Minibus Mania: The Rise and Fall of Minibuses 1970s–1990s (Paperback)
There have always been small buses used by bus companies for a variety of reasons, but in the 1970s a number of companies employed van-derived minibuses on experimental services such as Dial-a Ride schemes. These were small-scale operations.However, from around 1984 the majority of British bus companies started buying minibuses in bulk. Now they started replacing full-size vehicles and soon whole town local networks were being converted to their use. At first these continued to be on small van-derived chassis from Ford, Freight-Rover and Mercedes-Benz seating around sixteen passengers, but soon larger, purpose-built vehicles began to appear from companies sometimes unfamiliar to the British bus market. There were also attempts to produce ’midibuses’ – larger than a minibus but smaller than a full-size bus.By the mid-1990s the boom had come to an end. Larger vehicles started to replace many of these minibuses. Although modern accessible minibuses are still produced and still have a role to play, it is a far cry from their heyday.This book looks back at the rise and fall of the minibus in British bus services.
Born in 1952, Malcolm Batten has lived in East London all his life, and has always had an interest in the local transport scene. After a boyhood of trainspotting, he started taking photographs in 1969. Since then he has recorded the local buses and railways, in an area which has seen enormous change.