Record crowds flock to Imber

News stories are free to read. Click here for full access to all the features, articles and archive from only £8.99.
RM1357 enters Imber village, passing warning and restriction signs, reminding everyone it is not operating an ordinary service, and is in a highly unusual location. MARTIN CURTIS

Martin Curtis reports from this year’s Imberbus event, which saw record crowds attend the yearly trip across Salisbury Plain

Record crowds flocked to the lost village of Imber on Salisbury Plain for the 14th Imberbus event. Having been publicised in several national publications, the public turned out in large numbers on the first sunny weekend for weeks to travel on the once-a-year 23A bus service where all the vehicles and staff are provided on a voluntary basis. As last year, it was a car-free event, with park & ride sites in place and people encouraged to leave their cars at home as these couldn’t be taken across the Plain.

A staggering total of over £38,000 was raised, more than double the previous event. This will be divided between various charities, and which compares with £16,000 collected the previous year. An estimated 4,000 passengers were carried, with long lines of customers forming outside Warminster railway station even before the first bus departed and large crowds gathered around the route throughout the day. Even the church where refreshments were available (as they were at several locations served by Imberbus) saw unprecedented queues of waiting visitors.

A growing event

Imberbus began in 2009 with just four London Routemaster buses, when four friends from the bus industry set themselves the challenge of operating a bus service to one of the most inaccessible locations in Britain. Imber is located on Salisbury Plain, and was evacuated in 1943 when the area was being prepared for the D-Day invasion into Europe during the Second World War. Even after hostilities had ended the villagers were never permitted to return, and the village has remained inside a restricted area which continues to be used for military training.


Are you enjoying this feature? Why not subscribe to continue reading?

Subscribe for 6 issues/weeks from only £6Or login if you are already a subscriber

By subscribing you will benefit from:

  • Operator & Supplier Profiles
  • Face-to-Face Interviews
  • Lastest News
  • Test Drives and Reviews
  • Legal Updates
  • Route Focus
  • Industry Insider Opinions
  • Passenger Perspective
  • Vehicle Launches
  • and much more!