Rural routes beyond home town boundaries

One of Walsall’s Willowbrook-bodied Bedford SBOs, 296 (XDH 296), in September 1962.

Title: Country Roads Some Municipal Rural Bus Services

Author: Michael Yelton

Publisher: The Omnibus Society

ISBN: 978-1-909091-31-3

Specification: 210mm x 145mm, 96pp, softback

Price: £11.95

When we think of municipal operators, our minds turn usually to fairly intensive services in towns and cities, but as this product of Michael Yelton’s research on behalf of the Omnibus Society’s Provincial Historical Research Group shows, a few also ran buses into the surrounding countryside to provide facilities that benefited the residents of small villages and hamlets.

Some of these were established early in the undertakings’ existence, while others came through the acquisition of independent operators’ businesses or as part of agreements with their big group neighbours in reciprocal arrangements that gave the large companies a share of the town or city network.

Yelton, already recognised as an authority on the smaller municipal fleets of south Wales, has examined the circumstances that caused a dozen undertakings in England and Wales to venture into the countryside, often serving communities and open fields beyond where their own ratepayers lived.

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