The industry remembers the fallen

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Operators around the country paid tribute to the fallen for Armistice Day on 11 November and Remembrance Day on 14 November, as Richard Sharman reports

Arriva UK Bus
Arriva Merseyside added Royal British Legion names and vinyl poppies to one of its Wrightbus Gemini 2s.













Brighton & Hove and Metrobus
Brighton & Hove and Metrobus offered free travel to veterans and serving members of the armed forces on Remembrance Sunday. Anyone wearing their military service medals or carrying a military ID card could travel free all day on the company’s network. Managing Director Martin Harris said he wanted to make travelling to Remembrance Day services, parades and wreath laying as convenient as possible: “Remembrance Sunday is a time for communities to come together and acknowledge the debt the nation owes the people who serve in our armed forces, while looking toward the future with hope and belief in our democratic values. It is also important to remember that the day honours all those who have been part of all conflicts since the two world wars.”

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Caledonian Travel
The coach holiday company revised its fleet name to add the poppy on its social media and website.









Cardiff Bus
Cardiff Bus offered free travel to those who have served, or are currently serving, in the armed forces on Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday as a small token of their gratitude for their years of service. Additionally, at 1100hrs on Thursday 11 November and again at 1100hrs on Sunday 14 November, drivers stopped their buses where appropriate and paused to show support for the national two minute silence.










Diamond Bus North West
Rotala-owned Diamond Bus North West supported the work of the Royal British Legion for Manchester Poppy Day 2021. Diamond North West provided a branded bus and driver for this year’s event and assisted in driving the charity workers and veterans to different locations around the city. Managing Director Bob Dunn said: “Providing a bus to support the Royal British Legion is a something we are proud to accommodate, as a company we are all about supporting the community, and assisting in local campaigns and providing transport throughout the day is at the heart of Diamond Bus.”













East Yorkshire
East Yorkshire showed its respect for the achievements and sacrifices of the armed forces by allowing current and past members of the military to board any of their buses for free on Remembrance Sunday. The company has many staff members who are themselves veterans of the army, navy or air force, and these drivers commemorated the service of their former colleagues by wearing their regimental ties, berets, badges and medals. East Yorkshire’s Area Director Ben Gilligan said: “Bus driving is a popular career choice for those leaving the armed forces. So many of our team have served in the military, and know what sacrifices our soldiers, sailors and aviators have to make. Last year many remembrance parades couldn’t happen, so this year we’d like to make sure all veterans who want to can attend to pay their respects to those we lost.”













Excelsior Coaches
The Go South Coast coach unit applied poppy vinyls to its coaches and its coach-specification Alexander Dennis Enviro400MMC, which is seen here on a private hire to London’s Embankment.














First Essex
First Essex introduced a unique Remembrance Day design for one of its buses on Thursday 11 November, which will continue in service for years to come. As a particularly poignant tribute to Remembrance Day, the specially-designed bus offered trips back into the past on Friday 12 November, when VIP guests from the Royal British Legion and representatives from the Armed Forces enjoyed a special tour visiting historic Colchester landmarks in the company of a World War I soldier, sharing experiences of the Great War. The re-enactment actor, dressed in authentic World War I uniform, was a real-life representation of the many thousands of servicemen who have lost their lives during conflict.

There was also be the chance for First Essex customers to see and hear these World War I memories as the commemorative bus went into public service from 11:36hrs on Friday 12 November. Operating on route 64a, which passes the Colchester Garrison, the special First Essex service offered free travel until 1300hrs and featured re-enactment actor Jim Williams giving passengers the chance to ask him questions, hear his stories and share in some of the wartime experiences from this devastating time in world history.

Sheena Karim, Marketing Manager at First Essex Bus, commented: “This is such an important time for many people to remember family, friends and others who have been lost in military service. We have a number of ex-service personnel within First, and Colchester is a town steeped in military history. The Remembrance bus has been designed to recognise these links and pay tribute.”

Re-enactor Jim Williams is seen with First Essex Wrightbus Gemini 32673. RICHARD KEIL












First Weymouth
The team at the Weymouth depot marked the two-minute silence standing at the entrance with a poppy-wearing bus on Armistice Day.










Go North East
Go North East offered free travel on all of its buses for all veterans and members of the armed forces on Remembrance Sunday. The company has many veterans in its workforce, and paid tribute to all those who have served with its ‘thank you’ poppy bus. The company is also looking to add to this even further this year, and was set to unveil a remembrance display to mark the centenary of the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal. Go North East team members observed the two-minute silences on Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday, with buses pulling over where safe to do so. Commercial Director Stephen King said: “We were proud to show our appreciation to those in the armed forces past and present by making it even easier to travel to a Remembrance Sunday event. We have many veterans across our team of 2,000 people as well as the many serving and veteran members of the armed forces who use our services each day. “We’re also showing our support with our branded poppy bus that runs all year round, and this year we’re taking it one step further with a remembrance display that we’ll soon be unveiling.”











Go North West
With many drivers, engineers and administrators at the company having military backgrounds, Go North West buses and colleagues ‘popped on a poppy’ to remember those who fought and gave their lives. The firm offered free travel on any Go North West bus for current serving members of the armed forces and veterans on Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday. Go North West buses also pulled over to observe the national two minute silence in remembrance, with customers invited to join bus drivers in doing so. Matt Harrison, Marketing and Communications Manager, said: “We are proud to have many ex-military personnel working with us here at Go North West and in the wider bus industry. As the nation prepares to pause to honour those who fought for our freedom, we hope that by offering free travel to serving forces and veterans, we can help to bring people closer together as we get ready to remember and reflect.”












National Express
National Express West Midlands bus driver Albert Bishop, who has been with the company for 18 years, is currently a standard-bearer for a local district of the Royal British Legion. He recently finished 2nd in a national competition for standard-bearers, and dedicates a lot of his time to the legion. Elsewhere in National Express West Midlands, staff took part in a two-minute silence at 1100hrs on Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday, whilst the National Express coaches fleet had poppy vinyls applied and as the official partner of The Royal British Legion, also helped move volunteers for the city poppy days, including transporting over 100 cadets from RAF Cosford to fundraise in the city centre on the Birmingham Poppy Day.
















Peter Hogg Coaches
Peter Hogg Coaches of Jedburgh adorned a number of vehicles from its fleet with vinyl poppies.














Reading Buses
A selection of buses were chosen to wear poppies to show the company’s respect and remembrance for those who lost their lives during the two world wars and other conflicts. Marketing and Communications Manager Jake Osman explained: “The poppies are on different buses on various routes and also include some generic silver buses which run on any route. We think it is important to remember those who have lost their lives in conflicts around the world and pay tribute to the veterans that remain. As we have created our own stick-on poppies, we are making a company donation to the Royal British Legion which we hope will be well received.”















Stagecoach offered free travel for veterans and military personnel on its bus and tram services across the UK on Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday. Employees across Stagecoach were also asked to honour the minutes’ silence.
The firm recently launched its employee-led Veterans Network to allow colleagues to come together as one voice to make change, raise awareness, help influence business decisions and introduce new ways of working to make the company even stronger. The Veterans Network is also currently engaging with the armed forces on a recruitment campaign directly targeting those who are leaving the military to find job opportunities at Stagecoach.

The firm has also been a member of the Armed Force Covenant since March 2015, recognising the value of serving personnel, regular and reservists, veterans and military families to both the country and businesses across the country.

Simon Tramalloni, Operations Manager in Preston & Chorley, is co-lead for the Veterans Network. He previously served in the armed forces serving in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Africa and the Middle East. He said: “Stagecoach has a strong commitment to supporting the armed forces and our veterans, and it’s great that we are able to offer free bus and tram travel across the whole country as we mark Remembrance Day. “We have thousands of ex forces personnel working across our business and having the new Veterans Network is allowing us to build on the work that Stagecoach has led over many years and identify how else we can support those veterans already working for us and those that may want to come and join the company. Remembrance Day and the Poppy Appeal are causes close to the hearts of many of our employees and customers and we are very pleased to be making this commitment that will hopefully help people to attend memorials across the UK.”

Stagecoach Merseyside & South Lancashire 10534, VKB 708. CHRIS NEWTON











Stagecoach South Marketing Officer Steve Thorpe is seen with freshly painted 15989 for Portsmouth depot and 10775 for Aldershot depot. STAGECOACH











Stagecoach South Marketing Officer Steve Thorpe is seen with freshly painted 15989 for Portsmouth depot and 10775 for Aldershot depot. STAGECOACH










Transdev Blazefield
Transdev buses across the North were adorned with commemorative poppies to encourage its thousands of customers travelling each day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, and the operator also provided free travel on Remembrance Sunday as well as honouring the two minute silence where it was able to.

Transdev CEO Alex Hornby said: “With the impact of the pandemic still being felt by many veterans and their families, it’s more important than ever that we continue our support for the excellent work done by the Royal British Legion. We hope that by prominently showing our support for the Poppy Appeal on our buses, many of our customers will join us in contributing to this excellent cause. We want to remember those who gave their lives for our freedom, and to support those living with the impact of conflict today. All of our teams at our depots across the North are fully behind this.”

November 2021: Double decker buses with a special poppy livery at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, to launch London Poppy Day
From left, veterans Geoff Lister, Michael Scott and Keith Webster watch as engineer Jonathan Ruston fits a poppy to a Transdev bus. TRANSDEV












Transport for London
Transport for London paid tribute to servicemen and women for Remembrance Day as collections returned to the network, partnering with the Royal British Legion to support fundraising with collections at 50 stations across London. More than 3,000 volunteers and fundraisers collected donations, which can now be made by contactless payment, including members of the armed forces from the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.

Giant poppies were visible on six specially wrapped London buses. TFL