First up is a whisper I heard that Konect might be ressurecting the 2 between Norwich and Sheringham which they abandoned last year to the consternation of many passengers. An hourly Summer service and two hourly Winter service have been suggested. That would be quite a U-turn. Will the branded buses for the 2 that were debranded be branded up again? Cue Magic Roundabout theme tune!
I have been told that two different companies are going to launch a challenge on First's University service 25 in Norwich, and even the vehicles that one company has ordered. Yeah right! I don't believe it for a second but my word it would make entertaining watching if it did happen.
Borderbus are going to take over every route that isn't nailed to the floor. Twice. The 146 is going to extend to Lincoln and the 521 is going to be extended and operated by an amphibious bus that will replace the Southwold - Walberswick ferry.
First have decided that the generic livery in Norwich is too bland, and so an idea has surfaced to repaint the generic buses in a rainbow livery encompassing all the various line colours so they can still be used on anything. Now that would be worth seeing.
Stagecoach are buying out everyone. Except Borderbus who will graciously give Stagecoach a couple of routes to make it worth the effort.
One of the Ipswich E200's released by the cessation of the 53 COULD be going to Lowestoft as a paint spare while the recent arrivals from Bristol are repainted. This is to be confirmed but possible as the 40 only requires two vehicles.
Eye opening fact of the week has to be the realisation that there are probably more years service for Anglian between the staff at Borderbus than there are between the staff at Anglian. It is more than possible.
And finally an escaped lynx was seen roaming the Norwich area earlier today. Actually that one is true as Simonds currently have on loan one of Lynx's smaller Optare Tempos, and for a couple of hours today it was operating the 85 to Surlingham. One of those TV connections is possible here. The 85, until recently operated by Anglian who linked up with Konect, owned by Julian Paterson now operated by Simonds usng a bus loaned from Lynx, owned by Julian Paterson! Anyway yours truly played the Simon King role, spotting and capturing the escaped lynx on camera!
|Lynx's Optare Tempo YJ59 CEV on loan to Simonds in Norwich on the 85 to Surlingham|
I have to dispel the 521 rumour I can reveal exclusively that as well as deputising on the 532 I have been issued a wet suit captain's hat and snorkel. Sorry I couldn't say earlier as was sworn to secretly.ReplyDelete
Always thought you were an old sea dog! Or is it just a forecast for more rain?Delete
To add to your rumour mill, how about a couple of newcomers due to arrive at First Great Yarmouth soon to operate summer services including a deckerReplyDelete
Only becomes a worthy rumour if the decker concerned is either a Routemaster or an Olympian!Delete
Hi Steve! Do you think the chap who took that picture of the 85 would mind if I used that on my flickr (with credit) and for the rare spots post?ReplyDelete
Thanks, Zak :)
I would think he'll be perfectly ok with that!Delete
A few real fact concerning significant changes in Essex and some parts of Suffolk. Mainly affects ECC contract route. Too many to list so link belowReplyDelete
Nowt to get excited about I think. First take the volume stuff in the east, Arriva in the west, and Stephensons in the new northern territory they have carved out for themselves. Back to normal you could say. Go-Ahead and the rest have enough to survive. For now. As for First really. It is just me or have they gone very quiet corporately of late?Delete
The interesting bit is perhaps how Essex seem to make the savings by hammering down on the costs rather than just cutting services wholesale. Clever? Perhaps. Will it stimulate demand and save the buses? The jury is out on that one (but perhaps not yet on the buses).
Just another thought, it seems to me that of the "big five" locally, at least in South Anglia, Arriva and Stagecoach have lost interest in the subsidised stuff. Sensible strategy?Delete
First and Go-Ahead seem to have an increasing dependency on it. Out of necessity?
Stephensons just carry on doing well, particularly in working around (some might even say over) First.
Leaving aside the replacement of odd day shoppers services by DRT and cutting out duplication the main issues seem to be:Delete
-regular rural services maintained to a weekday/Sats 1-2 hour daytime frequency. A bit better than neighbours Herts seem to manage.
- town service evening frequencies reduced in some cases to hourly from half-hourly after 8pm or so and Sunday
- M-S inter-urban services kept into the late evening roughly 2 hourly, and 2 hourly on Sundays into the early/mid evening. Sunday some bus changes necessary.
Considering that afaik Norfolk/Suffolk/Cambs/Herts don't generally seem to subsidise anything after 8pm or Suns (Herts to hospitals only until 7pm Suns); it looks like a pretty good achievement to me. Though as many contracts are two years with annual renewals, they're wisely keeping their options open. Life isn't going to get easier.
Whilst I'm on song though: this competition lark seems to be great for the industry. What about the passengers though? Would they be better served by more competition at the route level, where there is the business to justify it? Hints of that in the OP - but what do any of our massively interfering state bureaucracy do to encourage it? On the other hand the money has to be made somehow, and if not by milking the captive passengers, then how?ReplyDelete
Beeston's are giving up another couple of minor routes the 379 & 461. They don't have much bus work left now and there main route the 91 goes out for retender soonReplyDelete
Isn't 91 a commercial route not a council oneDelete
Yes it is. The evening and Sunday journeys are sponsored, but Beestons don't operate them.Delete
Hi Steve a Galloway update the two new vanhools that arrived yesterday are to astrons tx16 are yj16epv and yj16epv the two 11plate astrons have been sold also sold is Mercedes-Benz coach 294 bf60ogbReplyDelete