Lincolnshire Road Car Company Limited, Lincoln

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History

The Company's roots lead back to the Clacton-based business of Mr. W P Allen, who, in 1922 opened an operation in Lincoln - after 1926, trading as 'Silver Queen.'   

The industry’s consolidation of the 1920s saw the business taken over by a new subsidiary of Thomas Tilling Ltd and the British Automobile Traction (B.A.T.) Group as the Lincolnshire Road Car Company in August 1928.  The south Lincolnshire operations of sister TBAT company United passed to Road Car in 1931, and the company started its habit of acquiring smaller companies – including Retford Motor Services (1928) and Skegness Motor Services (1934) – the latter bringing open sided Vulcan “toastrack” single deckers to the fleet.  The pre-war vehicle purchases represented the BAT / BET majority share, being mainly Leylands. 

In 1942, The Tillings / BAT partnership ended, and Road Car – or “Lincolnshire” as the buses were branded, became part of the Tillings Group, and was nationalised in 1948, the fleet becoming largely standardised on green Bristol / Eastern Coach Works buses and coaches – K and L types being followed by LD, FS and FLF ‘Lodekkas’, LS, MW and SC single deckers – most single deckers being purchased in coach form as well as buses – including a batch of rare SC coaches.  LH single deckers followed, and the Company was an early user of RE buses. 

A major expansion took place in 1950 when the Enterprise and Silver Dawn company, then the major operator in Scunthorpe and Gainsborough, was acquired.  

In common with much of the British bus industry, the early 1950s were the peak years for the Company and the seaside resorts it served.  At this time, the Company’s buses operated as far as Doncaster, Nottingham, Kings Lynn and Leicester.   Rural settlements – including Amber Hill, Bag Enderby, Drinsey Nook, Jerusalem, Maryland and New York - were served as well.  Express services connected the County with London, and Lincolnshire coaches played their part in the ‘Associated Motorways’ consortium, later to be a foundation of the National Express network. 

Tillings dark green gave way to National Bus Company leaf green in the early 1970s, and the standard new buses were Bristol VRs, Leyland Nationals, and quite a large fleet of Bristol LH single deckers, some of which lasted until the mid 1990s.  The Company’s last traditional ‘Lodekkas’ – and last conductors – operated in Scunthorpe in 1982. 

The Company’s Central Works at Bracebridge Heath was re-launched under the NBC as Associated Passenger Transport, who acted as breakers / dealers for a number of NBC fleets, as well as carrying out conversions and work for outside bodies (e.g. British Rail – for whom a number of buses were converted as mobile workshops) – the venture proved not to be sustainable. 

Deregulation saw competition – particularly in the South of the County, where the Holbeach and Boston operations were closed and the routes abandoned to independents.  The Company – now owned by the Stagecoach Group.

The NBC inheritance has gradually faded away, the Company’s last Bristol, VR No. 1958 (PFE 542V) being withdrawn and donated to the Lincolnshire Vintage Vehicle Society in 2001, where it joined a number of former Road Car and other buses, and has since returned to NBC green livery.   

The new Century has seen some high points, including the wider introduction of new, low floor buses, under the ‘Super Buzz’ and ‘Inter Connect’ names, and the acquisition of the bus operations of Eagre, Gainsborough in December 2001.  Many of the historic depots and bus stations have sadly been redeveloped, and the retreat from the south of the county has continued, Grantham depot closing in 2004.

New SC's Operated 

bullet 16 Coaches
bullet 97 Buses
For full details click here.

Secondhand SC's Operated

Fleet No Reg No In service Out Service Original Op Remarks
2494 RFE 482 Jun 91   Linc 2494  

Fleetnames Used

bullet Lincolnshire

Operating Depots

bullet Boston (Closed 1980)
bullet Cleethorpes (Closed)
bullet Gainborough
bullet Goole (Closed)
bullet Grantham (Closed 2004)
bullet Grimsby
bullet Holbeach (Closed 1980s)
bullet Horncastle (Closed 1970s)
bullet Lincoln
bullet Louth
bullet Mablethorpe (Closed)
bullet Newark
bullet Retford (Closed)
bullet Scunthorpe
bullet Skegness
bullet Sleaford (Closed)

Outstations

bullet Alkborough (Closed)
bullet Brigg (Closed)
bullet Colsterworth (Closed)
bullet Messingham (Closed)
bullet Market Rasen (Opened 2004)
bullet Oakham (Closed)
bullet Walcot (Closed)