Sunday, 13 May 2012
Snap on Sunday
One of the most interesting operations we came across on our tour of the North West was in Preston. The bus station itself had around 80 bays if memory serves me correctly, which gives you an indication of how vast the whole set up is in the city. In the short 30-40 minutes we had there, we encountered no less than 13 different types and bodies of buses, from 4 different operators. Preston Bus itself is a very interesting company, now owned by the Rotala Group, and its obvious that they've been putting in some real investment quite early on under their ownership, including the running of hybrid Optare Versas. The livery is just stunning, most definitely one of my favorites that you can find in the UK today, which amazingly seems to suit everything from a brand new Versa, right down to J reg Leyland Olympians. The re-paint scheme has also been very swift, with just 3 vehicles operating in the old livery at the time of photographing. As you can see from the photos, even in the early evening, the bus station was manic with activity; I would have loved to have spent a bit longer there to take it all in fully. Its great to see that none of the vehicles let the side down, even the oldest ones, making the whole operation have a very professional appearance. Stagecoach are the other big group giving them a run for their money, along with the ever famous Fishwicks, and Cumfybus. I'd certainly presume that loadings must be good to keep such a huge operation viable, but again, I didn't really have enough time there to take in fully how successful all these were. Certainly somewhere I'd like to visit again though, there's very few places in the UK you can get so much variety in one place.