25 September 2007

Beverley Bar

This is the name given to the 15th century arch in the minster town of Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire. Built as the North Bar, the arch helped to protect the settlement from the north from Molescroft, now Molescroft Road. The Arch poses something of a problem to the operation of bus services in the area, not least because prior to pedestrianisation of the area, it formed part of the logical access to the area, which, due to its dimensions, precluded many buses from entering.

East Yorkshire Motor Services were and still are the predominant operator of bus services in the area and in 1956 the Company placed an order with bodymaker Willowbrook to have specially modified bodies placed on a batch of AEC Regent Vs they'd ordered, capable of entering the town centre through the Arch. By 1972 all examples had left the fleet though in 1990 the Company purchased one back - VKH 44. This now forms part of their Coaching Fleet and is available for private hire.
Ironically, this vehicle, although built specifically to negotiate the Arch, cannot do so today as the road has been raised subtly over the years, resulting in the clearance being reduced to less than needed.

Last week though, a Stagecoach in Hull driver tried to negotiate the Arch, with caution, in recently-acquired Volvo Olympian/Alexander RL, 16732 (N732 LTN), luckily resulting in only minimal damage to the vehicle (far less than to his ego)!