On Trains & Buses

Travel news, views & information from Europe & North America by an independent public transport user

Island Bus Operators

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The islands in question are the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. These are considered part of the British Isles yet not part of the U.K. with most being so near the coast of France that Victor Hugo once opined that they were pieces of France that fell into the hands of the English.

Bus Vannin Double-decker at Castletown, Isle of Man

Though small, these places appear to have extensive networks that cater for visitor and resident alike. In some ways, you have to wonder if such things are easier to manage on a smaller scale or if smaller islands discourage the use of private transport.

Isle of Man Transport

The mainstay here is Bus Vannin, the predominant Manx bus operator but an electric tramway and a steam railway also come within the organisation’s remit. Over the years, I have made three visits to the Isle of Man that have involved hikes made possible by the bus network. It worked well each time and shows mainland Britain how things should be done.

Liberty Bus

For longer than I care to remember, Jersey only saw me make one trip there and that was during a school trip to Brittany. Then, I sampled no buses because this was a day outing, yet the island appears to have an extensive network. Only recently did repeat visit come to pass and various hikes around the island meant that its bus network saw plenty of use. It helped that this is an efficient, dependable and courteous operation, so it got me everywhere that I wished as long as I got to the stops in time. There was one case of my own lateness, but such is the network that another option was available.

Guernsey Bus

Like its Jersey counterpart, this operation is now owned by Tower Transit after a takeover from the now defunct HCT group. The network is again extensive, and the timetable information really came in handy while I enjoyed a trip to Guernsey. However, there are times when the company’s small buses get overloaded and those serving the airport could do with better luggage space. Otherwise, there was little cause for complaint.