It started in July with 32 teams and now we’re down to the last 2

The UK Open Top Bus Cup sponsored by Ticketer, the leading edge provider of ticketing systems to transport companies, has been a competition that has gripped the nation, showcasing the fantastic joys of scenic sojourns with the gentle English summer breeze and occasional rays of sun beating down onto happy customers, enjoying innocent fun, great company, fab customer service and lovely views.

The competition so far…

We’ve had some fantastic debut performances from newly launched routes such as Peak Sightseer from Stagecoach Yorkshire which made it through to the Quarter Final in its first season and the newly revamped SkyCar 99 progressing to the Semi-Final where it lost to Toon Tour, despite going ahead early on. SkyCar 99 thought they were underdogs but the public came back for more and more, revelling in the delights of their journey from Cardiff to Penarth Pier before narrowly bowing out in injury time.

There have been some close encounters - a draw between Skegness Seasiders and Sunseeker in Devon, with Skegness winning a tight replay. The quarter final between New Forest Tours and Jurassic Coaster had more twists and turns than a trip up Britain’s Steepest Bus Route, the open topper Exmoor Coaster. The previous round saw Jurassic Coaster win

another big local derby in Dorset, edging out the bus that runs on a boat, the Purbeck Breezer. Meanwhile, the fans came out for Scarborough’s Beachcomber and Great Yarmouth’s Clipper Cabriolet with some passionate support from locals, whilst we had a quirky sightseeing derby in Scotland with Edinburgh Britannia Tours facing off with its sister route, Edinburgh City Tour, with the latter winning through very narrowly.

A few surprises have abounded, with the iconic and delightful Lakes 599 service from the brilliant Stagecoach Cumbria being knocked out at the first hurdle and less-known Eastbourne Sightseeing seeing off strong opposition to fellow south east opposition, the 69 from Ramsgate to Stone Bay. No surprise really, as all summer, Eastbourne has had to put on extra buses to meet incredible demand as they travel to the top of Beachy Head!

Round 1 results

Journey 1 Journey 2 (Winner)
Beachcomber (Scarborough) Clipper Cabriolet (Great Yarmouth)
Plymouth City Sightseeing Toon Tour (Newcastle)
Lakesider 599 (Lake District) Atlantic Coaster (Cornwall)
Thanet Open Top 69 (Kent) Eastbourne Sightseeing
Golden Hop Tour Beach Breezer
Sunseeker (Cornwall) Skegness Seasider
Exmoor Coaster Peak Sightseer
Edinburgh Britannia Edinburgh City Tour
Purbeck Breezer (Dorset) Jurassic Coaster (Dorset)
Southsea Coaster (Portsmouth) Skycar 99 (Cardiff)
Discover Dundee Land's End Coaster
Pevensey Explorer Falmouth Coaster
T11 Orkney Bus Tour New Forest Tours
Harbour Breezer (Dorset) Portland Coaster (Dorset)
The Needles Breezer Route 68 Southend on Sea
Tour Lincoln Tenby Coaster

Second round onwards

It’s down to the big final now!

which is an all Go Ahead Group owned showdown between north and south as New Forest Tours taken on Toon Tour. It’s not just their parent company which they have in common, both have excellent, renowned on-board commentary and a real pedigree for great customer service and whilst the bright lights of Newcastle or the fog on the Tyne might be a different atmosphere to the deer running between shrubland and trees in Dorset, there’s no doubting the view from the window is encapsulating from these routes. In the case of the New Forest Tours, there are 3 routes, red, blue and green traversing this idyllic part of the country, whereas the Toon Tour may have just one but it’s certainly majestic, particularly the grand finale as the open top bus makes its way with a sense of pomp and occasion over the Tyne Bridge back into this world famous city from Gateshead.

It should be a cracker, so be sure to go onto Twitter to make your vote this Bank Holiday weekend and follow us on Twitter or Instagram for live ball by ball coverage of this huge match!

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