Coastliner makes history as Tadcaster Bridge is reopened


It was an historic moment for the people of Tadcaster in North Yorkshire, as a gleaming new Coastliner double decker became first to cross the bridge which brings the town together.

The bridge over the River Wharfe reopened just over 13 months after its partial collapse in the wake of severe flooding divided the town in half – and a brand new Coastliner bus was the first vehicle to cross, surrounded by hundreds of schoolchildren!

The Local Government Secretary Sajid Javed and the town's MP Nigel Adams walked ahead of the Coastliner bus as it crossed the rebuilt bridge, marking the vehicle's very first official duty – as bus company staff handed out hundreds of celebratory boxes of chocolates to delighted local residents.

At the wheel of the all-new Coastliner bus, factory fresh ahead of its entry into public service, was Coastliner's Leading Driver Eamonn Wall – who a few hours earlier told millions of radio listeners across the UK of his pride in being first to make the historic crossing.

Eamonn told BBC Radio 2's Chris Evans and his celebrity guests Annette Bening, Amanda Redman and Tracey Ullman that it was “absolutely marvellous” to tell the good news that Coastliner is back to its normal route through Tadcaster on the UK's most listened to radio breakfast show.

Eamonn said: “It has been a nightmare without the bridge for the residents, retailers, passengers on the buses, everybody.

“At Coastliner, straight away after the bridge collapse to connect the east side of the bridge we put a new service on, called Tadfaster, to make sure people could still travel to and from York.”

After giving cheeky advice to the civic party to “keep the speeches short, darling!” maverick DJ Chris Evans told Eamonn: “Tadfaster? That's good isn't it!”

The trailblazing twin-deck Coastliner bus which was first to cross Tadcaster Bridge on Friday 3 February is one of ten being introduced in a £2.34 million investment.

Coastliner has now returned to its normal route across the bridge and serving both the east and west sides of the town, including the bus station. Wharfedale Links service 923 between Tadcaster, Wetherby and Otley has also returned to its normal route and terminus at the bus station, while the special 'Tadfaster' service linking eastern Tadcaster to York in response to the bridge closure finishes on Saturday 11 February 2017.

Our CEO, Alex Hornby, was there to watch the new bus make its historic first Tadcaster Bridge crossing. Alex said: “The reopening of the bridge is marvellous news for Tadcaster's economy, and it's entirely appropriate that one of our new Coastliner buses was the first vehicle to cross the rebuilt bridge on day one.

“We're looking forward to welcoming customers old and new from the eastern side of Tadcaster onto these amazing new buses, now we've returned to our normal route across the whole town.

“We've also invited the people of Tadcaster to come up with a name for bus number 3635 – as the very first vehicle to cross the reopened Tadcaster Bridge, it now has a unique and special place in the town's history.

“We'll announce the winning name at a special 'fun day' event which is being planned for Tadcaster a couple of weeks after the bridge reopens. We hope this further cements the strong bond between Tadcaster and its Coastliner buses.”

The new Coastliner buses are revolutionising travel on the popular city to coast service. Each carries a stunning livery, developed by UK public transport design trendsetters Best Impressions – complete with a bold new greeting 'Welcome To Coastliner Country'.

Each bus also carries specially designed illustrations promoting popular destinations along the Coastliner route including Leeds, York, Malton, Whitby and Scarborough, giving a further boost to Yorkshire's fast-growing tourism economy.

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter @yorkbus.