Royal Mail operates a network of Postbus passenger services in the United Kingdom. Postbuses combine the delivery and collection of mail with the transport of passengers. In many areas the Postbus is the only means of public transport.
Postbuses become operational in 1967 after a recommendation from a government commission. According to this commission mail vans can be adapted to carry small numbers of passengers. Thanks to its low costs this concept spreads quickly.
The Post bus transport tickets consist of stamps.
Area of transport
The first route is in Wales from Llangurig to Llanidloes. In the years after this the Royal Mail Post Bus expands to over 200 routes in the rural areas of England, Scotland and Wales.
Postbuses follow known postal schedules and routes. There are usually two services a day, as Postbuses need to deliver mail in the morning and pick it up in the afternoon. In most cases Postbuses run from Monday to Friday. On some routes the service runs on Saterday as well. A passenger can hail a Postbus at any point along its route and it will stop, providing road and traffic conditions allow.
Since 2005 the number of routes shows a siginificant reduction. The last three services in Wales cease in 2009. In 2011 only three routes are left in England and nine in Scotland. According to British Mail there are severel reasons to cease services:
- low numbers of passengers
- lack of funding
- smaller amounts of mail
Postbuses are vans or cars with the Royal Mail livery. The number of seats is limited.