New book studies history of the popular motorbus

Fraserburgh Library.
Fraserburgh Library.

Motorbuses are an everyday part of life in the North East but are an aspect of our social heritage which is very much taken for granted.

There were motorbuses in use from the 1900s, but from the end of the Great War there was a revolution in road transport provision throughout the entire country which brought a rapid spread of bus services.

Outwith Aberdeen, there was no licensing of bus services at this time; the entrepreneur bought a bus, possibly on hire purchase, road taxed it in accordance with its seating capacity and was then ready for business.

The free-for-all was stopped with the 1930 Road Traffic Act but another element of legislation played a major part in events – the powers given to the railway companies in 1928 to run bus services. In the North East, the railway associated bus company was W Alexander of Falkirk and they made their presence known very quickly.

However, just as the bus had displaced the passenger train, the motor car increasingly became the public’s preferred travel mode from the 1950s.

In cooperation with local researchers, the PSV-Circle has published “A Fleet History of Pre-War Operators in Aberdeenshire & Kincardineshire”.

The book has references for all known locally-based bus operators who started services before 1939.

There were more than 200 of them, 37 in the Buchan alone.

The book is on sale priced at £12 and is available from the First Travel Shop, Union Street, Aberdeen, direct from the publisher (post free) via their website or by post via PSV Circle Sales , Unit GK Leroy House , 436 Essex Road, London, N1 3QP.