Ribble Motor Services in its heyday covered most of North West England from Carlisle in the north to Wigan in the south. Most urban operations were in the hands of local councils, but Ribble dominated rural and small town operations. It was formed in 1919 in Preston, which remained its headquarters. It had spells in the ownership of the LMS Railway, passing onto British Electric Traction, and then the nationalised National Bus Company in 1969, before being privatised by sale to its Management in 1988 who sold it onto Stagecoach in 1989 – by which time its operating area had contracted to Lancashire.
On the Fylde it had a base in Fleetwood, operating the town services there and in Cleveleys and Thornton. It also had two depots in Blackpool operating rural and interurban services and coach work. It was a joint operator in the legendary X60 service to Manchester which brought hoards of holiday makers to the town in the pre Motorway era.
Its fleet was mainly Leyland dominated and in the Fylde was mainly double deck until the advent of OMO operation saw Leyland National and Bristol RE single deckers become more common with minibuses arriving in Fleetwood in 1986. Deregulation saw operations contract as Blackpool and Fylde picked up much of Ribble’s subsidised rural and schools operations and the Blackpool depots closed in 1987/8. Fleetwood depot was relocated and downgraded to an outstation in 1991 but remains in the hands of Stagecoach until 2016, when the sole commercially viable local service was taken over by Catch22Bus.