Eight years after it started serving south Hampshire, this family owned independent has grown from four vehicles to a licence authorisation for 40 and has ambitions for further modest expansion. As ALAN MILLAR reports, structure, systems and a professional appearance underpin a business that has exploited niche opportunities to avoid treading on the toes of its larger big group neighbours

Xelabus 441 (SN60 CNV), one of a pair of Wright Eclipse 2-bodied Volvo B7RLEs acquired ex-Midland of Auchterarder, turning into Southampton Airport Parkway station on route X4. The X route numbers are part of the company’s branding and do not signify an express service. CHRIS DREW

Let us start by settling how to pronounce the name Xelabus. Definitely not ‘Zelabus’ as in xylophone or Xerxes, but ‘XL-abus’, the third last letter of the alphabet also prefixing the numbers of most of its routes as a form of branding.

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