Hants & Dorset: A National Bus Company
- Michael Hitchen
15th November 2022
As part of the National Bus Company, Hants & Dorset Motor Service once served a large diverse area, stretching from the remote chalk uplands of North Hampshire, across Salisbury Plain through rural East Dorset to the coastal resorts of Swanage, Poole and Bournemouth, and the heavily populated areas of Southampton and Winchester. Its Poppy Red buses were a common sight on the roads of central southern England through the 1970s and early 1980s.
In 1972 with the introduction of its corporate image, the National Bus Company merged the Hants & Dorset and Wilts & Dorset fleets. This created one identity, with the Hants & Dorset name retained along with the red livery from Wilts & Dorset. It was the one of the most interesting NBC fleets, with vehicles in their former liveries, numerous non-standard coaches, associations with Gosport & Fareham (Provincial) and variety from the former King Alfred Motor Services of Winchester. An early division of an NBC company, 1983 saw the company separated into four operating units – Hampshire Bus, Wilts & Dorset, Provincial and Shamrock and Rambler.