Isle of Wight Buses
The Isle of Wight is one of England’s smallest counties and is situated off the Hampshire coast in southern England. The main bus operator is Southern Vectis, which was a National Bus Company throughout the 1970s into the mid-1980s and is now owned by the GoAhead group as part of their Go-Southcoast company.
The orange-coloured coaches of Fountain Coaches of Cowes, a subsidiary of Southern Vectis, offered the famous ‘Round the Island Tour’, as did their parent company into the early 1990s. Southern Vectis have operated route 42 between Yarmouth and The Needles Battery for many years using open-top buses climbing the steep, narrow, winding road to The Needles, with breathtaking views! Seaview Services operated a bus service between Sea View and Ryde for many years, as well as offering coach tours around the island.
Other well-known coach operators have included Moss Motors of Sandown and their subsidiary Paul’s Coaches of Ryde, as well as, of course, West Wight Motors of Freshwater. All these firms operated tours to such places on the island as Alum Bay, Blackgang Chine, Ventnor, and Yarmouth.
Utilising his wonderful collection of photographs, Andrew Mead offers a fascinating pictorial history of buses on the Isle of Wight.