Facing South: Bus Wars (TVS documentary, 1987)


A 1987 look at competition between bus companies in the South of England features several fleets in detail. Some of the footage is repeated during the programme. The former National Bus Company fleets featured can be seen in transition between the old NBC red or green colours and their own individual styles. Screencaps taken from the YouTube posting by Darran Gange:

Opening shot has a Solent Blue Line Bristol VRTSL2/Eastern Coachworks following a Hants and Dorset VRTSL3:
We see a Solent Blue Line VRTSL weaving through four Southampton Citybus Leyland Atlanteans; the last of these is later revealed in close up as 202 (MCR202P):
More Southampton Atlanteans, and a view at traffic lights of 215 (MCR215R, Atlantean/East Lancs) alongside Dennis Dominator/East Lancs 282 (C282BBP):
Solent Blue Line 30 (XDL380L), formerly Southern Vectis 633.
Another Southampton Atlantean/East Lancs:
A distant Southampton AEC Routemaster, briefly obscured by a Robin Hood bodied Iveco minibus from the same fleet:
Yet another Atlantean, then a good view of Southampton AEC Routemaster 414 (WLT820), new as London Transport RM820, follwed by a Hants and Dorset Bristol VRTSL:
Ganges Coaches (of Cowes) Mercedes NDL600W:
A Southern Vectis Bristol VRTSL3 in the post-deregulation dark green livery:
Two Alexander bodied Leyland Atlanteans of Bournemouth Transport:
Wilts and Dorset 3399 (YEL5T), a Bristol VRTSL3/ECW new to Hants and Dorset:
Badgerline Bristol RELLs jockeying with Bournemouth Leyland Atlanteans:
VW LT Taxibuses B917FDP and A303BET operating in Southend on Sea, the latter among Eastern National Bristol VRTSLs:
A Wilts and Dorset Bristol VRTSL in an allover advertising livery:
Charlies Cars 220 (D220GLJ), a Dormobile bodied Freight Rover Sherpa, followed by a Wilts and Dorset DMS-type Daimler Fleetline new to London Transport.
A Hants and Dorset Bristol LH in Bournemouth:
The programme's reporter himself, oddly in front of the City of Portsmouth garage, featuring Alexander bodied Leyland Atlanteans:
Southampton Leyland Atlanteans in the workshop, including 193 (HTR563P), Leyland Atlantean/East Lancs, but first Leyland Olympian/East Lancs 289 (E289HRV) in the washer.:
Footage of Southampton trams:
A pair of Southampton Corporation Guy Arab IIIs/Park Royal, the leader being 240 (HTR57), new in 1951, then another from 1949, possibly 175 (FTR522):
Southampton street footage includes a Hants and Dorset Leyland National in full National Bus Company red livery:
The cab of a Southampton Atlantean and its ticket machine, with 402 (KOW910F), an AEC Regent V/Neepsend, in the distance:
We're introduced to Solent Blue Line Bristol VRTSL3 157 (LHG457T) in company with two others and on the road. They were new to Ribble and have unusual full height Eastern Coachworks bodies (14 feet 6 high, rather than 13 feet 8 or 13 feet 5), and this is convenient, because the extra height gives somewhere to put the 'Conductor Bus' lettering:

Southampton 414 appears again, this time with 241 (UPO241T, Leyland Atlantean/East Lancs), in allover advertising livery for Dollond and Aitchison Opticians, in the background. The latter is seen better in a later view:
Southampton 246 (UPO246T), Leyland Atlantean/East Lancs, passes AEC Regent V/Neepsend 402 (KOW910F) - 'Southampton's Last Rear Platform Bus' and also the last Neepsend body built, followed by a Solent Blueline Bristol VRT:
A dark blue DMS-type Daimler Fleetline ex London Transport:
Another Southampton Routemaster branded for route 16:
Another VW LT taxibus (A578XKW) jostles with a Southend open top Leyland Atlantean/East Lancs, 372 (WJN372J), and follows an Eastern National Leyland-National. Also seen are another Southend Atlantean and Eastern National Bristol VRTSLs:
Overhead footage of a Hampshire Bus Olympian, VRTSL and LH passing a Southampton Atlantean:
Attention switches back to the Isle of Wight. As mentioned, this was filmed at a time of transition into new ownership, and the side of this Southern Vectis Bristol VRTSL revels an old National Bus Company fleetname with the new company logo:
This bus station view reveals a good selection of the Southern Vectis fleet of the time: Leyland Olympian, Bristol VRTSL, Bristol Lodekka trainer, Ford Transit:
More footage of Ganges NDL600W shows it being overtaken by a Southern Vectis Bristol LHS then following a Southern Vectis VRTSL:
A Duple Dominant coach, a Bristol LH and Bristol VRTSL in heavy traffic are passed by a Ford Transit:
A selection of Bristol VRTSLs in different Southern Vectis liveries, including mark 3 663 (ODL663R)
685 (DPX685W), a VRTSL3
642 (NDL642M), a VRTSL2.
Solent Blue Line 07 (SDL637J), a Bristol VRTSL2 with the older flat windscreen Eastern Coachworks body, new as Southern Vectis 627:
More Southampton Citybus footage and an Atlantean with wrap round advertising, then 221 (PBP221S), Leyland Atlantean/East Lancs, also another parked with a Dennis Dominator:
A Southampton Leyland Olympian coach seen from the front of a Routemaster:
Drawings of a new venture, Red Admiral, established jointly by Badgerline and Southampton in late 1987:
A Southampton Atlantean with an all over advertising livery for for their Wayfarer all day unlimited travel ticket:
Southampton 236 (UPO236T), Atlantean/East Lancs:
Last new view is of Hampshire Bus 3711 (UFX852S), a Leyland-National:

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