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  ROYAL BLUE - 16 June - 18 June 2017  
     
 

Day 1 – 16 June 2017: Northampton – Bournemouth via Bicester, Newbury, Andover, Winchester, Southampton (former RB/UCOC operated Associated Motorways route)

Day 2 – 17 June 2017: Bournemouth – Exmouth via Poole, Wareham. Weymouth, Bridport, Lyme Regis, Sidmouth

Day 3 – 18 June 2017: Exeter Coach Station (closure delayed for us!) – Windsor via A30, i.e. Honiton, Yeovil, Sherborne, Shaftesbury, Salisbury, Stockbridge, Basingstoke.

The information on this page can be downloaded in pdf format here

 

 
 

Background

Our Royal Blue Runs were established in 2002 so that owners and their passengers can relive the pleasures of long distance luxury coach travel for which their carefully preserved vehicles were originally intended.  The aim is to follow original Royal Blue routes as closely as possible and to travel at a leisurely pace redolent of the times.  The runs also create a wonderful spectacle for innocent bystanders and dedicated photographers alike, thanks to the hard work and resources the owners have devoted to restoring and maintaining their fine coaches.

A lot of work goes into planning the runs from selecting routes from the extensive Royal Blue network and researching the original drivers’ instructions and passenger timetables, preparing maps and outline routing, driving the routes to develop detailed instructions allowing for modern day features and constraints, organising refreshment stops, obtaining parking permissions, to identifying potential accommodation for some 15 or more coaches and their passengers.  Despite all the preparations, final timings are hard to judge whether due to roadworks or things that might pique the interest of crews along the way.   The coaches do not travel in close convoy so as not to inconvenience other road users.  Some drivers have also been known on occasion to deviate from the intended route (unintentionally!).   In 2017 the tight turns on the service route for Day 2 mean some (larger) coaches may take the alternative (duplicate) coach route at critical points.

Overall the focus is on education and enjoyment and we hope that however you take part you share in the pleasure.

2017 Route

An illustrative overview of the 2017 routes is given above.  The principal routing and probable stopping points are tabulated with indicative timings, below.  These may be subject to change and anyone wanting to see the run pass is advised to recheck the website on 15 June for the latest plan.  The website will not be updated in the course of the run but real-time updates may appear on Facebook.

The Day 1 route is following a long-running Associated Motorways route which was operated by Royal Blue.  The principal service was from Northampton to Portsmouth but one journey a day went to Bournemouth.  Passengers from Northampton changed at Oxford for the Bournemouth coach but the 2017 recreation of the route is saving passengers the trouble.  In fact, the run will bypass Oxford and its modern day congestion.

Day 2 follows a long-standing Royal Blue route from Bournemouth to Exmouth.  The terminus before Exeter was because of Devon General’s objection (upheld by the Traffic Commissioner) to the competition of Royal Blue with local bus services.  As a consequence, passengers wanting to travel on to Exeter had to change in Exmouth and catch a Devon General service bus to the city.

Royal Blue operated the Exeter-London service being followed on Day 3.  Only summer weekend services went this way via Salisbury, Stockbridge, Sutton Scotney, Basingstoke, etc.  The more common routing was via Amesbury, Andover etc to serve the army bases.  The direct route being recreated in 2017 was principally for holiday makers from the London area and was a quicker non-stop service, effectively cutting off a corner.

 

 
 

2017 Participating Coaches

Fleet no

Reg No

Type

Date new

Company

279

EMW284

Bristol L6B/Be C32R

1947

Wilts & Dorset

1250

LTA729

Bristol LL6B/Duple C37F

1951

Royal Blue

1299

OTT98

Bristol LS6G/ECW C39F

1953

Royal Blue

2246

625DDV

Bristol MW6G/ECW C39F

1960

Royal Blue

2250

617DDV

Bristol MW6G/ECW C39F

1960

Royal Blue

2267

56GUO

Bristol MW6G/ECW C39F

1961

Royal Blue

425

275KTA

Bristol SUL4A/ECW C33F

1962

Western National

904

FEL751D

Bristol MW6G/ECW C39F

1966

Hants & Dorset

1423

EDV505D

Bristol MW6G/ECW C39F

1966

Western National

RC968

OAX9F

Bristol RELH6G/ECW C45F

1968

Red & White

2380

OTA640G

Bristol RELH6G/ECW C45F

1969

Royal Blue

CRG103

AFM103G

Bristol RELH6G/ECW C47F

1969

Crosville

CRG106

AFM106G

Bristol RELH6G/ECW C47F

1969

Crosville

1460

OTA632G

Bristol RELH6G/ECW C45F

1969

Southern National

The above coaches are expected to join some or all the run but the owners may have to withdraw or substitute vehicles due to unforeseen illness or mechanical problems.  This is beyond the organisers’ control and any disappointment is regretted.

 

 
 

Day 1 – NORTHAMPTON - BOURNEMOUTH

Time

Location and routing

10.30

Northampton (dep)

Sixfields

Towcester Road through Blisworth

A43 onto Northampton Road through Towcester

11.10

Towcester

A43 then A413 through Silverstone

A43 then Northampton Road through Brackley

A43 onto B4100 through Bicester

12.10

Bicester

Oxford Road onto A41, A34

Through Kidlington, A4260, A44 to A34

12.30

Oxford Peartree Jn

A34 Oxford Ring Road

12.45

Oxford A34 South Jn

Through Bagley Wood, A4183 into Abingdon

13.05

Abingdon

B4017 through Drayton and Steventon

A4130 past Milton Hill, A4185

A34 turning off for East Ilsley

13.35

East Ilsley

A34 turning off for Beedon passing Chieveley

Under M4 then B4494 to Donnington.

Oxford Road, Oxford Street into Newbury Wharf Coach Park.

14.00

Newbury (arr)

14.30

Newbury (dep)

A339, A343 to Andover

A3057 to cross A303

15.15

Andover (A303 jn)

A3057 to Stockbridge

B3049 to Winchester Hotel (Coach Park) Worthy Lane

15.55

Winchester Coach Park

B3040, A3090, B3043 to Chandler’s Ford

A33 then via London Road to Bedford Place, Southampton

16.35

Southampton

Circuit via Western Esplanade (A3024), West Quay Road (A33) to Town Quay

Retrace Western Esplanade (A3024) then A33 West

A35 to Lyndhurst

17.10

Lyndhurst

A35, B3058 to New Milton

17.40

New Milton

A337, B3059 to Christchurch

18.00

Christchurch

A35 entering Bournemouth via Christchurch Road, West Cliff to Westbourne Coach Park

18.25

Bournemouth West Coach Park (arr)


Day 2 – BOURNEMOUTH – EXMOUTH (& EXETER)

Time

Location and routing

10.00

Bournemouth West Coach Park

Poole Road A35, A350 to Poole

10.20

Poole

Poole Bridge or Twin Sails Bridge (if Poole Bridge still closed)

B3067 through Lytchett Minster

A351, B3075 to Wareham

10.45

Wareham

B3070, A352 through Wool

A353, B3155 to Weymouth

11.35

Weymouth

A353, B3157 to Abbotsbury

12.10

Abbotsbury

B3157 to Bridport, Tannery Road Coach Station

12.45

Bridport (arr)

13.30

Bridport (dep)

A35 through Chideock and Morecombelake

Fork off through Charmouth

A3052 into Lyme Regis (service car route) or A35, B3261 to Axminster (duplicate coaches)

14.10

Lyme Regis (service car route)

A3052, B3172 to Axmouth and Seaton

Axminster (duplicate coach route)

A358, B3172 to Axmouth and Seaton

14.40

Seaton

Harbour Road, B3172  [smaller coaches may take B3174 via Beer, Square]

A3052, A375 (formerly B3175) to Sidmouth

15.20

Sidmouth

B3176, A3052

B3178 to Budleigh Salterton

15.50

Budleigh Salterton

B3178 to Exmouth

16.10

Exmouth (arr)

16.30

Exmouth (dep)

A376 to Exeter hotels

17.00

Exeter


Day 3
– EXETER - WINDSOR

Time

Location and routing

08.00

Exeter Coach Station (dep)

B3183, A3015 to A30/M5 junction

B3174 via Rockbeare, then Fairmile, Fenny Bridges, B3177 to Honiton

08.35

Honiton

Exeter Road, High Street onto A30

A30 fork from A303 to Yarcombe

09.00

Yarcombe

A30

09.15

Chard

A30

09.35

Crewkerne

A30 into Yeovil via Brunswick Street to Bus Station

09.55

Yeovil

A30

10.10

Sherborne

A30 in to Shaftesbury via Bleke Street, High Street

10.50

Shaftesbury

Salisbury Road to A30

A30, A36 to Salisbury Mill Stream Approach Coach Station

11.40

Salisbury (arr)

11.55

Salisbury (dep)

A30

12.35

Stockbridge

A30, turning off into Sutton Scotney on Stockbridge Road

12.55

Sutton Scotney

A30 then old A30 past Micheldever Station

A303, A30 into Basingstoke

From Brighton Hill Rbt into Cranbourne via Harrow Way, Grove Road, Hackwood Road to Black Dam roundabout

13.25

Basingstoke Black Dam

A30 through Hook to Hartley Wintney

13.50

Hartley Wintney

A30

14.15

Bagshot

A30, A322, A332 to Windsor

14.35

Windsor area / dispersal

 
     
  Previous Royal Blue Runs  
     
  We have been organising vintage coach runs for Royal Blue and Associated Motorways ‘on-hire’ vehicles over traditional routes since 2002 and so far have covered:  
     
 
2002 Taunton – Ilfracombe – Tiverton
   
2003 Bournemouth – Weymouth – Exmouth
   
2005 125th Anniversary Run - London (Victoria) - Bournemouth - Exeter
   
2005 125th Anniversary Run - Exeter - Penzance - Exeter
   
2006 Cheltenham – Weston-super-Mare – Exeter
   
2007 Cheltenham – Bath – Trowbridge – Blandford Forum – Weymouth
   
2008 Cheltenham – Radstock – Taunton – Westward Ho! – Bude – Polzeath –   Tintagel – Exeter
   
2009 Cheltenham – Bath – Yeovil – Weymouth – Swanage – Bournemouth – Portsmouth
   
2009 National Centenary Run - Penzance – Plymouth – Taunton – Bristol – Cheltenham – Cannock – Newcastle-under-Lyme – Manchester – Glasgow – Dundee – Aberdeen
   
2010 Stevenage – Hitchin – Luton – Slough – Reading – Newbury – Andover – Salisbury – Yeovil – Taunton – Minehead – Bude – Newquay – Porthleven – Penzance – St Ives – Princetown – Exeter
   
2011 Oxford – Weston-super-Mare – Taunton – Exeter – Bude – Padstow – Newquay - Hannafore – Looe – Tavistock – Lewdown – Exeter
   
2012 High Wycombe - Reading - Hungerford - Salisbury - Wincanton - Exeter - Torbay - Salcombe - Plymouth - Bodmin - Exeter - Taunton - Wells - Bath
   
2013 London - Sidcup - Maidstone - Canterbury - Margate - Ramsgate - Dover - Folkestone - Rye - Hastings - Eastbourne - Brighton - Worthing - Arundel - Chichester - Portsmouth - Southampton - Salisbury - Marlborough - Swindon - Cirencester - Cheltenham
   
2014 London  (Victoria) - Esher - Guildford - Farnham - Alresford - Winchester - Romsey - Bournemouth - Wimborne Minster - Blandford Forum - Yeovil - Mantacute - Langport - Bridgwater - Taunton - Exeter - Minehead - Wheddon Cross - Dunkery Beacon - Porlock Weir - Minehead - Watchet - Bridgwater
   
2015 Windsor – Bracknell – Wokingham – Hartley Wintney – Basingstoke – Andover – Salisbury – Yeovil – Exeter – Launceston – Davidstow – Wadebridge – Newquay – Portreath – Hayle – St Ives – Penzance – Camborne – Redruth – Bodmin – Launceston – Tavistock – Plymouth – Exeter
   
2016 London - Maidenhead - Reading - Newbury - Chippenham - Bath - Keynsham - Bristol - Bath - Shepton Mallet - Blandford Forum - Bournemouth - Wareham - Lulworth Cove - Christchurch - Milford - Brockenhurst - Lyndhurst
 
     
 

 
 

Royal Blue coaches at Exeter Coach Station

 
 
The line up for the 2011 Royal Blue Run departure from Polperro – many of the same vehicles will take part in 2012. Stopping for a comfort break and photo opportunity in Callington later on 19th June 2011 The ascent and subsequent descent through Cheddar Gorge was spectacular for passengers and photographers alike, despite the rain.
  2012 Royal Blue Run  
Day 1, the coaches assemble prior to departure from Hughenden Manor, High Wycombe, courtesy of the National Trust. Coaches two rows deep park up in Teignmouth early in Day 2 Towards the end of Day 2, coaches draw in to the bus station at Kingsbridge
Day 3 began in Plymouth bus & coach station with another extensive line-up Day 3, en route The end of the Royal Blue Run 2012 in Bath coach station, although many had a hundred miles or more to travel home
 
 

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