Bath Bus Company and Industry Colleagues received a Special Commendation for Imberbus at this year’s UK Bus Awards, held at Troxy in London’s Docklands.
Imberbus is a special one day service, allowing public transport users to visit the uninhabited village of Imber.
Residents of Imber were evicted just before Christmas 1943 by the MoD, in order to step up army training in advance of D-Day. The villagers were promised that their village would be returned to them after the war but this was not to be and 66-years on it is still uninhabited, much of it having been damaged or destroyed. It remains in use for army training purposes but the connecting road is open to the public on a limited number of occasions each year and previously only accessible to the public if they had their own transport.
Following lengthy negotiations with the Ministry of Defence at a very senior level, Bath Bus Company was permitted, with the cooperation of several other operators, Transport for London and Wiltshire Council’s Transport Department, to run a bus service 23A from Warminster to the village of Imber on 5th September 2009. Operated as an ordinary local bus service using former London Transport Routemaster buses, the service proved to be very successful and so has now become an annual event, with services now extending beyond Imber to the villages of Market Lavington, Tilshead and Chitterne, plus other remote locations on Salisbury Plain, such as New Zealand Farm Camp and Brazen Bottom.
This year, Imberbus took place on Saturday 26th August 2017, and raised over £13,000.00, with all proceeds being donated to charity (Royal British Legion and the Imber Church fund).
Imberbus was nominated for the “Bus and the Community Award”. However, the judges felt that Imberbus was worthy of a Special Commendation for raising the profile of the bus industry in a positive way, and for charity fundraising.
Martin Curtis, MD, along with other members of Bath Bus Company were present to accept the award.