Our History

Photo of heritage Wilts & Dorset and Hants & Dorset vehicles

The origins of morebus can be traced back to 1916, when a bus company called Bournemouth & District Motor Services was founded; this became Hants & Dorset Motor Services in July 1920 as the network of routes expanded. Hants & Dorset was always highly regarded for offering a reliable and friendly service. The Southern Railway bought into the company in the 1930s and Hants & Dorset became state-owned in 1948.

From 1 January 1969 Hants & Dorset became part of the National Bus Company, and in 1972 the bus livery was changed from the longstanding and familiar green to poppy red. Hants & Dorset was broken up into smaller units from April 1983, one of which was the Wilts & Dorset Bus Company whose area of operation included the present morebus network and sister company Salisbury Reds in Wiltshire.

The Wilts & Dorset Bus Company was bought by its local management team in 1987, and has been part of the Go-Ahead Group since August 2003.

The more brand, with its distinctive blue livery was first seen on the Poole to Bournemouth m1 and m2 routes in 2004 when an investment of £4 million was made in a fleet of 30 new Volvo single-deck buses, and has subsequently been rolled out across the network.

In 2005, the m1 was extended from its original terminus at Bournemouth Rail Station to Castlepoint shopping centre via Charminster. In May 2008, morebus introduced its N1 and N2 nightbuses which originally ran only on Fridays and Saturdays but due to popularity, have, in due course, been extended to run Monday to Saturday. 

Contactless payments were rolled out across the network in 2017; another major technological advancement and improvement to the customer journey after introducing Wi-Fi and USB chargers some years prior.

Morebus won the Medium Size Bus Operator of the Year at the Route One awards in 2014 which was superceded by Large Bus Operator of the Year in late 2017. This year was indeed a fortuitous year which also saw morebus win Top Shire Operator and UK Bus Operator of the Year in 2017 awards at the UK Bus Awards. 

Not only have we enhanced the on board experience, we have introduced new methods of buying tickets such as the mobile app, which makes it quick and convenient for all as well as Tap On Tap Off introduced in November 2021.

morebus holds a strong working relationship with Bournemouth University for who we operate UNIBUS, a bus service not just for university students and staff but also for workers, shoppers and local residents. 

We also operate the ever popular Purbeck Breezer and New Forest Tour routes, which offer visitors and locals alike the opportunity to experience stunning scenery and the beautiful countryside of the Isle of Purbeck as well as the world-famous New Forest National Park.