On a cold winter’s evening back in 2009, over a few pints in a Bath pub, four transport professionals discussed where the most unlikely place would be to run a bus service. The answer was a place that the public were not normally allowed access to and so the idea of running a bus service to the village of Imber on Salisbury Plain was born.
The village of Imber is no longer inhabited as the residents were evicted just before Christmas 1943 by the MoD, in order to step up army training in advance of D-Day. The villagers were promised that their village would be returned to them after the war but this was not to be and 66-years on it is still uninhabited, much of it having been damaged or destroyed. It remains in use for army training purposes but the connecting road is open to the public on a limited number of occasions each year and was previously only accessible to the public if they had their own transport.
Following lengthy negotiations with the Ministry of Defence at a very senior level, the Bath Bus Company was permitted, with the cooperation of several other operators, Transport for London and Wiltshire Council’s Transport Department, to run a bus service 23A from Warminster to the village of Imber on 5th September 2009. Operated as an ordinary local bus service using 4 former London Transport Routemaster buses, the service proved to be very successful and so has now become an annual event, with services now extending beyond Imber to the villages of Market Lavington, Tilshead and Chitterne, plus other remote locations on Salisbury Plain, such as New Zealand Farm Camp and Brazen Bottom.
Our 2019 event proved to be the most successful yet with 28 vehicles in operation and almost £25,000 raised for the Imber Church fund, the Royal British Legion and Macmillan Cancer Support. We are now preparing for Imberbus 2021 and further details will be available on this website during the summer.
Pictures and reports of the previous occasions that we have run Imberbus can be found on our Past Events Page. However, if you want to know more about the background to Imberbus and how it operates, please take a look at the YouTube video below where Peter Hendy explains Imberbus to the Friends of the London Transport Museum.
If you can see anything below this line, it is an advertisement and is not related to our event, so please ignore it.