The latest Peterborough Bus Rally, held on Sunday 6th July 2014 was supported by both Stagecoach and FirstGroup with a wide range of modern vehicles contracting with the Routemasters from A1 Bus and other preserved vehicles.
Stagecoach provided vehicles from its Peterborough, Lincoln and Chesterfield operations.
From Peterborough came the ever popular Open Top Bristol FLF, which is now 48 years old. For the first time the vehicle was able to display appropriate destinations with blinds in the traditional white-on-black style. Both the Open Top, and the closed top FLF which is part of the Stagecoach Midlands fleet, have received these 'heritage' blinds which were made by McKenna Brothers through a sponsorship arrangement with Steven Knight Media.
Stagecoach East Midlands provided a leather-seated Scania double deck with Enviro 400 bodywork finished in the purple and gold Interconnect livery, whilst a Transbus Dart with Pointer bodywork and painted in historic Chesterfield Transport green livery was provided from Stagecoach's Chesterfield depot.
The Stagecoach buses operated the shuttle service between the Rally site and the City's Queensgate Bus Station as well as shuttle services to the Nene Valley Railway.
Preserved and in-service buses also operated the free Nene Valley Railway shuttle services and included the newest double deck in the Delaine Buses fleet. First Eastern Counties, supporting the Rally for the first time, sent one of its luxury ADL E40D/Enviro 400 double decks which are used on the X1 Peterborough-Norwich/Great Yarmouth/Lowestoft routes. A nice touch - as with the two modern Stagecoach vehicles - was the programming of the electronic destination blinds to show relevant destinations.
Steven Knight is a Transport Specialist who has over 40 years experience in the bus and rail industries as well as in specialist transport journalism. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists.