||In common with many other industries the public transport sector has experienced
an ebb and flow of mergers, reorganizations, even State ownership followed by
privatisation or deregulation as the politicians preferred to call it.
||The Bracknell Beeline operation is not only the geographical successor to Thames
Valley Traction. Until dissolved by cold hearted accountants after the CentreWest
take over of The Berks Bucks Bus Co. Thames Valley Traction Co. Ltd was still a
registered company at Beeline's Coldborough House Bracknell HQ..
BET company Aldershot & District were able to standardise on AEC Reliance for their 1950's single decker
Tilling company Thames Valley were tied to Bristol chassis with ECW bodies
||Several events will be mentioned in Busworld text to explain or illustrate various
points, but it may help overall understanding of Beeline company history to list the
main points in chronological order. In some cases history can be seen repeating itself.
Many names remain strong in the bus industry, some have passed into history - almost legend,
a few were with us so briefly that almost no-one knows them.
- Thames Valley Traction Co. Ltd. Registered 12th May 1897
- Aldershot & District Traction Co. Ltd. Registered 24th July 1912
- 20th April 1922 to 31st December 1928 Thames Valley operated routes from Uxbridge on behalf
of London General Omnibus Co.
- 10th June 1933 Thames Valley surrendered two Leyland Titan buses and operating rights over the
Staines to Windsor road to London General Country Services
- National Bus Company formed 1st January 1969 as State owned
umbrella to control all bus companies
- 1st January 1972 Thames Valley Traction Co. Ltd. and Aldershot &
District Traction Co. Ltd. merge to form Thames Valley & Aldershot
Bus Co Ltd. (Alder Valley)
- 16th May 1982 Alder Valley start joint coach operations with Green
- January 1986 Berks Bucks Bus Co. T/A Beeline formed to take over
northern half of Alder Valley, basically the old Thames Valley Traction
Co., as part of break-up of National Bus Company
- Meanwhile a company that was to steer Beeline through the next chapter of its history
was developing from humble beginings echoing those of the founders of the bus industry.
- 1976 Len Wright Travel founded mainly on contracts to transport musicians.
Mr Len Wright himself owned 49% of the shares and the controling 51% block changed hands
between coach firms and investors outside the transport industry
- 1985 Len Wright Travel is one of the first independants to win a tender for a London Transport route.
London Buslines set up to run route 81. Other routes follow
- 1987 Q Drive becomes the holding company to modernise the London Buslines fleet
and expand the business by aquiring other companies.
- Late 1987 Q Drive buy Beeline from National Bus Company
- November 1988 Aldershot & District still trading as Alder Valley bought by Q Drive
- October 1990 Beeline's Wycombe depot aquired by City of Oxford
and Alder Valley's Guildford, Woking and Cranleigh routes bought by
Drawlane Transport to be combined with London Country's
Guildford services to become Guildford & West Surrey
- By 1992 Beeline routes in Reading and Newbury had returned to
public ownership under Reading Buses
- October 1992 Stagecoach buy most of the remaining Alder Valley to create Stagecoach
Hants & Surrey. Q Drive retain Londonlink commuter services, moving base to Bracknell.
- 1993 Q Drive buy Slough Bus from Luton & District and integrate it
into The Berks Bucks Bus Co. by closing Beeline's Maidenhead depot
and combining the separate route networks around Slough and Windsor
- 20th March 1996 CentreWest buy Beeline, Railair Link, Londonlink and
London Buslines from Q Drive.
- 1997 CentreWest taken over by (f)Firstbus.
||As for the future ? There are plans to to close Slough and distribute its vehicles and
routes between Bracknell and the former London Transport garage at Uxbridge
owned by CentreWest reviving the 1920s link between Thames Valley and London
Transport services in Uxbridge. Busworld hopes to be there to monitor events.