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Transdev Blazefield

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Transdev Blazefield
Transdev logo.svg
Pendle Travel Limited 2761 PJ05 ZWH.jpg
Founded1991 (29 years ago)
HeadquartersProspect Park
Broughton Way
North Yorkshire
Service areaGreater Manchester
North Yorkshire
West Yorkshire
Service typeBus and coach
Managing DirectorAlex Hornby

Transdev Blazefield is a bus group, serving Lancashire, North & West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester. Formed in 1991, it has been a subsidiary of Transdev since January 2006.[1]


Blazefield Travel was formed in 1991, following the sale of Alan Stephenson's AJS Group, along with seven bus operations, 300 vehicles, and 12 depots to former directors, Giles Fearnley and Stuart Wilde, in a management buyout.[2][3][4]

Initially, there were seven operating subsidiaries: Keighley & District, Harrogate & District, Yorkshire Coastliner, Harrogate Independent Travel, Sovereign Bus & Coach, Welwyn Hatfield Line and Sovereign Harrow.[2]

AJS Group had purchased West Yorkshire Road Car and London Country North East from the National Bus Company in 1988.[2] Prior to the sale, the latter was broken in two, Country Bus & Coach and Sovereign Bus & Coach, with only the latter becoming part of Blazefield Travel.

West Yorkshire Road Car operations were divided into six depots: Bradford, Leeds, Harrogate, Keighley, Malton and York.

Leeds and Bradford depots passed to the Rider Group (then owners of Yorkshire Rider) in August 1989. The remaining four depots became Harrogate & District, Keighley & District, York City & District and Yorkshire Coastliner. The York operation was later taken over by the Rider Group in July 1990.[5]

Expansion soon followed, with the purchase of Cambridge Coach Services in November 1991, along with 14 vehicles, and Watford-based Lucketts. Ingfield of Settle was purchased in April 1992, and was merged with Keighley-based Northern Rose to form Ingfield-Northern Rose.

Harrogate Independent Travel was set up as an independent in 1986, following the deregulation of bus services, by a number of West Yorkshire's Harrogate drivers to challenge their employer. This company was purchased in 1993, and absorbed into Harrogate & District.

In 1994, Blazefield purchased Borehamwood Travel Services, along with 43 vehicles (22 of which were AEC Routemasters). The company was renamed London Sovereign. By this time, the Blazefield group owned around 380 vehicles.

In 1994, Ingfield-Northern Rose bought Whaites Coaches of Settle. At the same time, Sovereign was locked in battle with Universitybus. Blazefield was also supposedly behind Petlen Travel, trading as Noddy Bus, using old Sovereign buses.

In 1996, Harrogate & District grew again, following the acquisition of Cowie Group's United operation in Ripon. In 1998, Huntingdon & District was created with the operations of Premier Buses, owned by Julian Peddle, but was sold to Cavalier of Sutton Bridge in 2004. Cambridge Coach Services was sold to National Express-owned Airlinks in 1999.

In April 2001, four garages, along with 230 vehicles were purchased from Stagecoach in Lancashire.[6] Two new subsidiaries were formed, Burnley & Pendle with depots in Burnley and Pendle, and Lancashire United with depots in Blackburn, Bolton and Clitheroe. The depot at Bolton was subsequently sold on to Blue Bus of Horwich.

Between 2002 and 2005, Blazefield withdrew from its operations in the south of England.[7] London Sovereign was sold to Transdev in 2002, with Huntingdon & District sold to Cavalier Travel in 2003, and operations in St. Albans sold to Centrebus in 2004.[7] In early 2005, the Competition Commission cleared Blazefield's deal to sell what was left of Sovereign to Arriva Shires & Essex.[8]

In January 2006, the Blazefield Group was sold to Transdev, along with 305 vehicles.[9][10] In 2007, Transdev Blazefield purchased Accrington Transport, Blackburn Transport and Northern Blue.[11]

In 2008, Transdev Blazefield purchased Top Line Travel,[12][13] and Veolia's York operation, both based at the Fulford depot.

In December 2017, Rosso was purchased from Rossendale Borough Council.[14][15]

Operations and fleet

As of March 2020, Transdev Blazefield has six operating subsidiaries:[16]

Blackburn Bus Company

The Blackburn Bus Company, formerly branded as Lancashire United, operates services in and around the boroughs of Blackburn, Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley.

Burnley Bus Company

The Burnley Bus Company, formerly branded as Burnley and Pendle operates services in and around the boroughs of Burnley and Pendle, and into the surrounding areas including Accrington, Keighley and Manchester.

In 2004, the company introduced the flagship Witch Way service which links Burnley and Rawtenstall with Manchester. They also operate Mainline, a group of services linking Burnley with destinations including Colne, Nelson and Padiham. Introduced in 2020 is Pendle Wizz. Pendle Wizz replaces the section of service between Burnley & Skipton, this had previously been part of both the Mainline & Witch Way networks.



In 2016, Transdev Harrogate (now Harrogate Bus Company) introduced a new fleet of buses for the Riding Redefined 36 service, linking Ripon and Harrogate with Leeds.[17]

The vehicles used on the service were transferred to Transdev York for a new direct service between Leeds and York. The Cityzap service commenced in March 2016.[18][19]

In November 2017, a second Cityzap service was launched, this time running direct from Leeds to Manchester, and operated by Burnley Bus Company. This route, however, was withdrawn in July 2018.[20]


The Coastliner brand encompasses a group of long-distance services linking the cities of Leeds and York with the towns and villages of Malton, Pickering and Thornton-le-Dale in the North York Moors, as well as the coastal resorts of Scarborough and Whitby.[21]

Services commenced in January 1990,[22][23][24] with the routes now operated by a fleet of high-specification double-deck vehicles, featuring free WiFi, audio-visual next stop announcements, leather seats, tables and charging points.[25][26]

A Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B9TL, seen in the former Coastliner livery.
A Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B9TL, seen in the former Coastliner livery.

The Coastliner operation runs mainly from the depot in Malton, with the fleet consisting mainly of vehicles manufactured by Wrightbus.

In 2018, the route of the Coastliner 840 service between Leeds and Whitby was voted as the "most scenic bus route in Britain" in an online poll. Particular mention was made about the section across the North York Moors, between Pickering, Goathland and Whitby.[27][28]

York & Country

Top Line Travel (now trading as Transdev York Limited) was established in May 2000, by former York Pullman manager, Peter Dew.[29]

In October 2000, Top Line Travel began to operate their first local bus services. The circular services (Y28 and Y29) were operated on behalf of the University of York, and provided links with the east of the city, including Heworth, Monks Cross, Tang Hall and York Hospital.[30]

As well as operating the City Sightseeing franchise in York, the company went on to take over Guide Friday's York operations in 2002. Expansion saw the company move from two smaller depots, to a larger depot based at Fulford, in December 2002.[31]

In 2006, Veolia successfully tendered contracts, to operate a number of local bus services in York. It agreed a deal with Top Line Travel, to share their depot in Fulford.

In June 2008, Top Line Travel was purchased by Transdev, along with the depot at Fulford, and ten open-top buses, as well as a small fleet of buses used on local and contracted services.[32]

In August 2008, Transdev purchased Veolia's York operations, and in October 2008, both were combined under the Transdev York name.[33]

In February 2012, Transdev York purchased the Unibus service, and open top bus services from York Pullman, further expanding the fleet.[34][35]

In early 2018, Transdev York began re-branding their local bus services in the York area. Vehicles have since been painted in to a new two-tone blue livery, separated by a vertical stripe, with an orange stripe along the length of the vehicle. Vehicles also feature the new York & Country logo.

York & Country now operate a number of local bus services in and around York, as well as CastleLine (from York to Castle Howard and Malton), and routes 22 and 23 (from York to Boroughbridge, Ripon and Knaresborough).[36]

The company also operates the York City Sightseeing tour, with frequent, fully electric, open-top buses running from 20 stops across the city.[37][38]

The York & Country operation runs from the depot in Fulford, with the fleet consisting mainly of single-deck vehicles manufactured by Alexander Dennis and Optare – both of which are built in Yorkshire.[39]

Long-distance services from Leeds and York to Malton, Pickering, Thornton-le-Dale, Scarborough and Whitby still operate under the Coastliner brand, with double-deck vehicles branded in a two-tone blue livery.[21]

Harrogate Bus Company

The Harrogate Bus Company operates local bus services in and around the town of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, with some services operating with fully electric Volvo 7900E vehicles.[40]

The company also operates the flagship Riding Redefined 36 service, using high-specification Wright Eclipse Gemini 3 bodied Volvo B5TL vehicles, providing a frequent service linking Ripon and Harrogate with Leeds.

Keighley Bus Company

The Keighley Bus Company operates services in and around the towns and cities of Bradford, Leeds, Hebden Bridge, Ilkley, Keighley and Skipton.

Flagship services include Aireline 60[41] linking Keighley and Shipley with Leeds, Dalesway 66[42] linking Keighley with Skipton, and theSHUTTLE 662,[43] linking Keighley, Bingley and Shipley with Bradford.


Rosso was acquired by Transdev in December 2017 from Rossendale Borough Council. The company operates services within the Borough of Rossendale, including the towns of Bacup, Haslingden, Rawtenstall and Whitworth, as well as in to surrounding areas, including Accrington, Blackburn, Burnley, Bury, Rochdale and Todmorden.


  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 2605399 Transdev Blazefield Limited formerly Blazefield Holdings Limited
  2. ^ a b c AJS sells remaining bus firms Commercial Motor 8 August 1991 page 16
  3. ^ Jenkinson, Keith A (1999). Small is Beautiful, The Story of the AJS Group and Blazefield Holdings. Autobus Review Publications. ISBN 0907834426.
  4. ^ First for Fearnley in UK Bus move Archived 29 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine Bus & Coach Professional 26 January 2011
  5. ^ Rider takes control Commercial Motor 26 July 1990 page 19
  6. ^ Stagecoach sells some North-West Operations for £13 Million Stagecoach 26 April 2001
  7. ^ a b "Blazefield sells up in the South". Bus & Coach Professional. Plum Publishing Ltd. 9 July 2004. Archived from the original on 16 September 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  8. ^ The proposed acquisition by Arriva plc of the business of Sovereign Bus & Coach Company Ltd Competition Commission December 2004
  9. ^ "Transdev acquires Blazefield Group". Bus & Coach Professional. Plum Publishing. 7 January 2006. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  10. ^ A new stop for Blazefield Yorkshire Post 9 January 2006
  11. ^ "Blazefield buys again in Lancashire". Bus & Coach Professional. 9 August 2007. Archived from the original on 13 August 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  12. ^ Briggs, Ian (22 August 2008). "Top deal will keep Top Line driving forward". TheBusinessDesk. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  13. ^ McCusker, Peter (24 September 2008). "Putting wheels in motion for deal". The Journal. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  14. ^ Rosso set to join the Transdev Blazefield family Route One 15 December 2017
  15. ^ £3 million investment promised for Rossendale bus users as Transdev announces takeover plan for council owned operator Transdev 15 December 2017
  16. ^ "Transdev Blazefield". Transdev Blazefield. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  17. ^ "Route 36 re-launched". Coach & Bus Week. 25 January 2016. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  18. ^ "Transdev aims to change perceptions with superfast Zap brand". routeone. 28 April 2016. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  19. ^ "Transdev Blazefield: A gimmick for growth". routeone. 20 June 2016. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  20. ^ Dougall, Emily (14 November 2017). "Transdev launches new Leeds-Manchester Cityzap express". Coach & Bus Week. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  21. ^ a b "See all of #CoastlinerCountry". Transdev Coastliner. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  22. ^ Coastliner's 25th anniversary Coach & Bus Buyer 4 June 2015
  23. ^ "Silver jubilee for Yorkshire Coastliner" Buses issue 724 July 2015 page 10
  24. ^ Transdev's Coastliner celebrates 25 Years Archived 24 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine Route One 8 July 2015
  25. ^ "New Coastliner fleet previewed by drivers". Coach & Bus Week. 17 October 2016. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  26. ^ "'New era' for bus travel as £2m fleet boasts wifi, power points and a skylight". YorkMix. 9 December 2016. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  27. ^ Witherow, John, ed. (29 May 2018). "Moors' magic bus is ahead of the rest". The Times (72547). p. 17. ISSN 0140-0460.
  28. ^ "Yorkshire bus route is named the most scenic in Britain". Yorkshire Post. 28 May 2018. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  29. ^ "Transdev York Limited". Companies House. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  30. ^ "University launches city bus service as part of sustainable transport plan". University of York. 12 October 2000. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  31. ^ "Top Line Travel of York Limited: IT IS a bus company with drive". York Press. 10 September 2004. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  32. ^ "Tour bus change just the ticket". York Press. 1 June 2008. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  33. ^ "Blazefield expands with York deal". Bus & Coach Magazine. 4 June 2008. Archived from the original on 30 October 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  34. ^ "Veolia Transdev expands in York". Bus & Coach Magazine. 7 February 2012. Archived from the original on 11 November 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  35. ^ Liptrot, Kate (4 February 2012). "York Pullman sells vehicles to Veolia Transdev". York Press. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  36. ^ "We're all about York". Transdev York & Country. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  37. ^ "York City Sightseeing fleet now fully electric". Bus & Coach Buyer. 21 May 2015. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  38. ^ "Our CitySightseeing York tours are back!". Transdev York & Country. 21 January 2020. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  39. ^ "Quick Enviro200 delivery gets new Transdev services in York on the road". Alexander Dennis. 9 September 2019. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  40. ^ "Why Harrogate is blazing a trail for electric buses". Air Quality News. 13 February 2020. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  41. ^ "Aireline 60". The Keighley Bus Company. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  42. ^ "Dalesway 66". The Keighley Bus Company. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  43. ^ "theSHUTTLE". The Keighley Bus Company. Retrieved 10 March 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 25 August 2020, at 01:15
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