Old and new Arriva London Routemasters help raise funds for charities at Imber 2017


Arriving at Chitterne church

Arriving at Chitterne church

On Saturday 26th August, Arriva London was pleased to support the eighth annual bus service to the normally deserted Wiltshire village of Imber, situated in the middle of Salisbury Plain military training area.

Military targets

Military targets

Imber was evacuated in 1943 in order for troops to train for D-day, with the residents never returning and the military still using it to this day. The annual Imberbus service has run for the past eight years on one day a year. It is operated by old and current London buses, making an incongruous sight as they cross the military ranges full of passengers.

RMC 1453 and LT2
RMC 1453 and LT2

Former TfL Transport Commissioner, Sir Peter Hendy, is one of the main organisers, working with a dedicated team of vintage bus owners and operators. Arriva London provided Heritage Fleet Green Line RMC 1453 and New Routemaster LT2, also sporting a green livery. Apart from the buses and the volunteer crews, we were pleased to assist with the production of bus running plates from our accident centre at Enfield.

Route 23A bus stop
Route 23A bus stop

Sir Peter said:

"This year, we have more buses than ever before. We are running buses every ten minutes from Warminster Station to Imber. This is unprecedented, as even when the village was populated it only had a bus twice a week. We have trips throughout the day, from the centre of the village across the plain to Gore Cross, Tilshead, Chitterne, the Lavingtons and New Zealand farm."

Everyone, including Sir Peter, was surprised by the number of visitors who arrived for the special bus service.

He said:

"It’s a popular event, but I am staggered by the number that have arrived this year. I have never seen so many here at Imber. This event is a fundraiser for the village. Monies have been raised for the church as all the fares were donated to the Support of St Giles' Church and the Royal British Legion. Everyone providing the buses does it without charge as do the drivers and conductors.

The event has grown year on year, and this year the numbers were increased with a special train service from Peterborough and London to Warminster, bringing 240 passengers."

Arriva London’s Heritage Fleet is now an established part of London’s moving transport history, and we are always looking for new ways to get involved in supporting charitable causes, whether it’s through our Payroll Giving scheme, the Lord Mayor’s Show, Open City or events such as Imberbus.

Other members of the fleet will be on show again in the coming months, with our open topper, RMC 1464, as a participant in this year’s Lord Mayor’s Show on November 11th and a week later for #GivingTuesday.

If you would like to learn more about the Heritage Fleet, and maybe take the opportunity of seeing how one of our historic vehicles could be utilised for your celebration or special event, then please contact our Commercial team on 020 8271 3411 or click here.

To see more images of the event, please visit our Facebook page.


Tags:   News
Published : Thu 31st Aug. 2017
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