Open Top Bus Services

Flange Squeal

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17 Jul 2012
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674
I've been trying to compile a list of current open top bus operations in the UK, and this is what I've come up with so far. If anyone can spot an omissions then they'd be gratefully received!

Bournemouth
Bath
Belfast
Bridlington
Brighton
Bristol
Bute
Cambridge
Cardiff
Chester
Clacton-on-Sea
Cornwall (routes serving multiple locations)
Derry/Londonderry
Devon (routes serving multiple locations)
Dorset
Eastbourne
Edinburgh
Exeter
Exmoor National Park
Falmouth
Glasgow
Great Yarmouth
Hastings
Hull
Inverness
Isle of Wight
Lake District (routes serving multiple locations)
Lincoln
Liverpool
Llandudno
Llangollen
London
Manchester
New Forest
Newcastle
Norwich
Oxford
Plymouth
Porthcawl
Portsmouth
Scarborough
Skegness
Southend
Stratford-upon-Avon
Swansea
Thanet
Weston-super-Mare
Weymouth
  • See ‘Dorset’
Whitby
Windsor & Eton
York
 
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R

RailUK Forums

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Plymouth Citybus have some E400s branded as ‘Ocean City Sights’ for use on route 25 to The Hoe.

morebus normally use their Optare Visionaries on routes 60 and 70 in Poole during the summer, although closed tops can be found alongside them.

Although not currently in operation, Stagecoach were running an open top on seasonal Route 66 in Hastings. It was running earlier this year though has had issues with the branded Trident and staffing.


Thanks for putting this list together, good to see lots of new services this year
 

markymark2000

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Very good list. Certainly something that I have been looking for for a while.
The only missing one which comes to mind is that Manchester currently also has the Diamond bus 470 from Bolton to Ramsbottom.
 

REVUpminster

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Paignton
The 122 Paignton used to be from the Zoo but now starts from Hoburne Devon Bay holiday park. It does try to follow the coast as much as it can.
 

Eyersey468

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There is an open top bus running round Hull this year run by Jorvik.
 

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TR673

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Nottingham
Lincoln has a City Tour run by Stagecoach with a dedicated open top Gemini. The service only resumed a few weeks ago after its 2020 absence.
 

Flange Squeal

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17 Jul 2012
Messages
674
Thanks for the additions all.

I shall add them to the list.

Plymouth Citybus have some E400s branded as ‘Ocean City Sights’ for use on route 25 to The Hoe.

morebus normally use their Optare Visionaries on routes 60 and 70 in Poole during the summer, although closed tops can be found alongside them.

Although not currently in operation, Stagecoach were running an open top on seasonal Route 66 in Hastings. It was running earlier this year though has had issues with the branded Trident and staffing.
I'd looked for the Ocean City Sights service but their website doesn't make much mention of it at all (the dedicated website/links I found are all dead). In fact it was only looking at the PDF timetable after reading your post that I found any mention of open tops, so thanks! All the evidence suggested it was gone this year. I'd excluded the morebus 60/70, as to my knowledge, its not all journeys and the timetables don't specify which are/might be? As for Hastings, yes that was excluded for the reason of hearing it had been decided not to run for the remainder of this year after it's short start. It's a shame, as from what I remember it's quite a boldly decorated vehicle.

Very good list. Certainly something that I have been looking for for a while.
The only missing one which comes to mind is that Manchester currently also has the Diamond bus 470 from Bolton to Ramsbottom.
Wasn't aware of this one - thanks for bringing it to my attention!

There is an open top bus running round Hull this year run by Jorvik.
Thanks! Do you know if they have any online presence, can't find much about it?

Lincoln has a City Tour run by Stagecoach with a dedicated open top Gemini. The service only resumed a few weeks ago after its 2020 absence.
Many thanks, was totally unaware of this one. Hadn't seen anything on the Stagecoach site, but following your post I found a website with information.
 
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arbeia

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16 Sep 2019
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South Shields
Odd one on Busways E Routes from Sunderland-South Shields. Have also been used recently on Sunderland Busways service 19 to Seaburn.
 

Eyersey468

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14 Sep 2018
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@Flange Squeal They don't seem to advertise the service very well at all but I will have a look to see if I can find an online presence.

Edit: all I can find at the moment is this listing at Companies House, I will try and find a timetable for you
 

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neilmc

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The three Lake District Stagecoach services are all normal passenger services not "tourist buses" whatever that might mean, so ENCTS passes are valid unlike on many of the other offerings in the list.

However they do not always produce open top buses and the 508 summer service all the way to Windermere is not designated at such, just the Patterdale short workings..
 

Flange Squeal

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674
The three Lake District Stagecoach services are all normal passenger services not "tourist buses" whatever that might mean, so ENCTS passes are valid unlike on many of the other offerings in the list.

However they do not always produce open top buses and the 508 summer service all the way to Windermere is not designated at such, just the Patterdale short workings..
There are a number of similar scenarios, such as First Wessex's routes around Weymouth. The list is just intended as a guide to show where any open toppers run in service (with links to the relevant websites for more info) and therefore doesn't just focus on "tourist buses", hence I've listed the 508 as being the Penrith end only. Stagecoach's timetable on the website helpfully highlights which journeys are the open toppers, similar to First's Exmoor Coaster and Jurassic Coaster services.
 

route101

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The three Lake District Stagecoach services are all normal passenger services not "tourist buses" whatever that might mean, so ENCTS passes are valid unlike on many of the other offerings in the list.

However they do not always produce open top buses and the 508 summer service all the way to Windermere is not designated at such, just the Patterdale short workings..
Does the 508 to Windermere ever get an open topper on the full route? Or is it due to the pass?
 

Andyh82

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Regarding the list shown above for London

Some of the ones shown for the ridiculously named Tootbus are actually just different tickets rather than different services

London Discovery and London Express look to be the same service just the Express is one trip and the Discovery is the traditional hop on hop off all day ticket.

Also have Stagecoach now abandoned MegaSightseeing? Are the E400s now on the Julia service?
 

MotCO

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Also have Stagecoach now abandoned MegaSightseeing? Are the E400s now on the Julia service?

I believe so. I think they use the first E400s Stagecoach used in London, on route 61 in Bromley, suitably beheaded.
 

Flange Squeal

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17 Jul 2012
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674
Regarding the list shown above for London

Some of the ones shown for the ridiculously named Tootbus are actually just different tickets rather than different services

London Discovery and London Express look to be the same service just the Express is one trip and the Discovery is the traditional hop on hop off all day ticket.

Also have Stagecoach now abandoned MegaSightseeing? Are the E400s now on the Julia service?
Tootbus: Upon closer inspection, yes Express is a two hour validity from first validation product.

Megasightseeing: Yes, this operation has been wound up and they now instead operate the City Sightseeing franchise in collaboration with Julia. I believe Julia were the people behind the earlier ‘London City Tour’ operation a few years back.
 

Andyh82

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How did Stagecoach/Julia end up with the City Sightseeing franchise, as The Original Tour used to have it (although chose not to use it front and centre), did they allow it to lapse or get outbid?

Seems a mistake if they allowed it to lapse as it’s a brand people know and look for when visiting a new city.
 
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geoffk

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4 Aug 2010
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Are there still open top buses on the Antrim coast? In 2009 I rode from Giant's Causeway to Portrush via Bushmills on an open-top service - it was raining but luckily the front part of the upper deck was covered, so not 100% open-top.
 
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83G/84D

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The four Stagecoach North East Trident/ ALX 400's that were used on a North Shields - Whitley Bay open top service a few years ago seem to be operating south of the river at Sunderland.

Although I can find no publicity advertising a specific open top service it would appear that these work on the E1, E2 & E6 services between Sunderland and South Shields and service 19 Sunderland - Seaburn during the day.

The buses are in "Seasider" colours and I last saw them in operation in the summer of 2019 as mentioned in the first paragraph.
 

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