Today, the author of the Omnibuses blog posted an interesting April Fool's joke which claimed to show the details of the new *potential* local First brands in the south, including new fleetnames, liveries and more. Click here if you haven't read it. Now, unfortunately, I did fall for it initially, but this gave me an interesting insight to how I would feel about any forthcoming changes to my local fleet.
Here's the last local livery to appear on First buses around Fareham, Gosport and Portsmouth - the red and cream of Firstbus Provincial. This is my "artist's impression" of what it would look like on a Solo - and - although I'm biased I think it looks quite good. I did always prefer the green but grew up with this livery - this is my local livery.
Now, the Omnibuses blog post reported that Fareham buses would be called Hampshire Coastline and have a green and black livery. What would I want the company to be called if it went local? Well, firstly, with the growth of "First South Coast" I doubt whether individual fleetnames would come back, but it would be nice to have something like "First serving Southern Hampshire" or "First serving Portsmouth" - like Stagecoach - just to make them a little more localised.
Secondly, if there was a new livery, I found myself expecting the liveries to return to their traditional colours - i.e. green for Hoeford, red for Southampton, blue or maroon for Portsmouth. This would probably be completely wrong - now under Go Ahead a traditional livery may return like Southern Vectis' green, but under First would there be a new livery? And furthermore, would there be a First style just with local colouring variations? If First ever do return to local liveries it would be very interesting to see what happens.
What would you want?
On another note, it has been confirmed Snappy Designs UK has gone into Liquidation, and therefore fotopic is no more unless it is bought out very soon. A sad and increasingly likely end to the one website which has increased bus photos on the web more than any other.