THE HISTORY OF

1974 to 1999 25 Years- MetroBus to FirstBus


Part 4- 1991 to 1994
RiderGroup expansion


19 January 1991 Former York City & District operations became York CityRider

31 March 1991 The former Reynard Buses, Navigation Road Garage at York was closed
 
April 1991 Rider Group took over the operations of Reynard Buses Ltd, and a new company Rider York Limited was formed. At first the York City Rider name was adopted for former York City & District vehicles with the other two retaining their own identities & liveries, but gradually all three were replaced by Rider York names & Standard Rider livery. Former Reynard Buses Leyland Leopards, were rebodied this month, by Plaxtons, and a Derwent body similar to recent Volvo B10Ms was provided.

1 June 1991 Today, Sovereign Street Garage closed operationally, along with the associated Otley outstation that was aquired with the West Yorkshire business. However it remained in use for the Leeds Driving School until 14 October. The Garage buildings themselves were demolished on 9 September 1991. The garage became solely a Minibus base when minis were introduced to Leeds in 1986. The closure was brought about by a large reduction in services, especially minibus routes in Leeds. Remaining vehicles passed to Torre Road although many minis then went elsewhere. Otley garage included 6 MCW Metroriders and 3 Atlanteans. Sovereign Street had Freight Rover Sherpas and MCW Metroriders

28 October 1991 After floating on the stock exchange, as to have enough capital to purchase various operators. Rider Holdings bidded for five London bus route tenders. Four were Double Deck routes and one was Single Deck, requiring a total of 65 vehicles and a staff of 160. The routes were in Croydon, Bromley and Thornton Heath and a garage would have been opened in Croydon. Sadly, the bid was unsuccessful and Rider Holdings never tried again.

24 June 1992 The last of the Plaxton Derwent bodied Leyland Leopards that were new to Calderdale District of WYPTE was withdrawn today. The buses were 8527 & 8531 (RWT527R etc). 8534 Still operated out at Todmorden, in Todmorden JOC livery until 1999
Sister vehicle 8528 shows the Leyland Leopard Plaxton Derwent combination that was mostly withdrawn in 1992
 
27 June 1992 Headingley Garage closed today. It was replaced by a new garage at Kirkstall Road. The premises at Kirkstall Road had been the Central Works and it was part of that building that was converted. On closure all Double deck vehicles transferred to Kirkstall Road and single deckers went to Torre Road. The depot comprised Ex West Yorkshire Bristol VRTs, Leyland Tigers, Leyland Atlanteans and Alexander bodied Scania Double deckers
28 June 1992 Pride of the Road's local bus operations in Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield were purchased, bringing more services into the Rider fold. Pride of the Road. However the services continued until 8 August 1992 when they were withdrawn and St John's Garage closed; which was used for a couple of years by the Pride of the Road coach operation and the associated K-Line bus fleet.
A Pride of the Road Leyland National is shown operating local bus services in Leeds

February 1993 Yorkshire Rider started turning its attension on Single deckers and the first of 20 Alexander Strider bodied Volvo B10Bs started being delivered for Yorkshire Rider Huddersfield. A Further 10 were delivered in 1994. All thirty now operate from Halifax

31 March 1993 The last of the former Leeds City Transport Dual doored Roe bodied Leyland Atlanteans were withdrawn today, these were 580/7/9/90 (SUG580M etc), these had been operating since 1974, and were part of the last batch delivered to LCT before the formation of WYPTE and the 6001+ Atlanteans, The Atlanteans had to be withdrawn today or have new safety features added to the centre doors.Shown here is one of the last former LCT Atlanteans 567 SUG567M. Notice the centre door, long windows & Leeds style destination display. It is seen on layover in Leeds Central Bus Station in Yorkshire Rider Leeds livery on the old service 71 between Bradford & Primley Park

April 1993 Further to the Volvo Alexander Striders that has started being delivered. 35 new Scania N113 buses were purchased. They were similar to the 1991 Double Deckers. The order included 8635 K1YRL which arrived in June, and was the prototype bus for the Leeds Guided busway that was branded Superbus abd opened later. The bus was fitted with guide wheels, and was involved in many trials. The 20 buses for the Superbus were delivered in May to July 1994, Those were the same type of bus and they had (along with K1YRL) had a special Blue & Silver livery with Red "Superbus" fleetnames

21 June 1993 Today a new standard of service was launched to improve quality on Yorkshire Rider routes. "Flagship" services were launched in Halifax. Services 548/549 which run from Halifax to Brighouse & Rastrick/Nunnery Lane was the first service and brand new Alexander Strider bodied Scania N113s were used, this standard was later extended across Halifax and later to the other towns.
 
During 1993 Kinsley depot suffered a minor set back when more than half of its schools work was lost to other operators in a new round of tendering. The 428/9 service was aquired, it ran from Oulton to Morley, and included quite a lot of "dead" mileage. But meant the depot could stay open

5 October 1993 Yorkshire Rider aquired the small independent business Quickstep Travel. Quickstep started operating on the 3 February 1992 running three commercially registered services in Leeds, with a fleet of nine ex-Ribble Leyland Nationals. After becoming established extra Nationals from Wilts & Dorset. The fleet established its own identity and was operated as a separate low cost unit, from its depot at Hunslet. The fleet aquired its first new vehicles Ikarus bodied Dafs later in the year.

Shortly after the purchase by Yorkshire Rider many vehicles were transferred to the low cost subsidiary to replace older vehicles, 1366 is shown in The Headrow, Leeds

10 April 1994 Yorkshire Rider aquired the local bus operations of local independent Rhodes Coaches of Yeadon. It was decided to place these operations under control of Quickstep Travel. Buses included in the deal were a East Lancs bodied Volvo B10M & two Plaxton Derwent II bodied Leyland Tigers. Also in this month, due to a reorganisation of former Quickstep, Rhodes & West Yorkshire services, Quickstep gained its first minibuses Robin Hood bodied Ivecos, cascaded from the main Rider fleet

15 April 1994 The company was purchased by Badgerline Group. Buses carried white signs in the back windows quoting "A Badgerline Group Company" and a picture of a stylised badger.
The Badgerline logo is pictured here

End Apr 1994 The last of the Ex Greater Manchester Atlanteans (except 6423) had been withdrawn by now, the fleetlines on the other hand are still operating

June 1994 After the large influx of Single deckers during the past 2 years. 25 Northern Counties Palatine bodied Volvo Olympians were delivered for Halifax and Bradford. The 15 for Halifax were low height whilst the rest were Standard. The Badgerline Group Policy of single deckers prevailed in future years and these were the last Double deckers for over 3 years until 1997. 5301 one of the new buses for Halifax was recived in special Flagship livery, the livery contained the flagship flag on white, this bus was used to promote Flagship services 508, 548/9 and 576 in Halifax area.
5301 was the first of 25 Volvo Olympians with Northern Counties bodies, 5301 is shown in a special livery for operating on Flagship services.

26 July 1994 The last of the MCW Metrobuses MKI bodied by MCW were withdrawn today

August 1994 Five Alexander Strider bodied Scania L113s were delivered for York, they later transferred to the Superbus fleet at Leeds
 
14 August 1994 Flagship was launched in Huddersfield, Services 350-352 to Marsden were the first to be converted due to the competition from Yorkshire Blue Bus in the town, Volvo B10Bs were used for the first 6 months until new buses arrived. The launch using a newly painted up Leyland Olympian was performed by former Coronation Street actor Ken Morley who played Reg Holdsworth and now can be seen adversising windows.

During 1994 A new type for Yorkshire Rider, 6 Alexander Dash bodied Volvo B6s were purchased, these were operated by Leeds District, since then they had been transferred to Huddersfield and then sold

December 1994 The first of new generation minibuses started to be delivered this month, the first few Plaxton Beaver bodied Mercedes Benz minibuses were for Halifax and arrived in Flagship livery for new flagship services 830-833, 93 of this type was later delivered to Huddersfield, Quickstep and Bradford.



Copyright West Yorkshire Buses Website 1999/2000, Some info is aquired from other sources, and is not my own info. Bus Fayre magazine and Badgerline and FirstBus handbooks have been used for exact dates and details. Thanks to Ivan Noble for copius information in relation to the History of Yorkshire Rider. Thanks to Michael Forster for photographs 1,2,4 & 5. The Flagship 5301 photo were provided by Yorkshire Rider Limited. Please do not copy any information contained in the History of Yorkshire Rider without specific permission. Full completion: April 08, 2000, Last revised: August 25, 2002.