Thames Valley & Aldershot Omnibus Company Limited, Reading

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History

The passing of the Transport Act 1968 saw the formation of the National Bus Company and the merging of the Aldershot and District Traction Company Limited (A&D) and The Thames Valley Traction Company Limited (TV) to form Alder Valley (AV) on 1st January 1972. The company headquarters were established in Reading with the main maintenance centre at Aldershot. In June 1981 however, the decline in services saw the Reading site sold off and concentration of all work at Aldershot. January 1986 saw proposals for privatisation (the break-up of the National Bus Company) with the company split into two AV North and AV South. AV(N) operating as Berks Bucks Bus Co (Beeline) was sold Q Drive in January 1987, AV (S) to Frontsource Ltd in November 1987 who continued to operate as Alder Valley dropping the South until November 1988 when they too sold out to Q Drive. Thus the two companies were reunited. Cash flow problems caused many parts of the company to be sold off and in October 1992 Alder Valley, as an operating name, ceased to exist. Nowadays, the area of operation is shared by Arriva, First, Reading Buses and Stagecoach,.

Initially the combined fleet totalled 664 vehicles, primarily Bristols and Bedfords from TV with AEC and Dennis from A&D. Acute problems with serviceable vehicles in the early/mid 70s saw loans from no few than fifteen operators and numerous second-hand acquisitions from others to the extent that any type of vehicle in any livery was likely to appear in service. The Market Analysis Project (MAP) saw a vast reduction in vehicle requirements with a concentration on Bristol VRs for the double-decker fleet and Leyland Nationals for single-deckers. The mid 80s saw the inevitable influx of minibuses (Whippets).

Fleet numbering saw the entire stock renumbered in blocks, for example 101-200 reserved for Leyland Nationals, 900-999 Bristol VRs, etc.

Various colour schemes were considered before National dark red (officially Ribble Red) was adopted as the livery but following the implementation of NBC policy, Poppy Red was selected but not before Aldershot had purchased Leaf Green! The Whippets would see a return to A&D two-tone green and cream.

To eliminated duplication of service numbers the southern area were changed but the northern area remained largely unaffected until MAP

The SU's were used mainly on route 18 - Maidenhead to Marlow service due to a weight restriction of 5 Tons on the Marlow Bridge.

SU's Operated

Fleet No Reg No In service Out Service Original Op Remarks
495 668 COD Jan 72 <May 74 SN 612  
496 669 COD Jan 72 <May 74 SN 613  
497 844 THY Jan 72 Jan 75 BO 304  
498 846 THY Jan 72 Apr 72 BO 306  
499 845 THY Jan 72 Feb 75 BO 305  

Fleetnames Used

bullet Alder Valley

Operating Depots

bullet Aldershot
bullet Alfresford
bullet Alton
bullet Basingstoke
bullet Baughurst
bullet Bracknell
bullet Cranleigh
bullet Ewhurst
bullet Fingest
bullet Guildford
bullet High Wycombe
bullet Hindhead
bullet Horsham
bullet Kingsclere
bullet Lambourn
bullet Maidenhead
bullet Newbury
bullet Odiham
bullet Petersfield
bullet Princes Risborough
bullet Reading
bullet Stokenchurch
bullet Winchester
bullet Working