They awaited the conclusion of the Bournemouth air show before making the announcement. Yesterday, we learnt (officially) that Yellow Buses will soon “swoop” in on the Bournemouth to Bournemouth (Hurn) airport service. It gave the headline writers an opportunity to “soar”. Said the press release that “winged” its way to Omnibuses’ Air Traffic Control, “Yellows fly high after landing airport bus contract”. Ouch.
Every silver lining has its “cloud”, though. As Yellow Buses enters full “flight”, it means that from mid-November Discover Dorset will no longer operate the service once called 747 and 757 but now, perhaps in deference to its recent past, A1.
Discover Dorset’s “piloted” the contract since September 2007. From what I’ve seen of Discover Dorset, this unexpected and small otherwise minibus operator’s made a very good fist of the operation, seven days a week, 362 days of the year: punctuality of which Mrs Bell would be proud and vehicle presentation that’s always been excellent, certainly when I’ve witnessed it (unless you know differently). As part of the deal, it committed to a brand new Versa, something that at the time was an untried vehicle (though based on the Solo, of course).
No new bus for Yellow Buses, though, at least not straightaway. Instead, it recycles its Jubilee-liveried Enviro 200. The benefit is that we can expect the service to be a little more integrated into the Yellow Buses network.
The Yellow Buses contract started in 1999 to transfer Ryanair Dublin-bound passengers to and from Bournemouth Town Centre, and was for many years operated under the Yellow Coaches brand with a now long-departed Mercedes 614D, as service A1. It returns to Yellow Buses in the autumn, following a six year gap.