Yellow Buses is the town’s trademark service, which can be traced back to 1902 when its predecessor fed the town’s tram system.
Mark of distinction
Today, Yellow Buses operates 22 routes throughout Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch and East Dorset, serving Bournemouth and Poole Hospitals, the University, various stops along the length of the town’s coastline and all of the main boroughs and neighbourhoods too.
Every year, almost 15 million passengers travel on Yellow Buses’ 131-strong fleet, travelling nearly five million miles in the process.
The tram system was running strong until the first trolley bus was run experimentally in 1933. As a result, in the space of a few years the entire tramway system had been replaced. The post-war years saw a spike in popularity for Yellow Buses, with a record 64 million journeys logged in 1950. But the end of petrol rations soon prompted a huge increase in private motoring, which had an impact on public transport. The introduction of diesel buses in 1958 was the start of the end for the humble trolley bus, which had been completely replaced just a decade later.
Locals may fondly remember the Mallard Road bus depot, the Yellow Buses’ home for 53 years until 2006, when they moved to a purpose-built £5m facility across the road on Yeoman’s Way (just behind Castlepoint).
When Transdev bought the company in 2006 they gave the entire network a complete overhaul, with each bus, journey, route and even route numbers were scrutinised and changed.
A number of new routes were subsequently introduced. Some extended the previous network such as the number 41, which now runs from Boscombe Pier to Throop Church, others were completely new, like the 37 and 38 and other popular services, like the 24 between the rail station and Alum Chine reinstated due to demand. Yellow Buses assumed routes 18 and 19 from Wilts and Dorset between Broadstone and Bournemouth, which started a run of new routes assumed from its competitor and in 2010 the service extended into East Dorset for the first time with hourly route 29 serving Bournemouth, Winton, Ferndown and West Moors.
Night bus service
In 2012 the N6 was launched, a Thursday, Friday and Saturday night service running every 30 minutes between Bournemouth Square and Bournemouth University via Bournemouth Interchange and Winton. A year later it started running the A1 Airport Shuttle service.