Edinburgh bus treat

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Fourteen classic buses and coaches took to the centre of Edinburgh for a running day aimed at lifting spirits, reports Nick Larkin

Vehicles which took part in the Shoppabus Tour included five from organisers the Gifford Transport Group, with others being provided by the Glasgow Vintage Vehicle Trust, Scottish Vintage Bus Museum and private owners.

The tour followed the former Shoppabus service 6 route, taking in Princes Street, North Bridge, South Bridge, Nicholson Square and Lauriston Place, Earl Grey Street and Lothian Road. Buses operated from 1100 to 1500hrs on Saturday 26 September, the date when a Lothian Buses open day which was cancelled because of Covid restrictions would have taken place.

The buses line up in Edinburgh ready for their day’s work. RICHARD WALTER

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“Preserved buses and coaches have just been sitting around doing nothing this year and we wanted to get then out and for people to enjoy them,” said the Gifford Transport Group’s Iain Docherty, a driver for Rogerson Coach Travel of Wallyford. “The day was very successful. We had lots of people taking pictures and we hope the event lifted spirits, though sadly we weren’t able to let to public on board the buses.”

Iain’s Duple-bodied Leyland Tiger D65 DSC, new to Lothian, was among the participants along with two freshly-repainted former Edinburgh Alexander-bodied Leyland PD3s from the Gifford Transport Group, ASC 650B and EWS 333D.

Named after the village where it’s based, the group has a collection of 15 vehicles, many members working or having worked in the transport industry. Other run stars included B10 ASV, a Jonckheere-bodied Volvo B10M in the stunning blue and gold Bluebird Executive livery, owned by Lothian Motor Coaches driver Ian Smith. This coach was new in 1993 to Bebb, Llantwit Fardre as K62 BAX.

Also present was new to Lothian Alexander Royale-bodied Volvo Olympian P260 PSX which is currently part way through restoration. It was new to Lothian in 1997 and subsequently with Notts & Derby and Arthur Coaches of Airdrie.