BOURNEMOUTH’S famous open top buses are to bid a sad farewell.
Transdev Yellow Buses (TYB) has announced it will not be running the loss-making ‘12’ service this summer.
The company blames the decision on poor passenger numbers and the need to concentrate on its core services across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.
The open top service traditionally operates during the school summer holidays and, with the exception of 2006 and 2008, followed a coastal route between Christchurch and Sandbanks in Poole.
Three years ago TYB issued a ‘Use it or lose it’ message with fears that 2006 could mark the last appearance of the ’12.’
Since then the company has tried a number of different initiatives including running buses on just the busiest sections and extending the service to include Bournemouth railway station.
Last year TYB appointed Classic Southdown Omnibuses Ltd (CSOL) to run a high frequency service between Bournemouth Pier and Boscombe Pier.
‘Seafront 12’ used four buses painted in traditional Bournemouth Corporation ‘plum and custard’ livery and dating back to the 1980’s.
Jenni Wilkinson, TYB’s Head of Marketing, said: “We have examined, and where possible put into action, every possible initiative to increase passenger numbers but to no avail.
“The fact is that in these tough economic times we cannot afford to continue running a loss-making service carrying so few passengers.
“We recognise that this will cause disappointment but our focus must be on the routes we operate throughout the year for our 12 million passengers.”