Actually the page should be called Northern Cumbrian buses, or
Mostly Stagecoach, as I have been to Kendal twice, and have never been
further south than Ambleside on photography forays. Most of the photos
have been taken during my regular fell-walking expeditions, which have
been facilitated by a very good network of buses in the Lake District,
almost all being Stagecoach operated. It also explains the dominance of
several places on
this page. If only the service in the eastern part of the county was as
good, and the walking was as exhilarating! Some day I might get to
Barrow, although I wish I had been when the blue corporation buses
still existed. Enough waffle. Usual page layout applies, this time in
date order. Click on the thumbnail to get the large image, approx
800x600 pixels and feel free to use any image, but let me know and give
me a credit. Top of the page is Cumberland Leyland Titan 11110 at
Recent years has seen me up on the fells less often, a combination
of fitness, cost of bus travel in the Lake District and a desire to
explore other parts of the country.
March 2002 found me in Workington. Ex Ribble Volvo Olympian/ NCME
2227 (now 16627) is seen in the splendid old Workington Bus Station. It
is a shame that the similar one in Whitehaven has closed, although
it was on a very constricted site.
In the same place on the same day is Cumberland 798 (now
52628), one of four 1998 Jonckheere Modulo bodied Volvo B10M-62s in
a special livery for routes X4/5 (Workington-Keswick-Penrith).
Seen approaching Keswick Bus Station on 15th June 2002 is
Cumberland 2145, a 1984 ex Ribble ECW bodied Olympian converted to
open-top for the scenic routes in the Lake District. It is wearing the
attractive livery used for buses on some of these routes, and in 2002
was a regular on the 79 from Keswick to Seatoller via Borrowdale.
seen in Keswick on 15th June 2002 is Ribble 113, a 1997 Plaxton
Premiere bodied Volvo B10M-62. It is loading for it's return journey to
Preston and Chorley on summer service X8. It can be difficult getting
shots here without parts of other buses in the background, as
witnessed here with the front of a Wright Brothers coach in the shot.
And here it is. Wright
Brothers CIW290, on summer service 888 to Newcastle via Penrith
and Alston. My knowledge of coach bodywork is rather poor, and I am not
sure what this Volvo is wearing. Can anyone enlighten me.
Summer route 517 runs from Glenridding to Bowness via the Kirkstone
Pass. The times I have ridden it the vehicle has been a Mercedes
minibus, but on 4th August 2002 Volvo B6 270 was on duty. It carries
the green livery and route branding for route 505 (Ambleside-Coniston)
and is seen at the Glenridding end of the route, before the stop was
moved off the main road last year.
A bit of cheating here.
Wright Brothers V3WBC is seen at Haltwhistle, in Northumberland, but it
fits into this section nicely. It is laying over between journeys on
route 681 to Halton Lea Gate, the remnants of the rail replacement
service when the Haltwhistle to Alston Railway closed in the 1970s.
On the wet afternoon of 18th August 2002 is seen Cumberland 796,
another of the route-branded Volvo B10M-62s, at Keswick.
On the same day at Keswick is Cumberland Olympian/Alexanders 2285
(now 16340), with route branding for routes 555/6, the lengthy
Lancaster to Keswick service (with connections to Carlisle). The need
for double deckers is clear on summer weekends. One Sunday in August
2002 I was one of over 60 passengers on one of these buses when it left
Keswick! This one started life with Stagecoach Manchester before
to Ribble and becoming a Cumberland vehicle when the Lancaster depot
Another bus seen on that day was Arriva Yorkshire
409, seen here loading for the lengthy return journey to Wakefield. It
took me by surprise. I knew Arriva ran long distance routes into the
Yorkshire Dales, but I was unaware that one penetrated as far as
Keswick via the Lakes. 409 is an Alexander Strider bodied Volvo B10B-58
of 1994 vintage.
of the finest routes in Cumbria is the 77/77A Honister
Rambler circular from Keswick via Borrowdale, Honister, Buttermere and
Whinlatter (or vice versa). I am not a lover of minibuses, but I am
grateful for them on this route, as nothing bigger would be able to
some of the roads. Two Alexander bodied Mercedes 709Ds have been given
this livery for the service, numbers 77 (appropriately) and 78 (now
and 40041) are pictured at Keswick on 23rd August 2002.
In 2002 the Sunday service on route 108 (Penrith to Patterdale) was
operated by Carlisle depot, with the first outward and last return
journeys extended from/to Carlisle via the M6. Usual fare was a Volvo
B6, such as 318 (now 30458) seen loading at the Patterdale terminus on
August 2002. Were these buses designed by people with very short legs?
am only 5ft 7ins and find insufficient legroom on most of the B6s.
After a day's fellwalking I would like to stretch out a bit!
My first walk over the fells to Langdale was on 21st September
2002. The bus awaiting me at the Old Dungeon Ghyll terminus of route
516 was 645, a 1983 Leyland Tiger with Alexander bodywork, a pleasant
surprise, as I was expecting a B6 or a minibus. The journey home
bus took over three hours on 5 buses, but after a great day's walking
a couple of pints of Old Rosie cloudy scrumpy (7.2% ABV) I didn't
First foray of 2003 was 15th March, and includeed a journey to
Seatoller on ex Stagecoach Manchester Volvo B6 30460, finding useful
employment before the Hadrian's Wall service recommenced at Easter.
The other end of my walk was Dungeon Ghyll again. This time 25800,
a 1984 Duple Dominant bus bodied Leyland Tiger was my steed. It is not
a great picture due to the position the bus parked and the low
afternoon sun, but as I have not seen the bus since I have
included it, with Pike O'Blisco (a peak I have not climbed yet) forming
At Ambleside on the same day was Cumberland 59026, a 21 year old
Leyland Tiger with Duple Dominant bodywork, formerly 626 and before
that Merseybus 7012. It was operating the 505 Coniston service. In
following weeks it carried me from Dungeon Ghyll to Ambleside several
times. Plenty of legroom!
19th April saw me at Dungeon Ghyll again and about to board Volvo
B6 30282 dating form 1993 and carrying livery and branding for the
At Keswick on 26th April was
Ribble 52409, formerly 109, a
1997 Plaxton Premiere bodied Volvo B10M-62 about to depart for Preston
On 26th April
the Keswick to Newcastle service was in the hands of Wrights A431ESO,
which looks like a Leyland Tiger to me, but again
I am not certain.
Journeys via Patterdale in 2003 were limited by the Carlisle
journeys being discontinued and connections at Penrith being rather
tight. On 22nd June my expectation that a B6 would be my steed was
by the appearance at Patterdale of Volvo B10M 20726. Clearly my belief
that B6s were used because of the twisting and narrow roads was wrong.
During the summer (actually from Easter in 2003) a twenty minute
frequency open top service operates from Bowness to Grasmerre via
Windermere and Ambleside. Seen at Grasmere on 20th July 2003 was
Leyland Titan 11110, which arrived at Cumberland from Bluebird, having
originally been Stagecoach London T1110.
Not only does the Patterdale service see Volvo B10Ms, but double
deckers as well, although the only chance I have had to capture one on
camera was Leyland Olympian 14232, seen at Glenridding on 9th August
2003. As is probably expected, I went straight upstairs to the front
seat! Splendidly scenic, although I displayed a tendency to duck
whenever tree branches came near.
The furthest south I have been so far is Kendal, for a football
match on 1st November 2003. At Kendal Bus Station is seen 20699, which
was formerly 699, numerically the first of Cumberland's Volvo B10M-55s.
It is seen loading for the hourly service from Kendal to Barrow.
First outing in 2004 was on 5th February and took me to Cockermouth
on MAN 18.220 22812, rather a change from it's expected haunts in
Carlisle. It has a good turn of speed, as well.
of the reasons for going to Cockermouth was to see some
of the independent operators serving the town. Chief amongst these,
with two rural routes and a share of a third, is Reays. In a space of
10 minutes three Reays buses arrived, all being Mercedes 0814s, and
consecutively. I have photos of all three in the same position. The one
here is Y785YHH, the last of the three, awaiting departure time on the
route to Cleator Moor. It left with no passengers.
One of the
Cockermouth town routes and the Buttermere service are operated by Ken
Routledge Travel. On 5th February these were being operated by new
Mercedes 413, MX53PUH, not exactly a bus, perhaps, but very smart and
presumably adequate for the loadings on the routes.
Despite the 2004 Darts for Carlisle being route branded for City
services 67 & 68, as seen here, at weekends they stray
considerably. On 28th
May 2004 bus 34476 (seen at the top of the Carlisle
page wearing fleetnumber 34477!) is seen in Keswick on service 555 to
Carlisle. This journey left Keswick 10 minutes late and arrived in
Carlisle over 5 minutes early, a testament to the speed and
acceleration of the bus and the recklessness of the driver.
Seen in Kendal on 26th June 2004 is Cumberland 20711. Not a great
shot, but included as this bus has recently acquired 3+2 seating for
use on school journeys, the central gangway now being very narrow. It
is returning to Kendal Depot after an afternoon school journey.
Also seen in Kendal returning from a school run is long wheelbase
Leyland Olympian 14253, originally 1013 in the Cumberland fleet.
an operator which runs a network of village services
into Penrith and Carlisle. Seen on 22nd January 2005, rather hemmed in
cars and another bus (out of shot) in the car park adjacent to Penrith
Station is a recently recruited Optare Alero.
Coaches operates the town service in Penrith. Seen operating in this
route on 22nd January is Optare Solo V4JPT, with the correct route
number but an unconventional destination display! From the registration
guess that this bus started out with Manchester area operator JP Travel.
Route 133 is a Saturdays
only service linking Carlisle and Penrith
via many small villages, and usually merits nothing more than a
Seen arriving in Penrith on 22nd January is Stagecoach Western 40192,
in to Carlisle following the flooding of 8th January. The bus behind,
Greater Manchester (and then Stagecoach Manchester) Olympian 13297,
to elude my camera all day!
last amended 14th January 2009. All comments,
opinions and spelling mistakes by Caroline Mathews.
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