BUSES in a Hampshire city centre had a distinctly different look about them yesterday – and it was also free!

In its splendid green and cream livery, one single decker was immensely popular with bus enthusiasts.

The left-hand drive vehicle that carried a distinguished passenger in the form of the Winchester mayor Councillor Richard Izard formerly operated in Paris.

Bought by a member of the Friends of King Alfred Buses, it proved to be the greatest attraction in the annual rally of vintage buses and coaches that dominates the cathedral city once a year.

Normally it is staged on January 1 but this year was put back a day because the city centre depot and the park and ride facilities were in use.

Rally spokesman Lee Middleton said: “All roads for bus enthusiasts point to Winchester in January and people come from far and wide in England and Wales for the occasion, staying in the city for a couple of nights and bringing in a lot of revenue for the city.”