Our Heritage to mark 100 years of Motor Buses in Preston. 24/06/2022

Preston Bus at an event held at the Flag Market in Preston on Thursday 23rd June were pleased to launch and reveal to mark the anniversary year of Motor Buses in Preston, in which Preston Bus has been a part of from the start.

The first Corporation bus service started on 23rd January 1922, and served the Plungington district. From that time onwards the fate of the tram was sealed. By 1930 it was obvious that the tramway cars and track were in need of extensive renewal, and after serious consideration, the Town Council decided to convert the whole system to Trolly Bus operation.

Routes were converted to Diesel Motor Omnibus between 4th July 1932 and 15th December 1935. During their life Preston’s trams ran over 32 million miles and carried more than 370 million passengers.

Since the adoption of Motor Omnibuses, vehicles were manufactured by Leyland Motors Limited, at a large factory within seven miles of Preston, employing thousands of local people.

A big change came in 1967 as the tradition Maroon and Creme livery was replaced by a new Blue and Cream livery.

During 1968 One Person Operated buses began as an efficiency measure, replacing the need for conductors.

In October 1969 Preston’s new Central Bus Station and Car Park was officially opened by Lord Stokes of Leyland Motors. At that time the Bus Station was the largest in Europe.

The Government’s decision to de-regulate the bus industry on 26th October 1986 resulted in a period of significant change. Preston Borough Transport Limited was set up to trade as an 'arms length’ company, as required by the 1985 Transport Act. Competition from new and established bus and coach firms on the company’s routes occurred, resulting in PBTL responding by introducing minibus services in April 1987.

The 1990’s were a period of competitive stability, during which the Company was sold to its employees in 1993, and renamed Preston Bus.

In December 1999, Preston Bus began operating low floor easy access buses to Tanterton. These replaced the traditional high stepped-entrance vehicles, and began the process of making boarding and alighting much easier, easing wheelchair and pushchair access.

Between 2000 and 2006 Preston Bus was successful, through partnership working with Lancashire County Council, in securing government funding towards a variety of projects including: Quality Bus Partnerships, Real Time Information, Preston Orbit and the CIVITAS project.

In January 2011, Rotala Group was announced as preferred buyer and took over the ownership and operations of Preston Bus.

This year marks the 100 year anniversary that this business was formed, we have already celebrated this by naming last year our new Cross City Route the 100 and are pleased to now have two of the iconic liveries of Preston back in service.

Managing Director Bob Dunn says "This is a great honour being able to celebrate this massive milestone, Preston Bus is a big part of the history of Preston and being able to bring back the these two iconic liveries is something I know everybody at Preston Bus is excited and proud about."

New Maroon and Cream and Blue And Cream Preston Heritage liveries.    Preston Bus Blue and Creme Heritage Livery