Introducing IMBERBUS

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 2017 & 2018 events proved to be the most successful yet with 21 vehicles in operation and a total of £22,000 donated to the Imber Church fund and the Royal British Legion. We are now preparing for Imberbus 2020 and further details will be available on this website during the summer.

Numerous reports and photographs about our previous events are available on the internet, including the following:

Imberbus 2018 – The Movie

There is also a short documentary here showing the work that goes into setting up the infrastructure for Imberbus on the previous day.

Imberbus 2017 – Coping with Charters

Imberbus 2016 – Battling the Weather



Imberbus 2015 – Borrowing the battlebus

In addition, further information on the Battle Bus project can be found here.

Imberbus 2014 – making a splash !


Imberbus 2013 – to Copehill Down and Chitterne


Imberbus 2012 – Celebrating the Jubilee with the Old and the New

Borismaster at Tinkers Track

Imberbus 2011 – New Zealand Farm and Brazen Bottom

New Zealand - Wiltshire style

Imberbus 2010 – Buses to the Bustard

Imberbus 2009 – The first year

Tanking along


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