About us

The Leyland Olympians Yahoo Group was started in 2005 and now has around 250 members, it's the most active group for those interested in Leyland and Volvo Olympians having reached over 10,000 postings and anyone is welcome to join us.

In 2009 an opportunity was identified, there were many operators of our favourite type which had interesting fleets of vehicles which were confined to schools workings. For many years these buses had operated in a way which made them difficult to photograph and impossible to ride on, so the idea of operating trips as private hires using this sort of operator was born.

The response to the first trip was phenomenal and the range of trips was expanded to include other operators where elderly Leyland Olympians formed the schools contract fleet. One of the unexpected benefits of these trips was the bringing together of a number of like-minded enthusiasts and quickly the trips turned into social occasions as well as the chance to ride on NBC era Olympians.

Following the success of these trips other operators of similar style trips started, mostly friendly but one operator entered into a very hostile competitive situation which led to an over provision of such trips and divided passenger loyalty. These trips were never intended to be and can never be a commercial venture, they are simply a bolt-on to the popular online news group for those interested in Leyland Olympians. Some trips return a profit, whereas others make a loss and that situation is sustainable as long as an overall balance is achieved. Opportunity has been taken to provide a small number of other relevant vehicles where appropriate but I was always happy to leave providing a wider variety of vehicles to other operators.

Looking ahead I am aiming to continue to provide a much more modest number of trips, with just one or two likely to operate throughout the year making these trips a rare treat rather than a regular feature. I will continue to support other operators by assisting with planning and promotion where appropriate in the hope that passengers will continue to enjoy the trips and further the ability to ride and photograph vehicles long since demoted to schools contracts. To maintain the high standard set I will continue to aim to meet the following commitments for the Leyland Olympian Yahoo Group trips;

- I will reinforce my focus on providing quality rather than quantity and to underline this pledge I promise that no trip will be operated with an average vehicle age of under 20 years.

- I will seek to generally avoid using vehicles which have only recently left the fleets of major operators and I will continue to provide trips in a geographically diverse range of locations.

- I will continue to follow an itinerary, meaning a better range of places will be reached, a variety of photographic locations will be used and the time spent on each vehicle will be long enough for passengers to properly enjoy each ride. The target amount of travelling on each vehicle will remain between 30 and 50 minutes.

- I will continue to give passengers plenty of notice about forthcoming trips allowing you to make plans and obtain cheap public transport tickets to reach us if necessary. I will always aim to give at least six weeks notice as a minimum so that you've got a chance to make your arrangements to reach any trip that you would like to travel on. 

- I will continue to produce an informative leaflet telling you where we are going, telling you about the vehicles we are travelling on and imparting other useful information.

- I will continue to consider how passengers will reach my trips; I will consult rail timetables and try and fit pick up and drop off times around trains most likely to be used by passengers travelling from large population centres and for those who wish to come by car I will continue to locate free or very cheap parking locations close to a pick up point for all trips.

- I value the fact that you commit time and money to join these trips and I will not mess you around with significant late alterations and I will never provide irrelevant vehicles such as low floor buses or anonymous coaches.

- I won't cheat you out of riding on vehicles by using announced extras during lunch breaks or after the official trip has finished; you pay for the full trip and you are welcome to travel on everything that is used.

- I will continue to work with Independent Bus Tours and East Coast Regional Tours so that we don't ever have a clash of dates or operators which the main competitor was constantly aiming to create which forced intending passengers to choose between trips.
Chris Martin


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