A THROWBACK to the golden days of Ribble Bus will be hitting the streets of East Lancashire this year.

Once the gleaming red and cream livery of their single and double deckers were a familiar sight across the roads of the red rose county.

And now Transdev, one of the successors to the Ribble Bus fleet, is celebrating its centenary with a new specially-designed bus.

Originally the first Ribble Bus travelled between Preston and Gregson Lane village, along the old road to Blackburn.

Today the route forms part of Transdev's 152 Hotline service, which extends to Blackburn and Burnley, through Rishton, Clayton-le-Moors, Simonstone and Padiham.

Chris Brierley, their Burnley-based engineering manager, drivers Mohammed Ashraf and Haroon Adam and engineer Pete Johnson, who all started their careers with the former Ribble company, were invited along to the double decker's grand unveiling.

Alex Hornby, Transdev's chief executive, said: "People are always at the heart of what we do today, and so it's entirely appropriate that we recognise the efforts of those who helped to make Ribble a household name in Lancashire with the unveiling of bus 100 in the iconic Ribble colours.

"Our livery design features a selection of the people, buses and coaches which earned Ribble a formidable reputation far beyond its Lancashire roots and led to the company we are proud to work for today – including its pioneering double-deck express coaches of the 1960s, the predecessors of our own premium and well-known Hotline, Red Express and Witchway brands."

"We're proud to salute 100 years of service and delighted to share our celebration with some of the dedicated and hard-working people who helped make it happen.

The bus itself has even been given the fleet number 100 by the company to mark the occasion.