Green back on the scene...
Cotswold Green Ltd
Cotswold Green is a Nailsworth-based, lower cost, niche operator,
specialising in subsidised local bus services and school transport.
The traffic commissioner granted a licence to
Cotswold Green Ltd
on 5 November 2007 (Guy Fawkes Day!). Later that autumn &
winter, buses began appearing in a tasteful and welcome return to a
largely green liveryperhaps inspired by Asda delivery trucks,
Though applied in a very modern style, the chosen colours
were redolent of the erstwhile days when Stroud's buses were largely
green. The shade chosen was deliberately akin to the Tilling green
used on Stroud's buses from 1950 to 1972. The large, frontal white
swathe added a thoroughly contemporary feel.
New to Warrington Borough Council in 1991, this 35 seat
Dennis Dart midibus has a surprisingly modern look to it,
particularly in green and white
Ebley Coaches' bus and coach business separated in 2004 upon the
granting of an operator's licence in the name of Ebley Bus Ltd. This
was reported to be because of fears that the bus side of the
business appeared to dominate. Ebley Bus Ltd surrendered this
licence upon the formation of Cotswold Green.
Ebley Coaches Ltd and Cotswold Green Ltd each have two directors,
one of whom appears as a director of both. They also share the same
premises near Nailsworth, though since the granting of the Cotswold
Green licence, the addresses are nominally different, with Cotswold
Green occupying cabins to the right of the garage.
Stagecoach doesn't have it its own way. Cotswold Green is a
common site in Merrywalks, here on the 8 to Mason Road, a
service now exclusively operated by Cotswold Green (and Ebley
Bus before it), from 2006
Ebley Coaches first expanded greatly when a number of school
services passed from Stagecoach. 1998 was a milestone when
Stagecoach terminated the bulk scholars agreement that hitherto
allowed pupils especially from the Downfield Schools to travel on
public bus services. Some of the resultant Ebley Coaches contracts
involved the collection of fares.
Ebley also contented itself with a handful of irregular
daytime bus services, principally in rural areas, notably to the
north & east of Stroud. One of Ebley's first services was
nevertheless between Stroud and Standish Hospital. It gradually
built up local bus service tendered work such that it operated
Stroud-Selsley-Uley-Dursley, combining this with an extended
Nailsworth-Minchinhampton, to Dursley in 2003.
In this 2006 shot, between two good condition Bristol VRs is
a Dennis Dart with Carlyle bodywork. Though the Ebley livery was
majestic in colour particularly on coaches, it did appear
somewhat oppressive when compared to the newer, fresher green
and white, above
Ebley has moved to a largely white livery, save for a
solitary Beulas in primrose
One of Cotswold Green's most unusual vehicles was F705 BAT
(left), a 49 seat dual purpose Scania N112CR from 1988 and
ex-Kingston upon Hull City Transport. 705 has since been
withdrawn and passed to sister enterprise Ebley Coaches Ltd
Ebley Bus' big break came in January 2004, when it won a number of
local bus contracts, most of which augmented services at that time
thinned by Stagecoach. This included services to Chalford,
Cirencester, Minchinhampton and Mason Road/Uplands.
Upon the complete withdrawal by Stagecoach of services in these
areas from August 2005, Cotswold Green became the sole operator.
Cotswold Green's fleet of some 20 vehicles comprises Darts,
709Ds, a solitary Metrorider and, interestingly, two N113CRBs. Ebley
Bus Ltd was a staunch operator of the Bristol VR type, withdrawing
its remaining examples after last operation of the Summer 2007
school terms, one year after Stagecoach in the Cotswold withdrew its
oldest Olympian, also manufactured in Bristol.
Former Merseyside Transport London 34-seat L101 HHV is a
Dennis Dart with now rare Northern Counties bodywork that
typifies the eclectic mix of vehicles at Cotswold Green. And it
sort of breaks the rules by using London Road in June 2008:
technically, it has one seat too many to do so legally.
Capacities on a number of Darts exceed the 33 seat maximum. In
any event, the 33-seat limit seems somewhat arbitrary, having no
regard for actual vehicle lengthand allowing trucks &
lorries of any kind through
The authorised transport manager is Robert Arkell, who once worked
as commercial manager for Stagecoach West, held supervisory roles at
Stroud and who was operations manager at Ebley Bus Ltd. The name
Cotswold Green was a previous trading name of a partnership of
Messrs Arkell and Smee, whose operating centre for up to three
vehicles was at Moreton Valance.
A sea of green at the Ebley Coaches/Cotswold Green garage,
One of the directors of Cotswold Green
has a blog! It
tells of the issues (and successes) in operating a small bus
company! For those interested, you can read about the comings and
goings of the fleet!
Meanwhile, Ebley Coaches Ltd continues, now with a largely
all-white livery. Reports in early 2009 of its withdrawal from the
tours market were premature. As a result, one of its drivers
launched Lemon Holidays, though this effectively was stillborn owing
to a change of mind at Ebley.
Meanwhile, speculations mounts that Cotswold Green is about
first brand new single deck in 30 years.
There is some uncertainty as to whether Lemon Tours will
start short breaks later in 2009