Commemorative livery ‘just the ticket’ to celebrate 40 years in Hampshire

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Members of the Stagecoach South team with the anniversary double decker. STAGECOACH

1983 was a year that we began to wake up to breakfast time TV, Peugeot launched the 205, and Nintendo introduced us to Mario and Luigi. Also, on 1 April 1983, Hampshire Bus was formed to run services across Andover, Basingstoke, Winchester and Southampton; previously, services in these areas were operated by the larger Hants & Dorset bus company under National Bus Company ownership.

In April 1987, Hampshire Bus was the first National Bus Company business to be purchased by the Stagecoach Group, and continues serving the communities of Andover, Basingstoke and Winchester as part of the Stagecoach group. The Hampshire Bus name continued until the early 2000s, before finally being absorbed into the Stagecoach brand.

To mark the 40th anniversary of its founding, the operator unveiled a double-deck bus in the Hampshire Bus livery that was a popular sight on Hampshire streets during the mid-1980s and until the 1990s.

Interim Managing Director for Stagecoach South Gordon Frost said the company is proud of its heritage and of following the tradition of providing an important public transport network to thousands of customers across the region.

“Customers are the core focus of our business and since 1983, buses have evolved for the comfort and convenience of the customer. We have introduced many features including low-floor access for wheelchairs and buggies, next stop announcements, smart card and contactless ticketing, real time bus information and a bus app to improve access to our services and products,” he reflected. “Hampshire Bus plays such a significant part in the history of Stagecoach, so it only seemed right to honour the anniversary of its formation.”

The bus will initially see use at Andover, whilst later in the year it will also be used on bus services across the firm’s Basingstoke and Winchester networks.