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Canvey Island's Early Buses


A history covering the period up to 1951 including stories of rivalry and disputes among the numerous early bus operators. Journeys to and from Canvey Island involved travelling over the creek from South Benfleet by ferry or later via an opening bridge. In days when few possessed a motor car, the bus service to and from Benfleet Station used by most islanders and visitors to the island was a very important part of peoples lives. Prior to 1931 the buses were operated by numerous individuals. Controls and agreements often proved impossible to enforce, lawlessness, rivalry and many disputes resulted. Eventually the remaining fifteen operators formed a private company which acquired an amazing assortment of vehicles, but before long they sold their shares to the Bridge family. Canvey's buses, with their own characteristics, continued to be privately owned until 1951 when sale to the British Transport Commission resulted in nationalisation.



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