Thames Travel

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Thames Travel logo.PNG
Volvo B7TL Wright EclipseGemini LX06 EAF Abingdon.jpg
A Volvo B7TL bus with Wright Eclipse Gemini body on route 41 in Abingdon in May 2017
Slogan Save fuel – take the bus
Parent Go-Ahead Group
Founded April 1998
Headquarters Lester Way, Hithercroft Industrial Estate, Wallingford, Oxfordshire OX10 9TD
Service area Southern Oxfordshire
Service type Bus services
Destinations Abingdon, Bicester, Didcot, Faringdon, Henley-on-Thames, Oxford, Reading, Wallingford and Wantage
Fleet 58 (September 2016)
Chief executive Phil Southall
Website Thames Travel

Thames Travel[1] is a bus operator serving the southern part of the English county of Oxfordshire. It is based in Wallingford and is a subsidiary of the Go-Ahead Group.

History

Thames Travel was founded on 14 April 1998 by John Wright with four buses. He expanded his business by winning subsidised bus contracts awarded by Oxfordshire County Council and unitary councils in Berkshire, and by taking over work from operators who ceased trading such as Tillingbourne Bus Company in 2001.[2] and Chiltern Queens of Woodcote in 2011. Thames Travel also benefited from operators including First Berkshire & The Thames Valley, Reading Buses and Stagecoach in Oxfordshire, giving up commercial work.[citation needed][clarification needed]

In May 2011 the Go-Ahead Group bought Thames Travel.[3][4]

Branded routes

RiverRapids

A Thames Travel bus in St Aldates, Oxford, on RiverRapids route X38 to Henley-on-Thames. The bus is a Scania N230UD with an Alexander Dennis Enviro400 body.

Early in its history Thames Travel began a direct bus service between Oxford and Reading via Wallingford. This comprises two routes: the X40 which runs via Woodcote, and the X39 which bypasses Woodcote. The company also operates a service to Henley-on-Thames and Wallingford, which until 2017 was numbered 139, ran seven days a week and terminated at Wallingford.

At the end of October 2017 Thames Travel withdrew the Sunday service from route 139, but extended the Monday to Saturday service from Wallingford to Oxford and renumbered the revised route X38. It retimetabled the X38, X39 and X40 to provide a service every 20 minutes between Wallingford and Oxford. It has branded the three routes "RiverRapids" and applied prominent graphics to its dedicated fleet to promote it.[5]

Connector

A Mercedes-Benz Citaro in Oxford. It is in Connector livery for routes X32 and X32A, but is running on route X40.

Routes 32A and X32 serve the Milton Park business park and Harwell Science and Innovation Campus. Both routes serve Didcot and Wantage. The 32A also serves Abingdon and the X32 and runs non-stop between Oxford and Milton Park.[6]

The Connector routes have a dedicated fleet in a livery of two-tone grey with a light green coachline, and "Connector" graphics promoting the route.

Fleet

As of September 2016 the fleet consisted of 58 buses and four vans.[7] The fleet is now numbered in the Oxford Bus Company series.[8]

The most numerous vehicles in the fleet are Mercedes-Benz Citaro single-deckers transferred from Oxford Bus Company. Other single deckers include Optare Solo and Solo SR single-deckers and two Wright StreetLites. The fleet has several types of double decker, including Alexander Dennis Enviro400 buses, some with Scania N230UD chassis, all transferred from Oxford Bus Co. Other double deckers include a few Volvo B7TL buses with Wright Eclipse Gemini bodies and a few Scania OmniCity buses.

Depots

Thames Travel's depot is in Wallingford. It has out-stations in Reading and at Oxford Bus Company's depot in Oxford.

Notable incidents

Thames Travel vehicles have been involved in three major accidents, reported in the local media. All were on the A4074 road, nicknamed locally the "13 bends of death".

The first accident was on 21 July 2006. A 26-year-old woman was killed when her car collided head-on with a Thames Travel Dennis Dart SLF bus with MCV Evolution body, fleet number 155. It was found that was taking avoiding action to prevent her car from colliding with two cars that were coming towards her, whose drivers had been recklessly overtaking numerous other cars before the accident. As a result of the collision both vehicles caught fire and were completely destroyed. The bus was replaced with the next intake of new vehicles.[9] The two brothers arrested after the incident were convicted and jailed for a total of 15 years for the accident.[10]

An MAN 14.240 with MCV Evolution body on route 106 to Berinsfield leaving Oxford railway station

The second accident was on 28 January 2008. An MAN 14.220 bus with MCV Evolution body, fleet number 256, collided in fog with a Land Rover that was turning off the road across the bus's path. The Land Rover landed on its side; the bus in a ditch. The accident was on the A4074 at its junction with the B4526 road. Five people were injured.[11]

The third accident was on 14 October 2014. A Mercedes-Benz Citaro, fleet number 853, collided with a van on the A4074, leaving the bus driver and a passenger injured.[12]

See also

References

A Scania N94UD with East Lancashire Coachbuilders body on route 105 to Berinsfield leaving Oxford Railway station. Its pink livery and branding advertise Abingdon and Witney College.
  1. ^ "Thames Travel (Wallingford) Limited". Companies House. Retrieved 21 August 2017. 
  2. ^ "Tillingbourne". Bus Zone. 
  3. ^ Smith, Andrew (29 May 2011). "No changes at Thames Travel says outgoing boss". Oxford Mail. Newsquest Oxfordshire. 
  4. ^ "Go-Ahead buys 35-vehicle Thames Travel". Bus and Coach. Plum Publishing Ltd. 8 June 2011. Archived from the original on 18 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "River Rapids from Thames Travel". Buses. Retrieved 16 December 2017. 
  6. ^ "route X32/32A" (pdf). Thames Travel. Retrieved 16 December 2017. 
  7. ^ "Thames Travel fleet list". Bus Zone. Robert Williams. 19 September 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2017. 
  8. ^ "Spottings & Jottings Issue nr 56". Oxford & Chilterns Bus Page. Malcolm Crowe. 28 March 2012. 
  9. ^ ""I beg you to help police"". Reading Evening Post. Trinity Mirror. 22 August 2006. Retrieved 5 June 2008. 
  10. ^ "Jailed over death of bride-to-be". Reading Evening Post. Trinity Mirror. 31 May 2007. Retrieved 5 June 2008. 
  11. ^ "Five hurt in bus crash". Reading Evening Post. Trinity Mirror. 28 January 2008. Retrieved 5 June 2008. 
  12. ^ "Bus crash on A4074 in Oxfordshire leaves four injured". BBC News. BBC. 14 October 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 

External links

  • Thames Travel official website
  • "Thames Travel". The UK Midlands Bus Image Gallery. Showbus. 
  • "The Oxford & Chilterns Bus Page". Malcolm Crowe.  – weekly local bus news, archived from October 2002 onward
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