The Isle of Wight Bus & Coach Museum, based in Ryde, is delighted to introduce RYDABUS: a vintage Bus Running weekend offering transport enthusiasts and members of the public alike the opportunity to re-live bus operations from a bygone age.

diary-1The event takes place on Saturday & Sunday 20th & 21st May 2017, when a network of free bus services, similar to those seen in and around Ryde in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s will be operated using preserved buses and coaches, many of which are typical of the types used in the area during that period.

logo-2The event’s RYDABUS title derives from the late 1970’s when the National Bus Company undertook its Market Analysis Project (MAP), when each company reviewed its existing and potential demands and reset local service networks to reflect the results.  The outcome of MAP introduced local identities such as RYDABUS, which name was applied to buses, bus stops, timetables and publicity throughout the Ryde area.

Ryde has, for many years, been the “gateway to the Island,” being the main port for ferry services from Portsmouth and Southsea as far back as the early 19th century.  Ryde Pier Gates, Ryde Esplanade and, since 1974, Ryde Bus Station, have been major terminus points for motor omnibus services since they started operating on the Island in the early 20th century.

From 1929, the main bus operator on the Isle of Wight has been The Southern Vectis Omnibus Company, whose name combines the initial interests of the Southern Railway and the Roman name for the Island.  However, Ryde was also the last stronghold of a long lived stage carriage route between Ryde and Seaview operated by local independent, Seaview Services.  Vehicles originating with Southern Vectis will predominate in free passenger carrying service throughout the event weekend; however an example of a former Seaview Services bus is displayed at the Isle of Wight Bus & Coach Museum and another is expected to be in service.


toiletsToilets, including disabled and baby changing facilities are available within the Isle of Wight Bus & Coach Museum.

Refreshments & Gifts

teaThe Isle of Wight Bus & Coach Museum hosts the “Shanklin Steamer”’ Tea Room where you can obtain hot & cold drinks and snacks.

Ice creams and a hot food bar will also be available throughout the event.

The Museum is also the home of the “Just the Ticket” gift shop where you can purchase transport and Island gifts and souvenirs.

Accessibility for disabled visitors & families with young children

disabled-signThe Isle of Wight Bus & Coach Museum itself is fully accessible to wheelchair and pushchair users, however please be aware that the vintage vehicles being used on the event bus services were designed and built many years ago and are not readily accessible to such users.

We will make every effort to enable disabled visitors to fully participate in the event, and we would ask you to make our volunteers aware of any special requirements.  We will aim to provide all possible assistance as required

pushchairFamilies with pushchairs are welcome aboard our services, however pushchairs must be folded prior to boarding and may be stowed on the vehicle only if space permits.  It will be possible to store pushchairs etc on our Control Bus at the Museum site – please ask one of the on-site event marshals.

Families with young children should also be aware that some of our bus services will be away from the Museum site and/or Ryde town centre for up to an hour, with brief pauses en route only for photographic opportunities at locations where basic facilities will not be available


dogs-allowedWe welcome assistance dogs and their owners to the Museum site and on all services that we are operating.

Clean and well-behaved pet dogs (and their owners) are also welcome; however travel on privately owned/preserved vehicles is entirely at the discretion of the owner/driver/conductor.