

In the first half of 2017, Yellow Buses announced the arrival of 6 new Alexander Alexander Dennis Enviro400 MMC double deckers at the cost of £1.3 million. These buses would follow a registration plate assigned SN17 MT_.[22]

In the first quarter of 2018, Yellow Buses implemented 10 Alexander Dennis Enviro200 single deckers, although not brand new, three of these additions are from 2007 with registration plates assigned AY07 CUA, HF57 BKN and KX07 OOY. Five of these additions are from 2012, with registration plates assigned YX12 A__, which end in EP, GY, JY, KP and ZN. One of these additions is from 2011, with the registration plate assigned being YX61 EMV and the last new addition being from 2015 with the registration plate assigned being YX65 RGY.[23]

In Spring 2019, Yellow Buses acquired 2 Wright Eclipse Gemini second hand from Abellio London, registrations LF55CYV and LF55CYX. These were originally bought for a school contract which was terminated very late, therefore both buses are now branded for Route 5.[citation needed]

In early 2020, Yellow Buses acquired a further 5 Wright Eclipse Gemini buses from Abellio London which have been converted to open top buses for the summer routes 11 and 12.

See AlsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Companies House extract company no 2004964 Bournemouth Transport Limited
  2. ^ "History". 2 July 2006. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  3. ^ "UK | England | Dorset | Bus company sell-off under fire". BBC News. 14 December 2004. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 October 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Villagers turn out in force to launch new bus service". 20 April 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  6. ^ "Yellows fly high after landing airport bus contract". 30 August 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  7. ^ Annual Accounts for year ended 31 December 2016] Bournemouth Transport Limited
  8. ^ "New times and numbers for Yellow Buses from today", Bournemouth Daily Echo, 15 January 2017. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  9. ^ "New Yellow Buses routes revealed", Bournemouth Daily Echo, 12 February 2018. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  10. ^ "Yellow Buses passengers confused by new routes", Bournemouth Daily Echo, 16 January 2017. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  11. ^ "Bournemouth Transport Limited accounts for 53 weeks ending 31 December 2016, filed at Companies House, 2 October 2017. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  12. ^ a b "Yellow Buses boss Andrew Smith quits - days after firm reports rising losses", Bournemouth Daily Echo, 11 October 2017. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  13. ^ a b "Yellow Buses launch revised network across the region", Bournemouth Daily Echo, 8 April 2018. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  14. ^ "Bournemouth Transport Limited accounts for 52 weeks ending 31 December 2017", filed at Companies House, 2 October 2018. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  15. ^ "Bournemouth Transport Limited accounts for 52 weeks ending 31 December 2018", filed at Companies House, 23 September 2019. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  16. ^ "Yellow Buses under local ownership in management buyout". 2 July 2019. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  17. ^ Yellow Buses in management buyout Bus & Coach Buyer 2 July 2019
  18. ^ "Pictures of new buses". Ant3645. 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  19. ^ "Further investment as Yellows spend £1.1m on new buses". 19 July 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  20. ^ "Yellows invest £1.4 million in new luxury buses". 27 March 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Further investment as Yellow Buses spend £1.3m on new vehicles - Deep South Media". 25 November 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  23. ^ "The World's newest photos of enviro200 and yellowbuses - Flickr Hive Mind". Retrieved 14 August 2018.

External linksEdit