- Thames Travel
Thames Travel is a
busoperator based in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, in England. It is the third largest bus company in the county. [ [http://www.thames-travel.co.uk/companyinformation.htm Thames Travel - Company Information] Accessed 5 June 2008.] It operates a fleet of around 34 vehicles, and employs 75 staff. Running services across South Oxfordshireand some of West Berkshire, the company carries approximately 1.25 million passengers a year.
Thames Travel was set up on 14 April 1998 with a fleet of four vehicles. Since then, they have expanded through winning new contracts and acquiring other operators, like Chiltern Queens on 4 August 2002. It now runs 74 vehicles and 19 services. Many services were taken on after the collapse of Tillingbourne on 19 March 2001. [ [http://www.buszone.co.uk/Tilling.html Bus Zone - Tillingbourne] Accessed 5 June 2008.]
Thames Travel operate a numerous services across a number of areas, varying from local routes to long distance express buses. [ [http://www.thames-travel.co.uk/timetables.htm Thames Travel - Timetables] Accessed 5 June 2008.]
Thames Travel operate a number of unusual vehicle types in their fleet of 74 buses. Vehicles are also numbered in an unusual scheme, using the date the vehicle was registered and the registration plate mark. For example (as pictured above), buses new in the first half of 2006 would be 106 onwards, and from the second half of 2007 157 onwards. [ [http://www.buszone.co.uk/TTfleet.xls Bus Zone - Thames Travel Fleetlist] Accessed 5 June 2008.]
Some of the vehicles operated include:
Dennis Trident 2/ East Lancs Lolyne
East Lancs Spryte
Dennis Dart/ Plaxton Pointer
*MAN 14.220/MCV Evolution
*Scania N94/East Lancs OmniTown (with
East Lancs Esteemfronts)
Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart
Some vehicles of the same type are at various ages, having been purchased at different times. The Thames Travel livery is currently blue and green, but a number of vehicles are still in the old allover white livery, as well as some vehicles on loan.
As well as standard bus-type fares, Thames Travel also offers monthly tickets for £56 available from bus drivers, and 13 week tickets for £150 from the company offices. Each of these can be used on any Thames Travel service.
Thames Travel vehicles have been involved in two major accidents in the past, widely reported in the local media. Both happened on the
A4074 road, locally known as the "13 bends of death".
In the first accident, on July 21 2006, a 26 year old bride-to-be was killed after colliding head on with a Thames Travel MCV Evolution. It was found that she did this to avoid a collision with two cars coming towards her, who had been recklessly overtaking numerous other cars before the accident. As a result of he collision, both vehicles caught fire and were completely destroyed. The bus driver suffered from shock and trauma, and was off work for a long period afterwards; the bus was replaced with the next intake of new vehicles. [ [http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/s/2003254_i_beg_you_to_help_police Reading Evening Post - "I beg you to help police"] Accessed 5 June 2008.] The two brothers arrested after the incident were charged and jailed for a total of 15 years for the accident. [ [http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/s/2011251_jailed_over_death_of_bridetobe Reading Evening Post - "Jailed over death of bride-to-be"] Accessed 5 June 2008.]
The second accident, on 28 January 2008, involved another MCV Evolution in foggy conditions colliding with a Land Rover which turning off the road across the bus' path. The Land Rover ended up on its side, the bus in a ditch. The accident happened on the A4074 at its junction with the B4526. Five people were injured. [ [http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/s/2020915_five_hurt_in_bus_crash Reading Evening Post - "Five hurt in bus crash"] Accessed 5 June 2008.]
First Berkshire & The Thames Valley
Oxford Bus Company
Reading Transport Ltd
List of bus companies in the United Kingdom
* [http://www.thames-travel.co.uk Thames Travel company website]
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