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Last updated: 01 March 2019

  Archive/Photograph of the Month  

It is hard to believe that it was fifty years ago that The National Bus Company was formed on 1 January 1969. A new era was launched.

In 1970, the NBC was enlarged when it acquired the country area buses of London Transport (as London Country Bus Services), the bus operations of Exeter and Luton, and the Gosport & Fareham Omnibus Company, trading under the name of Provincial. Created by the Labour Government, NBC was required to rationalise and standardise bus operations in an attempt to improve passenger numbers as the rise in car ownership was having a negative impact on bus travel. Locally, second-hand buses from other NBC companies were acquired in June 1970. Double decker AEC Regent Vs from City of Oxford Motor Services and single decker Bristol LS6G dual-purpose models from Midland General and Mansfield District appeared at Hoeford. These ‘new’ buses heralded the end for the ageing Provincial AEC Regents and Guy Arabs. To mark this change, this month’s choice is one of the former Midland General single deckers. It became number 4 in the fleet initially then 34 in the renumbering in December 1970. Seen here as no. 4 at Hoeford depot in 1970, XNU 421 lasted only two more years with Provincial before it was withdrawn from service.

The advent of NBC and the effects on Provincial will be covered in ‘Provincial Press’ over the next few years as it was a significant change in direction for vehicle purchases and vehicle types                                                         Photo: Solentslide

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Now operating from Hoeford, on Solent Ranger services, (from 19/12) is SK68 TXO an all-white liveried StreetLite Max, one of 3 loaned by Wrightbus to First (the other 2 are with South Yorkshire).

Thought to be numbered 63391 (to be confirmed) the reason for & duration of the loan are unknown

(Mays Lane, Stubbington)

Photo by Malcolm Audsley 21 Dec 18


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