Including Old Devonport UK  and Old East Stonehouse UK and beyond.

  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: August 10, 2019
Webpage updated: August 10, 2019




At midnight on Saturday December 31st 1927 the Devon Motor Transport Company Limited was taken over by the National Omnibus and Transport Company Limited.

The National Omnibus and Transport Company Limited had been founded as the National Steam Car Company Limited in Chelmsford, Essex, on June 19th 1909 by Mr Thomas Clarkson, of Messrs Clarkson Limited, manufacturers of steam-driven vehicles.  In that year Mr Clarkson added omnibus operation to his previous manufacturing business by starting a service of steam-buses in London.  Both the manufacturing and the operating businesses expanded but the last steam-driven bus was produced in 1919.  The old Company was wound up and a new one, The National Omnibus and Transport Company Limited, was registered on February 13th 1920.

In February 1927 the National acquired the fleet and motor bus services of Messrs Hardy Colwills, which operated services on Exmoor and in north Devon and north Cornwall.  On January 1st 1928 National also took over the Devon Motor Transport Company Limited and its associated Cornwall Motor Transport Company Limited.

The Devon Motor Transport Company's routes were given new service numbers in June 1928, as follows:

  • NO&TC Route 201, Plymouth to Yelverton and Tavistock
  • NO&TC Route 202 : Plymouth to Horrabridge and Tavistock
  • NO&TC Route 203 : Okehampton to Tavistock, Yelverton and Plymouth
  • NO&TC Route 204 : Plymouth to Saint Budeaux
    NO&TC Route 204A : Devonport to Crownhill
  • NO&TC Route 205 : Plymouth to Tamerton Foliot
  • NO&TC Route 206 : Plymouth to Meavy
  • NO&TC Route 207 : Plymouth to Crapstone and Buckland Monachorum
    NO&TC Route 207A : Plymouth to Milton Combe
  • NO&TC Route 208 : Plymouth to Yelverton and Walkhampton (extended to Princetown in summer)
  • NO&TC Route 209 ; Plymouth to Plympton, Ivybridge and Totnes
    NO&TC Route 209A : Plymouth to Plympton, Avonwick and Totnes
  • NO&TC Route 210 : Plymouth to Plympton (Underwood)
    NO&TC Route 210A : Plymouth to Plympton (Colebrook)
  • NO&TC Route 211 : Plymouth to Plympton, Sparkwell and Cornwood
    NO&TC Route 211A : Plymouth to Plympton, Lee Moor and Shaugh Prior
  • NO&TC Route 213 : Plymouth to Buckfastleigh and Exeter
  • NO&TC Route 216 : Plymouth to Knighton and Wembury
  • NO&TC Route 217 : Plymouth to Yealmpton, Ermington and Ivybridge
  • NO&TC Route 218 : Plymouth to Eggbuckland

During the year National introduced a limited stop service from Plymouth to Torquay, which resulted in Messrs Ashcroft Motors extending their Paignton to Totnes service in to Plymouth.  A similar service was introduced from Plymouth to Exeter.

However, National's influence in the area was to be short-lived as on August 3rd 1929 the Great Western Railway (Road Traffic) Act received the Royal Assent, authorising the Great Western Railway to form its own bus company.  The board of the National Omnibus and Transport Company had watched this event with interest and they entered into negotiations with the GWR on the basis that a combined rail and road operation made sense.  Both parties were in agreement and as a result the Western National Omnibus Company Limited came into being on January 1st 1929.  The formal agreement was signed on April 17th 1929 and the new Company held its first statutory meeting on May 13th 1929.