Thursday, 28 August 2014

Livery Delivery : Confusion Profusion [1]

A bit of a Wessex Bus P.S.

And a bit of an identity problem.

Wessex Bus is part of the Rotala group.
The main members of the group are:-
Even here there are at least two identity problems. Wessex is/was actually a trading name of Flights Hallmark who bought the South Gloucestershire bus company.
With this purchase came bus services for the University of the West of England [UWE].

Somewhere in "Diamond" is buried the Central Connect company and possibly Ludlows as well.
Now many brands survive for many years, perhaps with an occasional "refresh". fbb has referred to Marmite before ...
... but there are many others.
So how does the brand for UWE stand up to historical sustainability?

It doesn't. Here are some of the varieties in no particular order:- Ulink black?
Ulink spotty?
U+WE (you and we? UWE?)??
Or plain red?
And the current Wessex Red.
fbb is sure that everybody did their homework and the brands were chosen for the best possible reasons; BUT? Do students actually care what label is stuck on the side of the buses. Would they travel more if the buses were labelled "Wessex Wonderbus" or "Wonderful Wessex"?

Anyway, it's all changing again and being renamed after a Devon Disco company.
Actually the name goes one jump further!
Wessex Red is being rebranded as ...
One final question?


One final identity problem. Rotala is ...
... a variety of plant used in aquaria! A bus company named after pondweed?

Rotala rotundifolia is a classic aquarium plant. While its origins are in southeast Asia, where it grows as a weed in rice paddies and wet soils, it now can be found through many parts of the United States. In the U.S., it was introduced with rice seeds shipped to the southeastern United States. This plant can be differentiated from the closely related R. indica by the differences in the two species' inflorescences. R. rotundifolia bears groups of terminal inflorescences while R. indica has solitary flowers on the axis of the leaves or short axillary spikes. R. rotundifolia is one of the most commonly available aquarium plants available through online venders as well as many local fish stores, although it is still frequently sold in error as R. indica .

Not a lot of people know that! Thankfully.

 Next bus blog : Friday 29th August 


  1. Clearly Rotala are listing the customer facing brands that may be recognised by passengers rather than any historical reference or accurate legal company identities. The Flights name refers to the operations around London's Airports (definitely Heathrow & I think Gatwick, they did have some work around Luton as well but I think they recently lost all of that) which are still operated under the Flights name. Ludlows was bought by Rotala but the brand disappeared very quickly after the rather protracted takeover and the vehicles were repainted pretty quick as well so that was never a Rotala brand. Central Connect was renamed Blue Diamond a couple of years ago, Rotala have since appeared to drop the colour seperations for Diamond (Red for Worcestershire, Black for the Black Country & Blue for the former Central Connect work) & just adopted the Diamond brand with the blue livery though repaints pending you can still see their vehicles in their various precursor brand liveries running around, so from a customer perspective Central Connect also no longer exists as an operation (though not sure whether they have merged the O-licenses as well though that would be logical with the latest TC guidance on Transport Manager responsibilities).

  2. Rotala did not buy the South Gloucestershire Bus Company (it wasn't a legal entity). What was purchased was the bus operations side of the business run by JR & BM Durbin who traded as South Gloucestershire Bus & Coach.

  3. On behalf of Wessex Star Discos - a Dorset based entertainment Company - Established in 1978 - way before Wessex buses - they say any publicity is better than no publicity - perhaps you would like my logo and photo on your buses!! please contact me on 07749712793 for any disco enquiries chris