I caught the 0927 BorderBus service 146 from Wangford to Norwich. The last time I was on that service the E300 was filled so I was a little surprised to see baby E200 105 BB07 BUS on the run yesterday. Turned out the E300 was in for service prior to some interior work taking place this weekend of which more in a future post. However much as I like 105, and I really do like that little bus which for an 8yo E200 is a heck of an achievement, it was never going to be big enough. And so it proved as, despite not picking anyone up at Pontins, with a standing load going into Beccles, not many getting off and more replacing them we had 11 standing by time we got to Norwich. Dear Lord the grumbling and complaining there was. Oh hang on that's wrong - there simply wasn't any grumbling or complaining. In fact the opposite. On arrival at Norwich there were smiles, laughing, handshakes for the Malcolm the driver, and numerous timetables being taken. I've never seen anything quite like it.
|BorderBus 105 at Norwich yesterday
He then revealed that the loading figures for November had been rather good. In fact extremely good. They beat July's figures by 31% which is impressive by anyone's standards. Even more impressive for me though was that August's figures were also beaten by 25%. Why is 25% more impressive than 31% I hear you ask? Well quite simply in August there were more services as the non schoolday timetable has more 146 journeys. Plus, of course Pontins and the other holiday sites are in full swing. Yesterday concessionary pass holders were choosing to stand on the 146 rather than wait for an X2.
In a climate that in recent months has seen both First and Anglian reduce or cut services due to falling passenger numbers it gives me so much pleasure to report a positive story about a blossoming route. It just shows what reliability, friendliness and comfortable seats can achieve. I predicted deckers on the 146 in the Summer. I got that wrong but I don't see it being too far off now. Although BorderBendis has a nice ring to it.........
While I was there yesterday a strange package arrived. It was some coloured flourescent tubes which BorderBus are trialing, hoping to reduce the reflection from interior lights in the windscreen of a couple of their vehicles. I happened to be back in Beccles late yesterday afternoon when BB12 came in and I saw these lights in action. Erm not quite sure what to make of it. The driver was well impressed with the improvement in his vision, but it did make the front of the bus look like a front window in a certain part of Amsterdam. Maybe the experiment needs to continue!
|The experimental lighting on BB12 BUS. It's pink!
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