Cumbrian Buses

Cumberland 11110

Actually the page should be called Northern Cumbrian buses, or Mostly Stagecoach, as I have been to Kendal twice, and have never been further south than Ambleside on photography forays. Most of the photos have been taken during my regular fell-walking expeditions, which have been facilitated by a very good network of buses in the Lake District, almost all being Stagecoach operated. It also explains the dominance of several places on this page. If only the service in the eastern part of the county was as good, and the walking was as exhilarating! Some day I might get to Barrow, although I wish I had been when the blue corporation buses still existed. Enough waffle. Usual page layout applies, this time in date order. Click on the thumbnail to get the large image, approx 800x600 pixels and feel free to use any image, but let me know and give me a credit. Top of the page is Cumberland Leyland Titan 11110 at Grasmere.

Cumberland 2227 March 2002 found me in Workington. Ex Ribble Volvo Olympian/ NCME 2227 (now 16627) is seen in the splendid old Workington Bus Station. It is a shame that the similar one in Whitehaven has closed, although it was on a very constricted site.

Cumberland 798 In the same place on the same day is Cumberland 798 (now 52628), one of four 1998 Jonckheere Modulo bodied Volvo B10M-62s in a special livery for routes X4/5 (Workington-Keswick-Penrith).

Cumberland 2145 Seen approaching Keswick Bus Station on 15th June 2002 is Cumberland 2145, a 1984 ex Ribble ECW bodied Olympian converted to open-top for the scenic routes in the Lake District. It is wearing the attractive livery used for buses on some of these routes, and in 2002 was a regular on the 79 from Keswick to Seatoller via Borrowdale.

Ribble 113 Also seen in Keswick on 15th June 2002 is Ribble 113, a 1997 Plaxton Premiere bodied Volvo B10M-62. It is loading for it's return journey to Preston and Chorley on summer service X8. It can be difficult getting shots here without parts of other buses in the background, as witnessed here with the front of a Wright Brothers coach in the shot.

Wrights_CIW290 And here it is. Wright Brothers CIW290, on  summer service 888 to Newcastle via Penrith and Alston. My knowledge of coach bodywork is rather poor, and I am not sure what this Volvo is wearing. Can anyone enlighten me.

Cumberland 270 Summer route 517 runs from Glenridding to Bowness via the Kirkstone Pass. The times I have ridden it the vehicle has been a Mercedes minibus, but on 4th August 2002 Volvo B6 270 was on duty. It carries the green livery and route branding for route 505 (Ambleside-Coniston) and is seen at the Glenridding end of the route, before the stop was moved off the main road last year.

Wrights_V3WBC A bit of cheating here. Wright Brothers V3WBC is seen at Haltwhistle, in Northumberland, but it fits into this section nicely. It is laying over between journeys on route 681 to Halton Lea Gate, the remnants of the rail replacement service when the Haltwhistle to Alston Railway closed in the 1970s.

Cumberland 796 On the wet afternoon of 18th August 2002 is seen Cumberland 796, another of the route-branded Volvo B10M-62s, at Keswick.

Cumberland 2285 On the same day at Keswick is Cumberland Olympian/Alexanders 2285 (now 16340), with route branding for routes 555/6, the lengthy Lancaster to Keswick service (with connections to Carlisle). The need for double deckers is clear on summer weekends. One Sunday in August 2002 I was one of over 60 passengers on one of these buses when it left Keswick! This one started life with Stagecoach Manchester before transferring to Ribble and becoming a Cumberland vehicle when the Lancaster depot changed hands.

Arriva Yorkshire 409 Another bus seen on that day was Arriva Yorkshire 409, seen here loading for the lengthy return journey to Wakefield. It took me by surprise. I knew Arriva ran long distance routes into the Yorkshire Dales, but I was unaware that one penetrated as far as Keswick via the Lakes. 409 is an Alexander Strider bodied Volvo B10B-58 of 1994 vintage.

Cumberland 77 One of the finest routes in Cumbria is the 77/77A Honister Rambler circular from Keswick via Borrowdale, Honister, Buttermere and Whinlatter (or vice versa). I am not a lover of minibuses, but I am grateful for them on this route, as nothing bigger would be able to traverse some of the roads. Two Alexander bodied Mercedes 709Ds have been given this livery for the service, numbers 77 (appropriately) and 78 (now 40040 and 40041) are pictured at Keswick on 23rd August 2002.

Cumberland 318 In 2002 the Sunday service on route 108 (Penrith to Patterdale) was operated by Carlisle depot, with the first outward and last return journeys extended from/to Carlisle via the M6. Usual fare was a Volvo B6, such as 318 (now 30458) seen loading at the Patterdale terminus on 25th August 2002. Were these buses designed by people with very short legs? I am only 5ft 7ins and find insufficient legroom on most of the B6s. After a day's fellwalking I would like to stretch out a bit!

Cumberland 645 My first walk over the fells to Langdale was on 21st September 2002. The bus awaiting me at the Old Dungeon Ghyll terminus of route 516 was 645, a 1983 Leyland Tiger with Alexander bodywork, a pleasant surprise, as I was expecting a B6 or a minibus. The journey home  by bus took over three hours on 5 buses, but after a great day's walking and a couple of pints of Old Rosie cloudy scrumpy (7.2% ABV) I didn't really care!

Cumberland 30460 First foray of 2003 was 15th March, and includeed a journey to Seatoller on ex Stagecoach Manchester Volvo B6 30460, finding useful employment before the Hadrian's Wall service recommenced at Easter.

Cumberland 25800 The other end of my walk was Dungeon Ghyll again. This time 25800, a 1984 Duple Dominant bus bodied Leyland Tiger was my steed. It is not a great picture due to the position the bus parked and the low  afternoon sun, but as I have not seen the bus since I have included it, with Pike O'Stickle forming the backdrop.

Cumberland 59026 At Ambleside on the same day was Cumberland 59026, a 21 year old Leyland Tiger with Duple Dominant bodywork, formerly 626 and before that Merseybus 7012. It was operating the 505 Coniston service. In following weeks it carried me from Dungeon Ghyll to Ambleside several times. Plenty of legroom!

Cumberland 30282 19th April saw me at Dungeon Ghyll again and about to board Volvo B6 30282 dating form 1993 and carrying livery and branding for the route.

Ribble 52409 At Keswick on 26th April was Ribble 52409, formerly 109, a 1997 Plaxton Premiere bodied Volvo B10M-62 about to depart for Preston and Chorley.

Wrights A431ESO On 26th April the Keswick to Newcastle service was in the hands of Wrights A431ESO, which looks like a Leyland Tiger to me, but again I am not certain.

Cumberland 20726 Journeys via Patterdale in 1993 were limited by the Carlisle journeys being discontinued and connections at Penrith being rather tight. On 22nd June my expectation that a B6 would be my steed was shattered by the appearance at Patterdale of Volvo B10M 20726. Clearly my belief that B6s were used because of the twisting and narrow roads was wrong.  

Cumberland 11110 During the summer (actually from Easter in 2003) a twenty minute frequency open top service operates from Bowness to Grasmerre via Windermere and Ambleside. Seen at Grasmere on 20th July 2003 was Leyland Titan 11110, which arrived at Cumberland from Bluebird, having originally been Stagecoach London T1110.

Cumberland 14232 Not only does the Patterdale service see Volvo B10Ms, but double deckers as well, although the only chance I have had to capture one on camera was Leyland Olympian 14232, seen at Glenridding on 9th August 2003. As is probably expected, I went straight upstairs to the front seat! Splendidly scenic, although I displayed a tendency to duck whenever tree branches came near.

Cumberland 20699 The furthest south I have been so far is Kendal, for a football match on 1st November 2003. At Kendal Bus Station is seen 20699, which was formerly 699, numerically the first of Cumberland's Volvo B10M-55s. It is seen loading for the hourly service from Kendal to Barrow.

Cumberland 22812 First outing this year in Cumbria was on 5th February and took me to Cockermouth on MAN 18.220 22812, rather a change from it's expected haunts in Carlisle. It has a good turn of speed, as well.

Reays 785 One of the reasons for going to Cockermouth was to see some of the independent operators serving the town. Chief amongst these, with two rural routes and a share of a third, is Reays. In a space of less than 10 minutes three Reays buses arrived, all being Mercedes 0814s, and registered consecutively. I have photos of all three in the same position. The one here is Y785YHH, the last of the three, awaiting dparture time on the 217 route to Cleator Moor. It left with no passengers. 

Routledge_MX53PUH One of the Cockermouth town routes and the Buttermere service are operated by Ken Routledge Travel. On 5th February these were being operated by new Mercedes 413, MX53PUH, not exactly a bus, perhaps, but very smart and presumably adequate for the loadings on the routes. 

Cumberland 34476
Despite the new Darts for Carlisle being route branded for City services 67 & 68, as seen here, at weekends they stray considerably. On 28th May 2004 bus 34476 (seen at the top of the Carlisle page wearing fleetnumber 34477!) is seen in Keswick on service 555 to Carlisle. This journey left Keswick 10 minutes late and arrived in Carlisle  over 5 minutes early, a testament to the speed and acceleration of the bus and the recklessness of the driver.

Cumberland 20711 Seen in Kendal on 26th June 2004 is Cumberland 20711. NOt a great shot, but included as this bus has recently acquired 3+2 seating for use on school journeys, the central gangway now being very narrow. It is returning to Kendal Depot after an afternoon school journey.

Cumberland 14253 Also seen in Kendal returning from a school run is long wheelbase Leyland Olympian 14253, originally 1013 in the Cumberland fleet.

Fellrunner YN54WZC Fellrunner is an operator which runs a network of village services into Penrith and Carlisle. Seen on 22nd January 2005, rather hemmed in by cars and another bus (out of shot) in the car park adjacent to Penrith Bus Station is a recently recruited Optare Alero.

NBM_V4JPT NBM Coaches operates the town service in Penrith. Seen operating in this route on 22nd January is Optare Solo V4JPT, with the correct route number but an unconventional destination display! From the registration I would guess that this bus started out with Manchester area operator JP Travel.

Western401922 Route 133 is a Saturdays only service linking Carlisle and Penrith via many small villages, and usually merits nothing more than a minibus. Seen arriving in Penrith on 22nd January is Stagecoach Western 40192, drafted in to Carlisle following the flooding of 8th January. The bus behind, ex Greater Manchester (and then Stagecoach Manchester) Olympian 13297, managed to elude my camera all day!

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last amended 23rd January 2005. All comments, opinions and spelling mistakes by Caroline Mathews.
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