Old and new Arriva London Routemasters help raise funds for charities at Imber 2017
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
Published : Thu 30th Mar. 2017 - Wed 10th May. 2017
The visit had been organised following Leon meeting Enfield bus driver Malkiat Birdi, whilst he was attending the TfL initiative for drivers called Hello London.
Making the capital’s buses as simple to use as the London Underground is a new initiative being trialled on seven London bus routes, including Arriva London routes 150 and 128.
In association with TfL and HCT Transport, we opened our doors to welcome the public, giving them the opportunity to explore the garage, meet our operations teams, ride on a bus through the bus wash, tour our operations control centres and see & ride on some historic preserved buses.
Our recent route gains in North London include route 19, from Finsbury Park to Battersea Bridge (South Side), which has meant implementing an extensive mobilisation programme to maintain our high standards.
One of the most important elements in Arriva London’s development is the training and education it offers its staff, from engineering apprentices to graduate trainees, everyone in the business is offered the opportunity to develop and flourish.
The introduction of all new Hybrid vehicles on route 249, which Arriva London starts operating this Saturday, underlines one of our key brand values - ‘Great customer experience - We keep our customers happy every day’.