I AM CHRISTOPHER LEACH THE ARTIST. I started this blog so that I can share with everyone my vast collection of transport photographs showing a personal and nostalgic view of the industry with images that span some 45 years taking in the U.K and some of Europe. I have no darkroom and so rather than being the perfectionist after tidying them up I upload the images warts and all, and even those that won't scan squarely or are scratched. In a way it adds age and character. You are all free to download these for your personal use but please remember I still own them and you are not just free to use them without prior permission for any knd of publishing. Click on images to enlarge them and if you want to see more leave your comments or visit my website for the mother-site with galleries including those Buses & Girls: PICTUREWORLD

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Express Yourself: Independents have a go

In the Eighties under the arch-meddler Mrs. Thatcher, Deregulation of the buses included the Express Coach Network too and even quite small operators now had a go usually clubbing together so that they could market and work from end to end forming a stronger chain to challenge the big boys. Most quickly gave up and sadly the outcome of this free-for-all to open up the market only strengthened the already dominant position of National Express who now more or less have the long distance network of England and Wales completely to themselves. Although this operator is highly thought of and is well managed offering cheap fares it runs a very tight ship and there seems to be little extra capacity which often makes it difficult to book seats on many journeys at short notice, so basically the public has to fit in with them or use more expensive ways to travel. So the irony of Deregulation was that it might have let new players into the market but in turn the long established routes of well respected names like Grey Green, Barton, Yelloway and Premier Travel bowed out. One of the small concerns who now competed for a short time on routes to the West Country was the Deeble's Darley Ford Coaches who were able to tempt the public with this well-appointed Van-Hool Astron T818 enjoying a good send off seen in Plymouth.


busing said...

Do you have a date for this shot?

And whereabouts in Plymouth was the photo taken?

christopher said...

It was taken in September 1985 at Bretonside Bus Station

busing said...

Thanks Christopher. The lack of a wall at Bretonside put me off.