26/08/2015

Isle Of Wight: Holiday on the islands buses - part 3

Our regular guest blogger Philip Slynn recently returned from a family week away on the Isle of Wight and has sent us a cracking selection of photographs to share with you all. The island which is situated 4 miles south of the Hampshire coast is of course best known for being home to the Go Ahead bus operator Southern Vectis (often referred to as 'the islands buses') and they featured in the first two parts of this feature published last week. This - the third and final part looks at some other items on transport interest on the island...

Isle Of Wight 2015 pt3 (c) Philip Slynn
There is an operator on the IOW called Gange, and I visited his premises and found several rusting and decaying coaches. However, this one is part of the operational fleet and is a 1986 Leyland Tiger new to Moss of Sandown (c) Philip Slynn.

Isle Of Wight 2015 pt3 (c) Philip Slynn
One of the semi-derelict vehicles is this 1998 Mercedes O817 with an SC Coachcraft body new to the operator. As you can see it is only a rear view as its front is in the hedge. It is however in better condition than some of the others tucked away at the back of the site. Next to it covered with tarpaulins is a Bedford VAM believed to be HDL 255E (c) Philip Slynn.

Isle Of Wight 2015 pt3 (c) Philip Slynn
Robinson of Sandown operates this Mercedes with an Optare Soroco body. It is seen at the Hovercraft terminal picking up passengers under the Island Explorer branding (c) Philip Slynn.

Isle Of Wight 2015 pt3 (c) Philip Slynn
Another operator is The Holiday Shop using the fleetname ALS Travel. This one is a 1996 Volvo B10M new to Horseman of Reading (c) Philip Slynn.

Isle Of Wight 2015 pt3 (c) Philip Slynn
As mentioned the IOW bus museum has moved to premises in Ryde, and although not the best of shots, this 1961 Bedford SB3 is privately owned by one of the IOW members and still carries its former operators livery – Fowlers of Holbeach Drove (c) Philip Slynn.

Isle Of Wight 2015 pt3 (c) Philip Slynn
Finally, there is a Stagecoach presence on the Island as they operate and maintain the railway between Ryde pier head and Shanklin having been awarded the franchise in 1996. The rolling stock is old but refurbished London Underground stock and is looking quite tired and in need of some TLC (c) Philip Slynn.

Many thanks to Philip for all of the photos and captions included in this three part feature!