UK Transport Wiki
Thames Travel
Parent companyGo-Ahead Group (From 26 May 2011)
Service areaSouth Oxfordshire and
parts of Berkshire
Service typebus service

Thames Travel is a bus operator based in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, in England. It is the third largest bus company in the county[2] It operates a fleet of around 34 vehicles, and employs 75 staff. Running services across the Thames region, the company carries approximately 1.25 million passengers a year. Founded in 1998 as an independent operator, it was taken over by the Go-Ahead Group in May 2011.


Thames Travel was founded on 14 April 1998 with a fleet of four vehicles. Since then it has expanded by winning new contracts in Oxfordshire and Berkshire, and taking over work from operators that have ceased trading such as Chiltern Queens of Woodcote. It now runs 50 (47 buses 3 Ancillary Vehicles) vehicles and 31 services. Many services were taken on in Reading after the collapse of Tillingbourne Bus Company on 19 March 2001.[3] Thames Travel has also benefited from operators such as Stagecoach in Oxfordshire, Reading Buses and First Berkshire & The Thames Valley, giving up a lot of commercial work. However in recent years smaller competitors including RH Transport, Heyfordian, Whites Coaches and Weavaway Travel have won work that Thames Travel had operated.

On 26th May 2011, Thames Travel announced that they had been purchased by Go-Ahead Group for an undisclosed fee.[4]


Thames Travel operate a numerous services across a number of areas, varying from local routes to long distance express buses[1]

Number Route Other notes
32 Grove - Wantage - Wset Hendrid - East Hendrid - Harwell Campus - Harwell - Didcot - Sutton Courtenay - Abingdon Sunday service 32A now operates to oxford (Does not serve Abingdon)
32B/32C Abingdon - Didcot Evening only contract replacement for Oxford Bus Co X2 service
36 Didcot - Milton park - East Hanney - Grove - Wantage No weekend service - recently acquired from RH Buses
53 Binfield - Bracknell - Maidenhead - Wexham Park Hospital
94/95 Ddicot - East Hagbourne - West Hagbourne - Upton - Blewbury Recently acquired from Heyfordian
101 Watlington*, Chalgrove*, Stadhampton*, Garsington, Oxford * Occasional Journeys
106C Watlington, Littlemore, Oxford Science Park (Week days only), Oxford Run with a bus in a special Science-themed livery where available. Occasionally double deck on weekends
122/123 Woosehill - Wokingham - Finchampstead - Crowthorne, 122 Saturdays - Sandhurst - Meadows Tesco Wokingham local service
124 Woosehill - Wokingham (Broad Street - Waterloo Road - Broad Street) Wokingham town bus
126/127/128/129 Wokingham - Twyford - Reading, 127 Saturdays - Maidenhead 127 Saturdays variation only.
130 Wallingford - Brightwell-cum-Sotwell - Didcot - Didcot Parkway railway station
132RAF RAF Benson - Benson - Wallingford One of two 132 services (see below)
132 Goring Heath - Pangbourne - Reading One of two 132 services (see above)
136 Wallingford - Cholsey
138 Wallingford - Berinsfield
139 Henley - Nettlebed - Wallingford
144 Wokingham - Arborfield Garrison - Reading
151 Bracknell - Wokingham
152 Bracknell - Winkfield
153 Binfield - Bracknell - Warfield - Winkfield Sunday service operated by Courtney Coaches.
154 Bracknell - Bulbrook - Bracknell
156 Bracknell - The Parks - Bracknell
162 Bracknell - Ascot
202 Whitley Wood - Emmbrook School & Holt School (Wokingham) School service, running on schooldays only
244 Shinfield - Barkham - Holt School, Emmbrook School & Forest School (Wokingham) School service, running on schooldays only
X32 Oxford - Didcot - Harwell - Harwell Campus - Chilton Express service
X36 Wantage - Didcot No Weekend Service - Recently acquired from RH Transport Services. Express service
X39/X40 Reading - Woodcote - Wallingford - Oxford Express services; only X40 serves Woodcote


File:Thames Travel 106.JPG

Bus 106, a Scania N94UB/East Lancs OmniTown, which have the newer Esteem front styling, seen in Reading.

File:Thames Travel 357.JPG

Before the new blue and green livery was introduced, the majority of vehicles ran in an allover white livery. Most vehicles now run in the new livery, but 357, a recent Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart is seen running in white in Camberley.

File:Thames Travel logo.JPG

The old Thames Travel logo, used before the new blue and green livery on buses.

File:Thames Travel 457.JPG

Bus 457, an Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart, one of the two buses in a special Oxford Science Park livery, seen in Oxford.

Thames Travel operate a number of unusual vehicle types in their fleet of 34 buses. Vehicles are also numbered in an unusual scheme, using the date the vehicle was registered and the registration plate mark. For example (as pictured above), buses new in the first half of 2006 would be 106 onwards, and from the second half of 2007 157 onwards.[5]

As of February 2012 Vehicles have been re-numbered into the Oxford Bus Company series due to being managed by them.

Some of the vehicle types operated include:

Some vehicles of the same type are at various ages, having been purchased at different times. The Thames Travel livery is currently blue and green, but a number of vehicles are still in the old allover white livery, as well as some vehicles on loan. Two buses run in a special livery promoting the Oxford Science Park, which are mainly run on route 105/106 which serve the park.

Vehicles are based at the head office in Hithercroft Industrial Estate in Wallingford, in Arborfield and, from 2010, at Bilton Industrial Estate, Lovelace Road in Bracknell.


As well as standard bus-type fares, Thames Travel also offers 10 Trippers which are 10 single tickets for the price of 4.5 returns, monthly tickets for £70 available from bus drivers, and 13 week tickets for £180 from the company offices (prices correct from 1st April 2012). Each of these can be used on any Thames Travel service.

Notable incidents[]

Thames Travel vehicles have been involved in two major accidents, widely reported in the local media. Both happened on the A4074 road, locally known as the "13 bends of death".

In the first accident, on July 21 2006, a 26 year old woman was killed after colliding head on with a Thames Travel MCV Evolution. It was found that she did this to avoid a collision with two cars coming towards her, who had been recklessly overtaking numerous other cars before the accident. As a result of the collision, both vehicles caught fire and were completely destroyed. The bus was replaced with the next intake of new vehicles.[6] The two brothers arrested after the incident were charged and jailed for a total of 15 years for the accident.[7]

The second accident, on 28 January 2008, involved another MCV Evolution. It collided in fog with a Land Rover that was turning off the road across the bus's path. The Land Rover landed on its side; the bus in a ditch. The accident happened on the A4074 at its junction with the B4526 road. Five people were injured.[8]

See also[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Thames Travel - Timetables Accessed 4 March 2009
  2. 2.0 2.1 Thames Travel - Company Information Accessed 4 March 2009
  3. Bus Zone - Tillingbourne Accessed 5 June 2008.
  4. [1] Go Ahead expands in the Home Counties by purchasing Thames Travel
  5. Bus Zone - Thames Travel Fleetlist Accessed 5 June 2008.
  6. Reading Evening Post - "I beg you to help police" Accessed 5 June 2008.
  7. Reading Evening Post - "Jailed over death of bride-to-be" Accessed 5 June 2008.
  8. Reading Evening Post - "Five hurt in bus crash" Accessed 5 June 2008.

External links[]

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