YOU wait for a bus, and then three come along at the same time, much to the delight of visitors to the remote Imber village on Saturday.

In 2009, a group of bus industry professionals achieved a long standing ambition to run a vintage bus service from Warminster to the abandoned village of Imber on Salisbury Plain.

It proved to be so popular that it has now become an annual event, with most journeys continuing across the Plain to parts of Wiltshire rarely seen by public transport users.

Six years on the annual heritage Imber bus service attracts hundreds of visitors, with this year seven former London Transport Routemaster buses providing transport to isolated locations on Salisbury Plain.

Sir Peter Hendy, chairman of Network Rail and a member of the Imber bus organising committee, headed the event. He said: "Imber village was evacuated in 1943 by the Army to allow it to become a training area for them, and other than a few days each year has been out of bounds to the public ever since.

"The bus service across the Plain not only allows people to see Imber, which is a fascinating place, but also to see the expanse of the Plain from the top of a double decker bus."

The highlight of the day's event was the arrival of a First World War battlebus, which took troops to the Western Front. The battlebus started life as the London General Omnibus Company's bus B1737.

When war broke out it was commandeered for the war effort along with 900 of these early London motor buses. These were used to transport troops in the war, some of which were converted to house carrier pigeons, which were used to take messages.

The battlebus is normally housed in London¹s Transport Museum in Covent Garden, and it restoration was a project headed by Tim Shield. The restoration of the battlebus and a five year community programme marking the centenary of World War One is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and London Transport Museum Friends.

The Heritage Imber bus service is an annual event and last year raised £4,000 which was split between The Friends of St Giles Church and the Royal British Legion Poppy Day Appeal.