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Cotswold Green
 

Green back on the scene...

Cotswold Green Ltd


Cotswold Green is a Nailsworth-based, lower cost, niche operator, specialising in subsidised local bus services and school transport. The traffic commissioner granted a licence to Cotswold Green Ltd on 5 November 2007 (Guy Fawkes Day!). Later that autumn & winter, buses began appearing in a tasteful and welcome return to a largely green livery—perhaps inspired by Asda delivery trucks, perhaps not.

Cotswold Green recreates, well, green

New to Warrington Borough Council in 1991, this 35 seat Dennis Dart midibus has a surprisingly modern look to it, particularly in green and white

Though applied in a very modern style, the chosen colours were redolent of the erstwhile days when Stroud's buses were largely green. The shade chosen was deliberately akin to the Tilling green used on Stroud's buses from 1950 to 1972. The large, frontal white swathe added a thoroughly contemporary feel.

Ebley Bus

Ebley Coaches' bus and coach business separated in 2004 upon the granting of an operator's licence in the name of Ebley Bus Ltd. This was reported to be because of fears that the bus side of the business appeared to dominate. Ebley Bus Ltd surrendered this licence upon the formation of Cotswold Green.

Ebley Coaches Ltd and Cotswold Green Ltd each have two directors, one of whom appears as a director of both. They also share the same premises near Nailsworth, though since the granting of the Cotswold Green licence, the addresses are nominally different, with Cotswold Green occupying cabins to the right of the garage.

Cotwold Green a common site at Merrywalks

Stagecoach doesn't have it its own way. Cotswold Green is a common site in Merrywalks, here on the 8 to Mason Road, a service now exclusively operated by Cotswold Green (and Ebley Bus before it), from 2006

Ebley Coaches

Ebley Coaches first expanded greatly when a number of school services passed from Stagecoach. 1998 was a milestone when Stagecoach terminated the bulk scholars agreement that hitherto allowed pupils especially from the Downfield Schools to travel on public bus services. Some of the resultant Ebley Coaches contracts involved the collection of fares.


Ebley Lineup

In this 2006 shot, between two good condition Bristol VRs is a Dennis Dart with Carlyle bodywork. Though the Ebley livery was majestic in colour particularly on coaches, it did appear somewhat oppressive when compared to the newer, fresher green and white, above

Ebley also contented itself with a handful of irregular daytime bus services, principally in rural areas, notably to the north & east of Stroud. One of Ebley's first services was nevertheless between Stroud and Standish Hospital. It gradually built up local bus service tendered work such that it operated Stroud-Selsley-Uley-Dursley, combining this with an extended Nailsworth-Minchinhampton, to Dursley in 2003.

Cotswold Green & Ebley

Ebley has moved to a largely white livery, save for a solitary Beulas in primrose

Cotswold Line Up

One of Cotswold Green's most unusual vehicles was F705 BAT (left), a 49 seat dual purpose Scania N112CR from 1988 and ex-Kingston upon Hull City Transport. 705 has since been withdrawn and passed to sister enterprise Ebley Coaches Ltd

Break

Ebley Bus' big break came in January 2004, when it won a number of local bus contracts, most of which augmented services at that time thinned by Stagecoach. This included services to Chalford, Cirencester, Minchinhampton and Mason Road/Uplands.

Upon the complete withdrawal by Stagecoach of services in these areas from August 2005, Cotswold Green became the sole operator.


Cotswold Green on London Road

Former Merseyside Transport London 34-seat L101 HHV is a Dennis Dart with now rare Northern Counties bodywork that typifies the eclectic mix of vehicles at Cotswold Green. And it sort of breaks the rules by using London Road in June 2008: technically, it has one seat too many to do so legally. Capacities on a number of Darts exceed the 33 seat maximum. In any event, the 33-seat limit seems somewhat arbitrary, having no regard for actual vehicle length—and allowing trucks & lorries of any kind through

Cotswold Green's fleet of some 20 vehicles comprises Darts, 709Ds, a solitary Metrorider and, interestingly, two N113CRBs. Ebley Bus Ltd was a staunch operator of the Bristol VR type, withdrawing its remaining examples after last operation of the Summer 2007 school terms, one year after Stagecoach in the Cotswold withdrew its oldest Olympian, also manufactured in Bristol.

The authorised transport manager is Robert Arkell, who once worked as commercial manager for Stagecoach West, held supervisory roles at Stroud and who was operations manager at Ebley Bus Ltd. The name Cotswold Green was a previous trading name of a partnership of Messrs Arkell and Smee, whose operating centre for up to three vehicles was at Moreton Valance.

Sea of Green

A sea of green at the Ebley Coaches/Cotswold Green garage, near Nailsworth


One of the directors of Cotswold Green has a blog! It tells of the issues (and successes) in operating a small bus company! For those interested, you can read about the comings and goings of the fleet!

Meanwhile, Ebley Coaches Ltd continues, now with a largely all-white livery. Reports in early 2009 of its withdrawal from the tours market were premature. As a result, one of its drivers launched Lemon Holidays, though this effectively was stillborn owing to a change of mind at Ebley.


Lemon-fresh vesty plans set by Ebley now look as if they won't take off

There is some uncertainty as to whether Lemon Tours will start short breaks later in 2009

Meanwhile, speculations mounts that Cotswold Green is about to purchase Stroud's first brand new single deck in 30 years.
   

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