Isle of Man National Transport 1977 - 1983

Isle of Man Passenger Transport Board 1983 - 1986

Isle of Man Department of Tourism and Transport 1986 - 2010 (t/a Isle of Man Transport 1988 - 2008; t/a Bus Vannin 2009 onwards)

Isle of Man Department of Community, Culture and Leisure 2010 - 2014

Isle of Man Public Transport 2014 onwards

Fleet history page 1, 1976 to 1986

Page last updated on 6th April 2017


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Isle of Man National Transport Ltd. came into being from October 1st 1976, as a result of the merging of the two previous bus operators on the island, Douglas Corporation and Isle of Man Road Services. Being the larger of the two, it was the former IoMRS image that was to predominate, with the yellow buses being repainted allover red, or being withdrawn from service. The merger (takeover?) provided some interesting workings too, for when I visited the island in 1977 ex Douglas buses (in both yellow and red) were operating throughout the island. My notes show I encountered AEC Regent 8122 MN in Peel in that summer, still in yellow livery.

The first new buses continued the fleet policy of the Road Services fleet, these being a further seven Leyland Nationals to boost the fleet of these to twenty examples. Further double deckers were needed to replace older buses, and initially ex Northern General AEC Routemasters were considered, possibly to replace the Regents. However following the death of General Manager William Lambden around this time, the half cab idea was changed to buying fourteen 1965/66 Leyland Atlanteans from Merseyside PTE, the start of the process to introduce driver only operation of double deckers. Ten similarly aged ex Ribble Leopards were bought in 1979/80, replacing among other things the four ex Douglas Bedford YRQs, three of which were just five years old. By 1984 all of these 1960s imports had gone, along with all the half cab deckers. Two other Leopards which joined the fleet in 1979 were ten year old Plaxton coaches new to Wallace Arnold, intended to meet the needs of the tourism market. Like the Road Services attempt at this sector in 1970/71, it was short-lived and the two coaches subsequently passed to Tours (Isle of Man) before being quickly sold on.

In the place of those Ribble and Merseyside vehicles came ten ex Preston Leyland Panthers (including the last one ever built) and fifteen ex Tyne and Wear PDR2 Atlanteans with 78 seats. These two batches introduced dual door bodywork to the island for the first time, with the deckers also bringing in nearside staircases and panoramic windows, which may not have been the most suitable items for use on Manx roads. The next large batch of vehicles, in fact probably the largest group ever, was the 29 ex Merseyside PDR2 Atlanteans, again with Alexander bodies, but with smaller windows.

Some of the Merseyside buses entered service in green and white livery, not going in for repaint until later on. The early to mid 1980s also saw an epidemic of all-over advert buses, with an estimate at one point of some 60% of the double deck fleet being so adorned. In 1986 some degree of standardization was achieved with the purchase of nineteen more Leyland Nationals, three from East Kent and the rest from South Yorkshire PTE. A further PTE was used in the same year when fifteen Park Royal bodied Leyland AN68s arrived from Greater Manchester, the same operator also supplying one of its Seddon Pennine midi-buses.

My thanks to John Davis, Richard Davis, Stephen Clough, Steve White and James Gleig for help received so far.


Opening fleet, October 1st 1976

The following list details the National Transport fleet of buses at the time of the merger between Isle of Man Road Services and Douglas Corporation Transport.

Total fleet = 94, comprising 20 ex Douglas and 62 ex Road Services, plus 12 other ex Douglas buses which were not renumbered or used by the new company.


1977


1979


1980


1981


1982


1983


1984


1985


1986



Introduction   Douglas Corporation   D C T photos   I o M R S   I O M R S photos   I o M Transport 1976 - 1986   I o M Transport 1988 - 2016   I o M Coach operators   Tours, Douglas   1996 Manx visit    Links    Email