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July 2004
A bit of bother in Basingstoke
And Reading too
Nestling in northern Hampshire, the London overspill new town of Basingstoke seems an unlikely place for competitive bus practices.   Yet this is the place where local operator Countywide has challenged the might of Stagecoach Hampshire on a local service to Popley.   They claim to offer a service to the rail station (above) rather than only to the bus station (right).   The response by Stagecoach has been to introduce a new service from Fleet to neighbouring Reading (below left) which runs a few minutes in front of the Hampshire County Council funded service operated by Countywide (below right).   A storm in a teacup or a ripple in a tumbler ?   Only time will tell. sth-p300ayj-basingstoke-bus-station-mar04.JPG (65638 bytes)
stagecoach-34060-s460bwc-reading-mar04.JPG (51162 bytes) countrywide-61-rx53lfh-reading-mar04.JPG (30873 bytes)
stagecoach-581-j701yrm-reading-jul94.JPG (70379 bytes) tillingbourne-fod943y-reading-jul94.JPG (43807 bytes) Although Reading is bounded by Stagecoach on three sides, remarkably they have almost never operated in the town, apart from a Sunday tender to Basingstoke in the mid 1990's (far left).   Countywide were awarded the route to Aldershot after Tillingbourne (left) ceased trading a couple of years ago.
Bother in Basingstoke
All photos taken in March 2004.   Click to enlarge.
Photo Facts (top to bottom)
Stagecoach Hampshire 33037 (P457PYJ), a former Hong Kong Dart and Countywide M71AKA at Basingstoke Rail Station.
No - it's not down town in some American city - it's Basingstoke's new bus station, featuring 33030 (P300AYJ), a former Hong Kong Plaxton bodied Dart, on a route to Popley.
Stagecoach Hampshire 34060 (S460BWC), an Alexander bodied Dart,  at Reading station on the (72A) to Fleet.
Countywide 61 (RX53LFH), an East Lancs bodied MAN, at Reading station on the (72) to Aldershot via Fleet.
Stagecoach Hampshire Bus 581 (J701YRM) at Reading station on the (153) to Basingstoke one Sunday in July 1994.
Tillingbourne FOD943Y, a Wadham Stringer bodied Dennis, at Reading station heading for Aldershot in July 1994.
Basingstoke is officially a crap town
A new shopping centre called Festival Place recently opened in Basingstoke (the Cumernauld of the south).   However this does still not prevent the smell of swimming pool permeating throughout the town.
Stagecoach Hampshire Bus
Public Transport in Basingstoke
Information for this article from Coach and Bus Week issue March 18 2004
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