Yes, I know, bus crews don’t wear those badges any more.
But, as you will have gathered, I have one foot in the past and I like to dress the part when conducting on a vintage* bus. That’s why, if you’re a passenger on the Service 400 “Exmoor Explorer” when I’m rostered, you’ll see me kitted out as a 1960s bus conductor. [Edit: sadly this service no longer runs. Also, I no longer work for that operator!]
Bus crews all over the country were issued with Public Service Vehicle (PSV) badges (red for a driver or green for a conductor) to show that they were licenced to drive a bus in service or to collect fares. Every crew member had his or her unique number. The badges were issued by the Traffic Commissioners and bore a code which signified the area in which the the crew member lived. For instance, the Western Area Office was in Bristol and issued “HH” badges.
PSV badges were phased out in the mid 1980s and, although they were actually owned by the Traffic Commissioners and should have been handed back, there are many still in circulation today as collectors’ items. For more information, head over to Stephen Howarth’s excellent website where you can also see examples from his extensive collection of PSV badges.
Incidentally, even the term PSV has been phased out. Buses and coaches are now classed as Passenger Carrying Vehicles (PCV) and it is a PCV driver’s test that I’m aiming to pass next year. [Edit: I passed!]
* ‘Vintage’, ‘Classic’ and ‘Heritage’ are all terms to describe a bus or coach that’s generally 30 or more years old.