Thursday 17 January 2013

Welcome Back... Sussex Bus!

This is the second installment of my infrequent "Welcome Back" feature, where I share long lost photos from fotopic. 

My first trip to Chichester was in the sunny summer of 2003. The Nationals had gone, and the Stagecoach swoops livery were just replacing the strips of Sussex Bus and Stagecoach. However, on a few buses, the red stripes remained...

Back in 2003, the Sussex Bus livery remained on a number of Mercedes-Benz 709Ds that were in service on Chichester city services. 40891 (N191LPN) is pictured on route 48, heading for Chichester bus station. Route 48 still exists as a free bus Tesco - city centre route, but these days tends to be operated by Volvo Olympians. From the (irregular) journeys I've observed or photographed, the capacity of the 709D is still about appropriate.

Sister bus 40893 (N193LPN) is pictured here, reversing off the stands of Chichester bus station on a 47A for Parklands. These minibuses provided the main service on the small Chichester routes, and the Bognor town services until the 2007 delivery of Optare Solos. The 47/47A is another route still completely intact from this photo - taken almost 10 years ago, operating every half an hour.

Finally, here is 40164 (N364AVV) pictured on the stands at Chichester. A stripey Dart can be seen in the background. Again, the 56 is another out largely intact in nearly 10 years - operating from Old Bosham to Chichester, via Fishbourne. 

I find it amazing in city such as Chichester, under a company who develop and change their networks so effectively, that the route structure has more or less remained untouched for 10 years. I guess this also illustrates the example of good Stagecoach management - if it ain't broke, don't fix it, just upgrade it with younger and better buses frequently! More updates from Chichester in approximately two to three months time...


  1. Chichester is a good place to take photos, took a few myself there not too long ago.

    Can't wait to see more.

  2. I hope you will be taking photos today, this snow should make them more beautiful hopefully

  3. And haven't Chichester Heritage now changed their name to Sussex Bus - though they operate the ex Countryliner routes in Mid Sussex rather than Chichester.

  4. The 47/47A and 56 are entirely contracted routes run on behalf of West Sussex County Council, who therefore have the final say on routes and timetables...hence the lack of dramatic changes.

    However, it is fair to say that the 47/47A route in Parklands has changed a fair bit in the past ten years, as has the 56 route in Fishbourne. Both have been retimetabled too, (the 56 several times).

    The 48 is a contracted service run on behalf of Tescos - It too has had substantial timetable modifications down the years.