The organisers, the Thames Valley and Great Western Omnibus Trust, building on the experience of the past 10 years, have once again introduced new features and attracted new vehicle entrants without reducing the historical accuracy of the services operated.
All services are free throughout the day and there is no limit to the number of journeys you can take.
The buses will enable you to see sights not possible to see from a car as you drive down the Devon lanes with high banks and hedgerows.
Since the first Vintage Bus Running Day in 2008 the event has grown in popularity every year and has become established in the Kingsbridge calendar on the third Saturday in September.
Last year 6,550 passenger journey’s were made on the 41 buses in service on 22 different routes.
This year a record 43 vintage buses are expected so that extra departures are being scheduled in response to the demand experienced last year.
By agreement with the new owners of Burgh Island, a new coach tour to this spectacular location has been developed and tides will be such that passengers on the two morning departures will be able to travel on the famous sea tractor to and from the island.
With a stay of just over an hour, visitors will have time to sample the fare at the Pilchard Inn or walk up to the top of the island for marvellous views over the Avon Estuary and Bigbury Bay.
This will replace the normal tours to Blackpool Sands due to the continued closure of the A379 between Slapton Village turn and Strete.
Following this, 2018 is the 40th anniversary of the formation of the Coleridge Community Bus, a volunteer run service for the area to the east and north of Kingsbridge. By special invitation, the Coleridge Bus will run on two of it’s routes to give local people and visitors the opportunity to experience the service.
One of the routes will be extended right out to Start Point with spectacular views of Start Bay and Slapton Sands.
The event starts at 10:00am and will end approximately at 5:30pm with all of the services leaving from and returning to the bus station on the Quay.
Early morning feeder services will leave Totnes at 8:40, 9:20 and 9:40 enabling residents and visitors from there to travel by vintage bus to enjoy a full day out.
Return services will run during the day and later in the afternoon, the last leaving Kingsbridge at 5:30 for Totnes.
Organiser Colin Billington said: “We are ready to welcome vintage buses from far afield all coming to Kingsbridge at their owners expense for the experience of using them on the original routes on which they would have run. "We are again very grateful for the backing of our principal sponsor, Kingsbridge’s own Tally ho Coaches who are supporting us in many ways behind the scenes. We are also grateful to the other bus companies and local businesses who have advertised in our programme again this year. "All of the roads we are using are former or current bus routes so we would ask other road users to recognise the age and speed of our vehicles and kindly make way for them when they see them coming in the opposite direction. The event is for one day only and gives enormous pleasure to many people.”
Buses and coaches ranging from the 1930’s single deckers and traditional double deckers to a 1990’s minibus, will operate services on routes radiating from the Bus Station to coastal villages on both sides of the Kingsbridge Estuary.
The oldest bus in service is 85 years old.
All vehicles are subjected to rigorous safety checks prior to the event.
Vehicles are provided from the Trust’s collection and by individual owners who have lovingly restored them to their former glory and who are making them available for the event at their own cost.
Some of the routes date back to the earliest days of motor buses where services in the South Hams were started by the Great Western Railway in 1909, both for local travel and as feeders to the branch line from Kingsbridge to the main line at Brent.
Services will revive routes to Salcombe, Bantham, Thurlestone and many more.
A new route for this year will visit the villages of Kingston, Ringmore and Challaborough near Bigbury.
A special feature of this event is the use of small country buses designed to safely negotiate the narrow lanes of the South Hams. From the comfort of a seat on the bus, passengers will be able to enjoy travel and the beautiful scenery at the leisurely pace of days past.