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Wednesday, 31 October 2018

More Konect Cuts Proposed

Konectbus have revealed their proposals for the January timetable review, and surprise surprise it's more cuts. Among other selected journeys going by the wayside the 5 is being scrapped between Queens Hill and Norwich, and the 87 Monday - Saturday except evening journeys being scrapped too. This means that Upper Stoke and Broome will lose their service completely, and Poringland, Brooke and Bungay will be down to a basic hourly service, with the last bus to Halesworth from Norwich leaving earlier at 1745. There is also a two hour gap in the afternoon from Southwold between 1453 and the LAST BUS at 1658. Here is a full list of the changes, taken from Konect's website.

Route 3, 6 & 6A
Thetford - Watton
Toftwood - Shipdham - Watton
Watton - Hingham - N&NU Hospital (3) / Wymondham (6/6A) - Norwich

Summary; please note: 
  • The 0700 and 0745 6 departures from Watton have been advanced 5 minutes and will now depart at 0655 and 0740 respectively. 
  • The 0745 3 from Thetford has been advanced 5 minutes and will now depart at 0740. 
  • The 1645 3 from Norwich will now leave 5 minutes later at 1650 to ensure a prompt departure in the evening peak. 
  • The 0815 6 from Norwich will depart at 0810 on schooldays and 0820 on non-schooldays and Saturdays. 
  • The 0840 from Watton to Great Hockham, and the 0857 Great Hockham to Watton have been withdrawn due to low usage
  • The 1044/1444 from Thetford to Watton, and the 1124/1324 from Watton to Thetford, will omit East Wretham Camp due to low usage. 
  • Journeys arriving into Watton High Street from Norwich will continue to Swaffham Road roundabout bus stop opposite the petrol station. 
  • Journeys starting and finishing in Shipdham will be extending from/to Toftwood, Shipdham Road, Westfield Road. 
  • The change to the 6A only affects the 1910 departure from Norwich which has revised times. This journey will connect with a new journey from Watton to Toftwood via Shipdham. 

Route 5
Queen's Hills - Dereham Road - Norwich - Yarmouth Road - Postwick P&R
Route 5 will be withdrawn between Queen's Hills, Dereham Road and Norwich. This difficult decision has been made due to unsustainable losses on this corridor. Route 5 between Postwick Park & Ride and Norwich will still operate and operate to a revised timetable. We would like to thank our customers who have used Konectbus route 5 since it started in 2007 and advise there is an alternative with First's route 24/24A .
We welcome your comments on the above proposed changes so please get in touch via email (feedback@konectbus.co.uk)

Route 5B
Stalham - Wroxham - Norwich
Revised Sunday timetable including revised times from and to Stalham. Route 5B on Sundays will connect with route 8 to Dereham.
 
Route straight8
Toftwood - Dereham - Norwich
Revised Sunday & bank holiday timetable with better train connections at Norwich Rail Station for trains to/from London. We have allowed more time to help improve punctuality.

Route 9
Attleborough - Wymondham - N&NU Hospital
The 0655 9 from Wymondham to the N&NU Hospital will be advanced 5 minutes to give it more running time with increased traffic in the Wymondham/Hethersett area and condition of the highway between Hethersett and Lt Melton.

Route 11
Dereham - Watton - Swaffham
The 0710 departure from Dereham to Watton has been advanced 5 minutes and will depart at 0705. There are also minor revised times on Sundays & bank holidays to improve punctuality. 

Route 37A
Mulbarton - Norwich
Revised timetable on Sundays & bank holidays to improve punctuality.

Route 87/88
Southwold - Halesworth - Bungay
Bungay - Poringland - Norwich
Due to continuing unsustainable losses we have made the difficult decision to withdraw route 87 (Bungay - Poringland - Upper Stoke - Stoke Holy Cross - Caistor St Edmund - Trowse - Norwich), except in the evenings and on Sundays & bank holidays. Stoke Holy Cross and Caistor St Edmund will be served by Konectbus route 84. Upper Stoke will no longer be served by Konectbus.
An hourly timetable (route 88) will operate between Southwold and Bungay via Halesworth, and Bungay and Norwich via Poringland with through connections (no change of bus required) in Bungay. The train connections at Halesworth Rail Station for trains from/to Ipswich are maintained.
Due to very low usage and to improve punctuality Broome will no longer be served. Simonds route 581 links Broome with Bungay five times a day .
To improve punctuality Norwich's St Stephens Street will no longer be served on journeys heading into the city; it will still be served after Norwich Bus Station.
From 19 December 2018 we will no longer be operating the Norwich to Framingham Earl High School contract to Norfolk County Council. We will update this page when the new operator is announced.
We welcome your comments on the above proposed changes so please get in touch via email (feedback@konectbus.co.uk) . Alternatively you can contact Norfolk County Council by emailing ptgnetwork@norfolk.gov.uk


Anyone get a feeling of deja vu here? Obviously three years of Anglian cuts that did nothing to improve things, in fact drove customers away has gone completely unnoticed. A few months ago there were 4 buses an hour between Norwich and Poringland. That will be down to 1, and how long before the 8 gets scrapped completely. Certainly Saturday when I was on it there weren't many passengers, but worth noting that everyone going into Norwich on Saturday got off at St Stephen's St, the precise stop Konect will no longer be serving....... obviously much data analysis there!

I'm not going to go on as you've heard it all before, but sure "Phil" you come on and say how this is going to benefit anyone. A spokesperson for First, when I told them about these changes, simply said "wow"!

63 comments:

  1. Shame about those in Stoke etc, surely first can move in there, and also provide another bus per hour to Bungay.

    The 5 is really no surprise. Always empty when I see it. I wonder how the 37A can keep going. Exact same route as First but with more expensive fares. The 9 is always empty too.

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  2. Phil here - Evening Steve, thanks for your post.

    Indeed cuts are not welcomed by anybody. I agree that Anglian done well with the 87/88 before the go ahead take over, and it's a shame that it has been cut back so much. Although, in the state it is now, they have no choice but to cut it back due to loses. That being said, I will be honest here. First started the route to Poringland and Konect are withdrawing a lot of the buses. I'm sure management at first are thinking that if they can do that to the 88, it's only a matter of time before they try and complete with routes like 3/6 etc.

    It is a shame, because prior to 2006, First had route 3 (X3) and ran 1 bus every 2 hours under contract to NCC. Konect took it over, and with their great service, made it possible to have 4 buses every 2 hours. First then came back for 6 months with the X3 to try and compete, and whilst Konect's 3 had 50 passengers on during the peak, Firsts had 3. I'm sure First have already thought about competing on that corridor again. Due to subsidy, I believe that the 3 would stay, but it would be interesting to see how many people would jump ship to First now.

    As for route 5, this has been on the cards for a long time. You only have to look at the Facebook comments to see how much this service was liked by its customers. Unfortunately with Firsts frequency on that corridor and the 5 being a commercial route, there isn't enough demand to cover costs. Even back in the great days (2007-2012) the route was doing not much better than breaking even.

    87/88 no longer serving St Stephens street. How long does it take to walk from the bus station to st Stephens street? 2 minutes? From Norwich bus station, it gets in at xx:24 and leaves at xx:30. This gives the bus 6 minutes to get in to the station, change drivers, get passengers on board and go. With congestion on St Stephens street delaying the bus by approximately 3 minutes, this obviously makes the Norwich departure late. If you asked any passenger: would you like the bus to serve st Stephens street and reduce the frequency (as buses would have to depart later to run on time) or walk 2 minutes from the station? What would their answer be?

    As for anon above - I will not comment on route 37A. As for the 9, it is contracted by NCC between Wymondham and NNUH so this is sustainable. It was due to lobbying from an MP and residents if Attleborough to get the route extended. Will Wymondham- Attleborough be axed from route 9 in future? We shall see.

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  3. If the previous proprietors had continued in business, they too would almost certainly have needed to trim journeys and services. Possibly not to the same extent as Go Ahead, but it is happening right across the country, with town centre footfall and retail spending declining nearly everywhere.
    As for St Stephens Street - the development between it and the bus station is due to provide a new footpath between the two.

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  4. Trouble is, Phil, they've stopped serving St Stephen's St AND reduced the frequency. There are now 3 First buses an hour from Poringland to Norwich, and all serve St Stephen's St. There will be one Konect bus an hour that doesn't. Oh yes, it certainly doesn't take long to walk down to St Stephen's from the bus station, but certainly longer to walk back up with shopping bags. Did no one consider that?

    It goes back to what I was saying about attracting custom. To attract, you've got to be attractive - it's why I'm single - and buses are no different. The thinking seems to be "Oh, no one's using that service, or fewer are, so we'll cut it," Does anyone actually bother to work out WHY a service is poorly used instead of cutting as a first resort? Why, 4 years ago, was the first bus out of Halesworth after 0930 a decker that was virtually full before it reached Bungay. On Saturday when we got to Bungay there were 6 of us. Why is that? Has anyone wanted to find out, or is it just accepted with the apathy I concluded with last week? Do Go East want to abandon the route, but are dragging it out so they can blame it on passenger numbers rather than appalling management from the very top down. I get passionate because I care. I talk from the heart more than the head normally, especially when it's a route close to me, but something has got to have caused this decline, and no one else seems to care. That's saddening, not to mention depressing.

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    1. And? Why doesn't the x2 serve st Stephens when it's in competition with borderbus which does? What about x1 which doesn't when in competition with str8....?

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    2. Fair point, although the str8 doesn't serve St Stephen's St.

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  5. Never should have brought in the passes...

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  6. "Why, 4 years ago, was the first bus out of Halesworth after 0930 a decker that was virtually full before it reached Bungay."

    Because people were using their concessionary passes. Why are less people using them now? Because high streets are in decline and there is now competition.

    Yes there are reliability issues at the moment which I won't disregard, however you state how buses need to be attractive. I don't see how 87/88 a good out in any particular way. You often complain about the hard seats on the scania deckers, so comfort couldn't have been the reason for people using the service....

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    1. I meant the service being attractive more than the buses!

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  7. Do we have an element of FirstBus being more aggressive these days, and seeing another (competing) operator struggling, and having a pop?

    FirstBus have a much bigger operation in Norwich which can afford a few "loss-leaders" in order to see off a competitor. Konect are, by everyone's admission, "on the ropes" at present, and operating buses to the SE of Norwich when their Garage is to the NE is never going to be sustainable when a competitor is around.

    I don't know the operation too well, but weren't FirstBus rubbish a few years ago (that's why Konect and Anglian did so well for some years). BorderBus are a niche operation, so don't really count. All we're seeing here is the "market" re-structuring itself, just as happens in the retail sector.
    A recent report about the bus industry from KPMG commented that part of the problem is unattractive High Streets and the rise of internet shopping. If fewer people want to travel by bus overall, then all the promotions in the world won't reverse that . . . .

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  8. WE have a failing bus industry with very low standards who see the solution as constant cuts to services whilst increasing fares and with poor reliability and poor timekeeping and constant breakdowns. If you provide an unacceptable service and n unaceptable price expect to go out of business even worse is it is there most profitable customers they are driving away in the greatest numbers. It is a crazy business model and one doomed to failure

    When bus fares are getting close to Cab fares you are in real trouble and Cabs are raising their game and buses are lowering their game

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    1. Mightily Disagree!! We have a bus industry that, in general, carries millions of passengers every year to where they want to go and at reasonable fares. The industry could do better if operators were:
      1) given better access to road space, whether by means of bus lanes or dealing with illegal parking.
      2) given correct reimbursement rates for accepting OAP passes, and not seeing rates falling in real terms every year.
      3) given assistance with rebates on fuel duty (as trains, boats and planes are).

      In general, we don't want contracts for supported bus services, as (as we now see) these services can be withdrawn at a political whim without caring for passengers needs. If the service isn't commercially viable, then it shouldn't operate.

      Passenger satisfaction is at very high levels, which must mean we're doing something right. Look at Stagecoach, or FirstBus, or even GoAhead elsewhere from East Anglia and you will see well-kept buses carrying substantial passenger numbers; many buses with wifi and contactless payment. Go and stand at Queens Square in Liverpool from 1600 to 1800 on any weekday and watch the profusion of buses departing full up with passengers (and with competing operators on corridors with frequencies up to every 5 minutes).

      In my town (Home Counties), my single bus fare into Town is £3.60. A taxi fare would be around £12-£15 for the same trip. That's not close at all!!

      I will freely accept that some (smaller) towns have poor service networks, but with poor High Street retail, why would passengers travel? In these towns, go and stand at the bus terminal after 1600 on a Saturday, and just look at the lack of passengers; it's because the town and its shops are empty!!

      I will also freely accept that some companies are better than others in vehicle and driver presentation, and that improvements are necessary, but . . . . .

      Failing Bus Industry? Pah!! With the greatest respect, you don't know nuffink!!

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    2. In Norwich a single from the city suburbs to the centre is around £2.60 depending on operator. Some routes only have one bus an hour. A minicab from the biggest operator is £7.50, click a few buttons on your phone and your car arrives with full tracking an you can pay by card which you cant on konect. Only need 3 people to make it financially viable, even for 2 it's often a better option.

      I really don't agree with the 'build it and they will come' approach suggested by some either. city centres and transport are changing to suit demand and needs, they have done before and they will do again.

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  9. Andrew Kleissner1 November 2018 at 12:42

    While a lot of what Greenline727 makes sense, I can't agree with his (?) comment that service which aren't commercially viable shouldn't operate or be supported by Councils. While I accept his point about the financial tap being able to be turned off on a political whim, we also believe that the poorand needy in our society need to be supported. In this context I am thinking of transport necessity and poverty: people who need to get out, not just for shopping but education, shopping, medical appointments and even leisure (vitally necessary for their well-being). We have accepted the idea of supporting unremunerative but socially necessary rail services since 1968 and may well regard doing so as one mark of a civilised society. Obviously there are genuine and difficult questions that need to be asked about degrees of need, the levels of subsidy which are affordable, and who should pay. But I don't think that the market-place should determine everything and I don't think that transport services should be thought of in the same way as some other commercial activities.

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    1. Point taken, Andrew . . . . and I could have been more exact with my argument, which is that bus companies shouldn't feel pressured into operating socially necessary but ultimately loss-making routes.

      Running the occasional trip where it makes operational sense and costs next to nothing is fine, but running an entire evening service when it's a "nice to have if I want to drink" but in practice "carries penny numbers all evening" is foolhardy and may result in the whole service or network going under.

      I agree that decisions should be made as to degrees of need, and the cost of provision, but these decisions should not be made by bus companies, but by "society" via local government, which is what it's there for.

      I guess, having worked for 10 years in the National Bus Company; 10 years in the "commercial" environment and 20+ years in London . . . . . I may be slightly biased, but the best thing that happened to this industry was deregulation (although possibly not privatisation). Over a very short period we became commercially orientated as businesses, and Stagecoach Gold is a prime example of that - where people travel, give them a better environment to travel in, and watch them come and increase in numbers. If people simply don't travel, then you can't make them.

      We may well see, over the next few years, that Manchester goes down the road of local authority control of bus services and networks . . . . it'll be interesting to see how they manage that without massive injections of funding (which they may, of course do by means of increasing local taxation . . . . they're quite entitled to do that). Tyne and Wear thought about it, but ultimately (one assumes) realised that the sums didn't stack up.

      By all means don't expect transport services to be guided entirely by the market place, but don't expect bus companies to give their services away either.

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  10. Observations of both the Grey Line and Konect's services passing County Hall seem to show very low passenger numbers ( if any at all ) . Unfortunately aggressive competition on this corridor seems to have driven passengers away . Oh and we'll done to Konect for actually mentioning the alternatives for travelling , something a larger operator seems unable to do .

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    1. why the hell would anyone mention an alternative service to their own? Konectbus have only mentioned it as they're pulling out. I'm sure if the larger operator cancelled a service because a smaller operator was doing better than them, they too would mention the smaller operator as an alternative method of travel.

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    2. Isn't that what anonymous is on about? Konect mentioning the alternatives once they withdraw the service . You seem to be in a First frame of mind " We have had your money, no more buses fend for yourself!" ...

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  11. We often talk about Konect's reliability. I would just like to point out that 50% of breakdowns are caused by ex anglian buses. When you think that they only make up 15% of the fleet, that is a considerable amount.

    As stated previously in many places and by many people, Anglian's maintainance was extremely poor as an independent operator. This has caused massive issues for the reliability of the services.

    Before you disagree Steve, please tell me why so many ex anglian 2007/8 solos have been removed from service, but 900 and 901 (the 2 Konect solos from 2002) remain?

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    1. Because the newer solos had man engines which were very unreliable

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    2. I guess you are expecting this Steve because after reading that total load of bull shit above you will know I can't let it go unchallenged . I was one of the engineers at Anglian so reading that the maintenance was very poor pisses me off . Before go ahead took over we generally had a 100% mot pass record and on the vosa traffic light system we were always green and on more than one occasion we were green 00 the highest level you can get so vosa thought that the bus maintenance was ok .As for the 07 08 solos Bernice has already said that the MAN engines were unreliable , we had one let go before go ahead took over and found out we were not the only ones who had a problem other operators had problems as well. since go ahead took over all the rest of the MAN solos( bar the one which caught fire )have had engine problems over the years but how anyone can say that busses that have engine problems 2'3 or 4 years after we left were down to our poor maintenance is laughable. 900 and 901 are both Mercedes engine busses , The Mercedes engine is a lot more robust and will go on for ever so this is why they are still there. Now as to why Anglians fleet of 105 busses now totals 20 , when Andrew left and konnect took over Philip Eden started cutting the fleet down and the way we had run the routes with great success changed, it was as if go ahead forgot about the people who really matter THE PASSENGERS the reason routes were cut and the fleet was cut was because they pissed of the people who pay for it all, you only need to look at twitter or facebook at the amount of services which are cut day in and day out to realise why the passengers have deserted Anglian /konnect . if the busses don't turn up the people will find other ways of getting around and other bus operators will taste blood and move in for the kill. Anglians decline and the decline of bus numbers was down to the way Anglian was run not down to our maintenance . one more thing the Anglian fleet have been under the control of konnect since 2012 so if 50% of breakdowns are ex Anglian busses who's maintenance needs looking at konnect or the people who haven't even seen the busses for the last 6 years .

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    3. Expected, and credit to you, a lot milder than expected. Don't worry mate, the people who matter,like you and Bernice, know the truth and are prepared to put their names to their statements. An ex Anglian bus breaking down today is no more your fault than Wickham Market bus stop being torched 5 years after I moved out the village is mine!

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  12. Because after Dave Marshall left Anglian as Chief Engineer to join Andrew Pursey at Borde4rbus the engineering at Anglian fell apart. Phil Eden trimmed the fleet so fine there weren't enough spare buses left to cover the required maintenance, so buses were constantly patched up, rather than repaired, the gas buses neglected so much they were taken away, something Dave would never have allowed, and ultimately why he quit. That's why.

    But, if the Anglian fleet is so bad, and I'm not going to argue, why haven't Go Ahead HQ drafted more vehicles in to replace them - there are so many London vehicles being replaced right now it wouldn't be difficult. The Citaros are nice, but there aren't enough of them!

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    1. Only 12 remain with 5 on the cards to go by Christmas and likely the rest will be gone after January.

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    2. With maybe the exception of the 05 Scanias (go like rockets) I won't miss any of them. But I can't understand why Jeremy Cooper isn't jumping up and down making a bloody nuisance of himself and getting HQ to send some better buses in. That's what he's there for isn't it?

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    3. Having seen the standards of maintenance and spoken to a former management team member of Anglian the problems started well before Go Ahead obtained the operation .

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    4. So assuming you're right, and I have a feeling others may not agree with you, what did Go Ahead do to improve things?

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    5. "But, if the Anglian fleet is so bad, and I'm not going to argue, why haven't Go Ahead HQ drafted more vehicles in to replace them"

      How Many buses did Anglian have in 2012? 100? How many are on the road now (including the painted ones and others at hedingham)? 20. That's 80% lost in 6 years.

      If Anglian's maintainance was great and it was all Mr Eden's fault, why were many 2008 solos scrapped in 2012/13? I can tell you it wasn't due to 6 months of poor maintainance under go ahead....

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    6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    7. Well said Steve. How people can blame the old owners after all this time. Go ahead have owned Anglian long enough. Think they and konect need to look closer to home. Passing the buck is getting VERY BORING

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    8. You of all people know what you're talking about. I have a feeling Mr Anon is someone with a vendetta, and whereas I will allow debate and opinion I draw the line at personal attacks and outright BS.

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  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  14. Sorry, had to delete a couple of comments for potentially libellous reasons. Don't want lawyers knocking at my door. Feel free to repost using a genuine ID, but if not will continue to delete of I consider it necessary.

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  15. Fire rips through bus taking students home from college

    The bus is so badly damaged it is impossible to identify. I find it very concerning at the speed at which buses catch fire. It seems no consideration is given to fire prevention

    http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/passengers-evacuated-bus-fire-beccles-1-5762090

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  16. Link https://www.intersecexpo.com/uploads/editor_images/file/fredrik.pdf

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    1. The fact everyone got out safely speaks for itself. I can't remember the last time someone died in a bus fire. What happens after everyone is out doesn't matter. So yes, there are regulations to prevent fire spreading quickly. I imagine, due to the locality there was sometime between everyone being safely evacuated and the fire service arriving.

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    2. There is very little National or International standard for fire safety of buses. About the only legislation is a bus has to carry a small fire extinguisher of unspecified size and it has to be accessible and again that is unspecified. In some cases they are fitted in the locked drivers cab. There is little evidence as well that the tiny extinguishers are of any use at all

      There is International concerne as to the rapidly increasing incidents of fires on buses and coaches

      There are no regulations as to the flammability of the material used in the construction of buses. Much of the interiors of buses use flamable material with a fire rating of UL94-HB or less. Once these catch alight they do not self extinguish and they give off black smoke and toxic fumes as well molten droplets of plastic

      If you are aware of any Fire standards for buses let me no the number of those standards and I will take a look at them

      There are a lot of standards with regard crash safety and on the emisions but fire safety appears to be a neglected area which may account for why fires are now common yet go back say to before one man operated buses fires were very rare. So on fire safety things seem to have gone backwards

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    3. Can't let you know as I don't know who you are!

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    4. The IRU and its Members are in favour of at source installation of fire detection, smoke detection and fire suppression systems in engine compartments. Consideration should also be given to the installation of detection systems in both the passenger and luggage areas of vehicles, together with a greater use of flame resistant materials in the construction of the bus or coach. Periodic vehicle inspections can mitigate fire risks and mechanical problems and would promote an improved level of safety and compliance in the road transport sector. Correct maintenance of all mechanical components of coaches and buses can considerably diminish any risk of fire. The pre/post trip inspection list provided by the IRU checklist against fire can prevent coach and bus fires. The checklist should be carefully communicated to all drivers and disseminated to all concerned bodies of the passenger transport sector.
      2

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  17. https://twitter.com/First5ExtraTV/status/1058021208367730688 Who runs these accounts??????????

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  18. Nationally, is there any bus company that isn't trying to maintain a network with insufficient resources? It seems to me that they are all robbing Peter to pay Paul. So it is no wonder that Norwich can't be looked at in isolation either. Go-Ahead have expanded their East Anglian operations in Clacton and south Suffolk, for better or worse.

    The point made above that networks have always changed seem to me to be right, and that has always been contraction as well as expansion. Three things seem to me to have changed:

    1. as one local small independent (no longer) eloquently put it "running buses is so tiresome": congestion, driver shortages and passengers who want a "personal" bus service have to be worked around constantly. I'm not blaming anybody. But increasingly it seems to me that the independents who formerly would have taken up the slack, are increasingly either unable or unwilling to do so, as their older staff retire, and the costs (think, insurance and maintenance) ever escalate. Income doesn't anywhere near keep pace.
    2. the local authority funding crisis. Providing socially necessary bus services is one of those (many) flexible "duties", that will always bear the brunt of cuts. "The end of austerity": don't make me cry. I think that is what GreenLine was alluding to when he suggested buses have to be commercial: financial support has to be seen as a sticking plaster, not a marriage. That's just living in the real world.
    3. Cambridge, like Norwich, is another local big town where buses are well-used, but there are many areas on the periphery which have no service or constant cut-backs. Petitions galore, but if a small proportion of those petitioning used the service we shouldn't be in this position. The new regional Mayor is on the case, apparently, but so far is just chucking money at the problem as an emergency sticking plaster. He'll have to come up with something better. It'll be harder than he thinks. Though I expect the consultants will be glad of the bonanza.

    Is the transfer of buses to Norfolk, to meet Bernard Matthews requirements, anything to do with why Colchester is now facing a shortage of suitable vehicles to cope with demand? Is Norwich more deserving than Devon and west Cornwall, for instance? I know, we don't live there so we're not interested. Alas bus HQ don't have that luxury of turning a blind eye.

    We all like to believe that the pixies are hiding the money pot at the end of the rainbow. If they are then I'm not sure that any of the humanoids have got their hands on it yet. The margin for error in the bus industry between an acceptable return and a whopping loss is too uncomfortably small. And it isn't something that can be ignored on the attitude that "it'll be alright on the night", however good entertainment it makes.

    The bus companies will make mistakes. Plenty of them. But they are trying to do the impossible job, satisfying everyone. I end on my usual point, I keep repeating. We all need to help them by something more than just moaning constantly.

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    1. Reality intrudes on fantasy again.

      Plurality is nice, as long as you can afford it. Beggars can't be choosers, as granny used to say. Whatever the politicians say, who can blame operators if they go for local dominance to achieve economies of scale? It might be the best we can get. As James Palmer might yet find out; the hard way.

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    2. Perhaps it's ironic that if First are, as I suspect, trying to copycat Stagecoach locally, just as Mayor Palmer decides it's the model he doesn't want for the future as it doesn't serve the public, in his view (and that, I have to say, of many of the more vociferous members of their local traveling public, at least)! Life has s wonderful way of confounding our expectations.

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  19. Andrew Kleissner3 November 2018 at 17:15

    What's all this?????

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    1. Those on Twitter will know. I've blocked a number of these accounts!

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    2. Oh heck! On the case! Nicky - please don't do that! Thanks!

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  21. I don't think I'll ever get the hang of this bus lark.

    First provide a good example: the same (shared) management makes for a success (at least to some extent) in Norfolk and Suffolk, and in Essex a complete shambles. How come? In one case they put the effort in, and in the other can't be ar35d, it seems! Two sides to the same coin. Would the Suffolk and Norfolk operations be as good, if the Essex ops weren't so bl33din' hopeless? It's the $56K dollar question.

    No doubt Go Ahead, Stagecoach and Arriva suffer the same affliction across their networks too. Same really as the supermarkets, or the Councils. Superman (or superwoman, for that matter) don't exist. As some old crooner put it "Fings ain't wot they used to be". They change, and we all have a hard time keeping up.

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  22. £2.2bn for East Anglia’s rail network – but no promises on the main line to London

    I am not convinced this is all new money. It sound more like renouncing expenditure. Much of it i stuff that should be in the companies planned annual maintenance budget anyway

    https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/network-rail-five-year-plan-1-5769733

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    1. I have said more than once that a delay on a new train is just as annoying as a delay on an old one, only not usually as comfortable!

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  23. Bus bosses jailed for 28 years for concessionary bus pass fraud

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-west-wales-35891741

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    1. Andrew Kleissner9 November 2018 at 09:17

      Anonymous has posted the wrong link: his was an earlier case. This is the one that's come up recently: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-46043754

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    2. Thanks, Andrew, that's more like it.

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    3. Banged up for fraud, and often let out for GBH or worse.

      More proof, perhaps, if any were needed that we all think more of our possessions than of other people. Again.

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  24. https://www.edp24.co.uk/news/fire-service-bus-fire-carleton-rode-1-5774689

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    1. No doubt the fault of the pre Go Ahead Anglian management, even though it wasn't their vehicle. Who are you blaming for this one 'Phil'?

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  25. There is still an Anglian fitter at Konect ....

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