Bus of Hope.
The Bus of Hope is a Newbury-based outreach charity, working with young people in the area. Launched in March 2013, the service goes out into the local community 4 nights a week, plus one morning a month.
Having been in Newbury a while, I got to know some of the Bus of Hope team. I also discovered that they could always use extra drivers. Despite what it looks like, you can actually drive this vehicle on a car licence – because it is not taxed as a bus. We won’t go into the technicalities here!
However, in order to be covered on the insurance, it is necessary to do some training – which is expensive. As it happens, I have a PCV licence, which means I didn’t need to do the driver training. So, I am helping out whilst we are in Newbury.
Today, Tuesday, we go out to Turnpike. Most of the journey is on main roads and bus routes. The last part, however, is in a housing estate, which is quite entertaining!
For those more interested in the vehicle, it is a DAF chassis (DE02PSDB250 XMGDE02PS0H009565), with an Optare Spectra body (Oe 8724). New to Reading in April 2002, as fleet no 724 (H47/27F). One of a batch of five but, interestingly, not consequtive fleet numbers. They were 737-9 and 724/5.
Three of the batch, 724/725 & 738, were subsequently sold to Norfolk Green (the other two went to ABus Bristol), 724 becoming fleet no 9. When Norfolk Green were taken over by Stagecoach, it became 13985.
In March 2016, the Bus of Hope team were looking for a replacement vehicle, and this one became available. Following conversion work, it went into service towards the end of that year.
Further information: www.busofhope.com
- Taken: 21 Mar 2017
- Camera: Canon 5D MkIII
- Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm 1:2.8 L II USM
- Focal Length 24mm
- 1/40 Sec
- ISO 400