Boost in passenger numbers means that open – tops will run this summer

BOURNEMOUTH’S famous open-top buses will hit the road again this summer.

Twelve months ago Transdev Yellow Buses (TYB) issued a ‘Use it or lose it’ message with fears that 2006 could mark the last appearance of the historic coastal service.

Poor passengers numbers coupled with heavy losses had put the running of the number 12 service under threat.

Now, following what TYB is describing as “very encouraging” passenger figures in 2006, the company is to operate the open-tops again this summer.

It has also taken on board comments from passengers and will return the service to its traditional route linking Christchurch and Sandbanks. Last year the service linked Bournemouth railway station and Sandbanks, leaving out Hengistbury Head and Christchurch.

Derek Lott, TYB’s Managing Director, said: “Last year we ran a big marketing campaign to make as many people aware of the open-tops as possible – and it worked.

“The service is still under review and the ‘Use it or lose it’ message still applies, However, as we said last year, nothing would give us greater pleasure than to run this historic service for many years to come…but only if there are the passengers to justify it.”

This year’s ‘12’ open-top service begins on July 22 and runs through until September 2.

It will operate every 90 minutes, seven days a week, with the first journey from Christchurch at 0905 (0925 from Alum Chine) and the last one leaving at 1805.

The route from Christchurch to Sandbanks includes Hengistbury Head, Boscombe Pier, Gervis Place, Bournemouth Pier, Durley Chine, Alum Chine, Branksome Chine and Compton Acres.

As an extra bonus this year, the open-tops will also be running at selected times on the ‘1b’ and ‘1c’ linking Christchurch and Poole in the run-up to July 22