As reported on last week, Western Greyhound have been getting VR LFJ 858W out and about on the roads of Cornwall in public service so last Monday I grasped the opportunity to sample the beast, operating on the 547. 547 is got to be one of my favorite routes in the region, with the full route taking it right the way along the coast roads from Newquay to St Ives winding through Cornish villages, thrashes along link roads, and rolling gently through countryside, the ideal combination for experiencing the VR at its best. I have therefore included a short clip below for you to bask in the delight of the Gardner whaling, really worth it if you've got a spare couple of hours. 547 during the winter is only Monday-Friday operated though, but has occasionally been used on weekend working, including the Plymouth trip a couple of Saturdays ago.
Even better, Western Greyhound's original VR, Ex Brighton and Hove JWV 259W has just been put back on the road following a spell out of use. I believe 858 is currently the only VR operating in public service, seeing as a majority of the surviving operational VRs are open toppers used in the summer only, or are used solely as school buses, with companies such as Emblings and Johnstons. Of course we're steadily closing in on the DDA regulation dates for the withdrawal of all step entrance buses, 2015 for single deckers, 2016 for double deckers North Somerset coaches in particular are taking advantage of this while they can, using Bristol RE YHY 592J on public service regularly, most certainly being the only RE in the UK still in regular use in public service, another bus I'd love to ride on before she is relegated out of public service in 2015.