New trains for Wales

Tuesday 29th November 2022 Having enjoyed a recent ride on the new CAF built Class 196 trains with West Midlands Railway I headed off to North Wales last week to see if the new sister Class 197 units being introduced by Transport for Wales would be any different. Actually I was on my way over... Continue Reading →

Growing rail revenue

Sunday 27th November 2022 Growing rail revenue was the theme of one of the sessions at the ‘Future of Britain’s Railways’ Conference held over two days last week as part of the Modern Railways Expo exhibition in Milton Keynes. Modern Railways editor Phil Sherratt kindly invited me to join the panel discussion along with Mark... Continue Reading →

W is for Weston-super-Mare

Saturday 26th November 2022 Welcome to the penultimate AtoZ of public transport in 24 mid size British towns. Yes; despite all the speculation about eXmouth and Zennor, I’ve conceded defeat for X and Z but for today’s W, I was pleased to pay a visit to Weston-super-Mare a few weeks ago and see the progress... Continue Reading →

TfL’s bus cuts cut

Thursday 24th November 2022 After all the hoo-ha in the summer over TfL's proposed severe cuts to central London’s bus routes reflecting its target to reduce mileage by 4%, better match service provision with reduced numbers travelling, simplify the network and reflect strains on TfL's struggling finances, it was announced yesterday almost all the proposals... Continue Reading →

Seen around

Saturday 19th November 2022 Welcome to November's pot pourri of observational miscellany from recent travels around the country. Keighley leaflet heaven How lovely to visit Keighley bus station and find a great selection of colourful timetable booklets all designed to encourage travel around the bus network. The cleaning trolley could usefully find another home though,... Continue Reading →

New trains for West Midlands

Tuesday 15th November 2022 Aside from two new trains for Southend Pier it’s been three years since I’ve written a blog about new trains entering service. That’s because it’s been three years since any new trains entered service. Abellio owned West Midlands Trains' West Midlands Railway (WMR) division has recently broken that famine with the... Continue Reading →

V is for Ventnor

Saturday 12th November 2022 Ventnor’s not exactly mid-size having a population of just 6,000 although many summer visitors add to that in the tourist season, but the tail end of the alphabet was always going to prove a challenge. Situated on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight Ventnor is around 11 miles south... Continue Reading →

Three new developments

Thursday 10th November 2022 Amongst all the gloom and depressing news on our railways: Train Operating Companies running reduced services and/or random cancellations and the continued impact and threat of industrial action; and bus companies: cutting services due to dire financial performance as well as cancellations for lack of drivers; it’s sometimes hard to find... Continue Reading →

More life after Stagecoach East

Sunday 6th November 2022 When I wrote about Stagecoach East’s cuts to services back in September I mentioned two routes in Peterborough (routes 23/24) the company was withdrawing from for which I couldn’t find any timetables online. I’m grateful to Mel Holly and Brendan Fox for explaining the services were limited to just three or... Continue Reading →

Life after Stagecoach East

Saturday 5th November 2022 I wrote about Stagecoach East’s service cuts back in September and suggested at that time there’ll be other bus companies based in the area that’ll likely come forward to take over the bus routes being withdrawn. Sure enough Grant Palmer, Stephensons and Vectare stepped forward and contracts have also gone to... Continue Reading →

10 Show cases

Thursday 3rd November 2022 The Euro Bus EXPO 2022 show is on at the NEC over three days this week (it ends today, Thursday). I popped up for a quick look round on Tuesday’s opening day to check out what’s new since the last exhibition four years ago which I blogged about here. Back in... Continue Reading →

40 years ago

Tuesday 1st November 2022 Welcome to the first instalment of an occasional series looking back to this day 40 years ago. It stems from today being the exact 40th Anniversary of my arrival in Brighton on 1st November 1982 to the role of Assistant Traffic Manager with Southdown. As you can see from my appointment... Continue Reading →

U is for Uttoxeter

Saturday 29th October 2022 No surprises that Uttoxeter has to be my mid size town for the letter U although it's somewhat on the smaller than 'mid size' with a 13,000 population, but there wasn't a lot of choice and besides it's a very pleasant Staffordshire town to visit. I paid a visit there a... Continue Reading →

A bus ride along Norfolk’s coast

Thursday 27th October 2022 A couple of weeks ago I took a ride on three bus routes operated by Norfolk based Sanders Coaches, in particular the company's route 34 which takes a delightful route hugging the coastline as it links North Walsham and Stalham. Thanks to Ray Wilkes who kindly got in touch to suggest... Continue Reading →

My Word is my Bond Street

Tuesday 25th October 2022 A new National Rail station opened for business yesterday as the TfL run Elizabeth line finally welcomed Bond Street to the network. It was only three years and ten months later than originally expected from the "Crossrail is on time and on budget" fantasy world of the previous management. That was... Continue Reading →

10 takeaways from young managers

Sunday 23rd October 2022 I had the pleasure of jointly hosting another Young Bus Managers’ Conference last week with Martijn Gilbert. Held in Sheffield it was another inspirational event over brimming with energy and enthusiasm emanating from around 60 keen young people from whom I’m sure senior industry leaders will emerge in the future, bringing... Continue Reading →

Seen around

This month's pot pourri of observational miscellany from recent travels. Not First Greater Anglia has invested in an impressive new fleet of trains including the rather nice Class 745 which offer first class seats on the Norwich to Liverpool Street service. A problem arises when one of these trains is unavailable and substituted by one... Continue Reading →

More Moors bus journeys

Thursday 20th October 2022 I can’t let Rannoch Moor, Bodmin Moor, Dartmoor and Exmoor get all the bus blog action so thought it was high time I paid another visit to the lovely North York Moors and take a bus ride across this scenic delight of a National Park. You just can’t beat a double... Continue Reading →

Londoner Buses brings back RM buses

Tuesday 18th October 2022 Three Routemaster buses are back in service on a bus route in central London. New route A started running between Waterloo and Piccadilly Circus on Saturday. From social media posts over the last couple of weeks it looks unashamedly targeted at bus enthusiasts and tourists, but will it succeed where TfL’s... Continue Reading →

T is for (Royal) Tunbridge Wells

Saturday 15th October 2022 Tunbridge Wells is situated on the south western fringes of Kent just over the border from East Sussex. The town has a population of around 56,000 which is roughly half the number living in the wider Tunbridge Wells Borough Council area including Paddock Wood, Goudhurst, Cranbrook and Benenden. Like Leamington Spa,... Continue Reading →

Serco’s sleeper nods off

Sunday 9th October 2022 Last week's announcement that Serco will be ending their franchise for the Caledonian Sleeper next June came as no great surprise. I won't be shedding any tears at the company's departure. Unlike Merseyrail where this giant global monolith of an outsourcing business seems to be doing a good job running the... Continue Reading →

Three mini blogs

Saturday 8th October 2022 Hidden London: Shepherd's Bush Photo courtesy London Transport Museum London Transport Museum's popular programme of Hidden London tours gained a new location this week, offering a look behind the scenes at the Central Line station at Shepherd's Bush. If you enjoy having a nose behind usually locked doors at a full... Continue Reading →

Broad Marsh back in business

Thursday 6th October 2022 Nottingham’s Broad Marsh bus station has finally reopened after a five year demolition and rebuild programme. It's part of a £250 million regeneration of what's called “Nottingham Southside” and also includes a new intu Broadmarsh centre, a Nottingham City Hub incorporating a new library and a redveloped Nottingham Castle. Within "Nottingham... Continue Reading →

A brief visit to Cornwall

Tuesday 4th October 2022 Truro bus station Despite Saturday's rail strike I managed a quick visit to Cornwall over the weekend which entailed an unwelcome long drive as I had a commitment in Truro on Sunday morning I had to fulfill. As I seldom drive long distances these days the trip reminded me of the... Continue Reading →

S is for Salisbury

Saturday 1st October 2022 I’m sorry Scunthorpe, I was intending to feature you in my fortnightly AtoZ visits to mid size towns as suggested by a correspondent but Northern Trains’ incompetence at organising rail replacement buses last weekend coupled with TransPennine Express’s penchant for cancellations meant I had to give up on the idea for... Continue Reading →

Pick me up at the Coachway

Tuesday 27th September 2022 I was back in High Wycombe again last Friday. Checking out Carousel's route 34 before it's demise yesterday being replaced by Buckinghamshire Council's new DRT scheme for the town which begins today. I'll tell you more about that on Thursday. Route 34 looks to have been one of those bus routes... Continue Reading →

Northern’s new slogan: DO NOT TRAVEL

Sunday 25th September 2022 Weekend rail travel is booming. Fortunately for the rail industry the post pandemic reduction in five day week commuting has been offset by huge growth in leisure travel especially at weekends. In my experience trains at the weekends are now the busiest of the week. I recall Sir Peter Hendy opining... Continue Reading →

Multi modal Mallaig and back

Saturday 24th September 2022 An annual ride on the wonderful West Highland Line is a personal must in my book so having missed a full blown Glasgow to Mallaig journey during the pandemic (I managed one trip as far as Tyndrum) it was good to be back on board on Monday last week. It was... Continue Reading →

Stagecoach Cambridgeshire cuts

Thursday 22nd September 2022 First comes surprise news last night TfL’s Transport Commissioner Andy Byford is quitting after just two years in the job. It’s somewhat ironic his mantra since arriving at TfL’s top job in June 2020 has been the need for long term funding and stability for the organisation yet he’s turned out... Continue Reading →

Lewes loses its bus station

Tuesday 20th September 2022 Last Thursday was a sad day for Lewes, the county town of East Sussex. The town’s centrally located bus station closed its non existence gates after 68 years of service. Southdown first opened the bus station in March 1954 with the adjacent garage building coming on stream a few months later.... Continue Reading →

R is for Runcorn

Saturday 17th September 2022 It's got the original and best busway you'll find anywhere in Britain. Indeed it's said Runcorn has "the world's first bus rapid transit system". Yet you hardly ever hear it getting a mention these days. Conceived as part of the Runcorn New Town Masterplan in 1955, the 14 mile exclusive road... Continue Reading →

Trolleybus travels

Tuesday 13th September 2022 Many thanks to Cartographer-in-Chief Ray Stenning for this superb map. Last Friday saw the "LCBS 50th Anniversary Tour Group (and assorted other adventures)" reunite for some nostalgic bus riding around south west London with the whacky idea (thanks Andrew) of retracing London Transport’s small trolleybus network centred on Kingston which was... Continue Reading →

Seen around

Saturday 10th September 2022 Another pot pourri of observational miscellany from recent travels. Models Firstly a shout out to Brian Jackson for his well earned retirement as proprietor of Morris Models, the fabulous model shop he's run in Lancing, West Sussex since taking over the business in 2004. Brian has decided it’s time to retire... Continue Reading →

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