Rambling around the Red Rose County

A few posts back I tossed out a couple of photographs from a day riding the buses of Lancashire. Catching the North Western “Timesaver” service 761 from Liverpool to Preston was a free ride with my Crosville staff pass but once there it would not be recognised by any of the local bus companies at the time so a “piece” would be required: a pass for the day to travel wherever the fancy took me.

Happily, in those days there was a County Council initiative where all the bus operators were expected to accept scratchcard tickets sold at bus stations and council offices. The ticket was known as the Red Rose Rambler and was valid for a whole day. The leaflet I have is undated and has the adult day ticket priced at £3.00. I had a few of these over the years but in my box of tickets I don’t appear to have saved the one I must have used in January 1989.

Here’s one from a few years earlier… how ironic that the scratchcard started life in a humble way, offering cheap day tickets on public transport in urban areas and is now sold in millions to poor souls desperate for a big win. Bus tickets, of course, have gone high tech with the ITSO scheme. I don’t know to what extent the Red Rose scheme was taken up by the public but certainly in Merseyside the Saveaway ticket was hugely popular but subject to significant amounts of fraudulent use.

Never used a scratchcard?

I have quite a few scratchcard travel tickets of different types and will present the others along the way. There is a promotional leaflet in the collection too so here goes:

Leaflet cover. No date on the leaflet

Some suggestions for destinations are offered

…and a map showing the limits of validity

Sadly it seems the Red Rose Rambler is no more. Searching for it returns only a few remarks regretting the ticket’s demise. There is a suggestion that it was a “victim of deregulation” but if I had one in 1989 that must have been a delayed effect. The suggestion was made that Ribble withdrew, without whose participation I imagine there would be nothing to join everything up with Ribble providing most of the interurban routes.

There you have it… do you have any memories of the Red Rose Rambler to share?

Author: crisparmour

In my fragmented and unremarkable career I have spent over 20 years working in the bus industry in various roles. Prior to that I became interested in transport as a very young child and, as soon as I was considered old enough, launched myself into the world of bus enthusiasts. Off and on I have amassed an archive of photographs of my own and a substantial collection of timetables, maps and publicity. In time I will share much of this with the world with one proviso: please respect my copyright and do not upload my photographs to your own sites or social media. If you like what you see by all means use the "share" facility on each post to share a link so that your friends can come here and enjoy.

2 thoughts on “Rambling around the Red Rose County”

  1. I am sure the Red Rose Rambler was a victim of deregulation most of my bus travel in the late eighties was facilitated using the Ribble Explorer ticket these were valid on all Ribble services and a certain number of joint operators notably Pennine and Fishwicks. I can’t see them being accepted by M&M, Powercrafts certainly didn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As I remark elsewhere, I can’t find a ticket for that day. It could be that I used my staff pass on the Ribble and just paid on the M&M service but the NBC was being privatised at the time and drivers stopped accepting other companies’ staff passes [which was a shame]. I will ask my companion from the day if he remembers!


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