Wednesday 23rd June 2021
Following the recent post describing my travels between Cannock and Telford with D&G Bus’s new Chaserider branded route X14, I received some feedback from Centrebus/D&G Bus owner and bus industry entrepreneur, Julian Peddle, who’d leapt into action to pursue my reported lack of information at Cannock bus station and why I hadn’t found timetables that had been printed for new route X14 to Telford and Oakengates.
I’m delighted to report Cannock bus station now has very helpful “Where to board the bus in Cannock Bus Station from 21 June 2021” posters in the empty cases together with a splendid colourful network map of Chaserider’s bus routes in the Cannock and Stafford areas.
Timetables for the new route X14 have also been installed at the new McArthurGlen Outlet in Cannock …
Julian also confirmed timetable leaflets are printed and available for the whole network served by D&G Bus/Centrebus from Luton to Leicester, and he kindly sent me a set.
And very good they are too, folding out to give a network map, bus station guide and route listing on one side together with some timetables…
… with the rest of the timetables displayed on the other side with information about how to track your bus and use cashless ticketing with a mobile.
The same format and layout also applies to the other brochures for Stafford, Leicester and Luton.
There are also leaflets for route X99 to Alton Towers and the new X14 which I sampled on my trip a couple of weeks ago.
These give details of each service including fares and a timetable for the X99 and a timetable, route map and a ‘2for1 offer’ for admittance to Weston Park for the X14.
Well done to everyone involved in their production. It’s great to see a bus company seeing the value of printed material to make people aware of the routes they operate with an aim of enticing passengers on board.
On the same day the postman delivered Julian’s leaflets I also received a bundle of printed brochures promoting First Kernow’s Adventures By Bus range of services which are now out and being distributed.
Also sent was a copy of the “Cornwall local bus guide” to the services operated by First Kernow, which includes timetables, ticket prices and a couple of splendid network maps. It’s a very useful and colourful production and I’m sure will be welcomed by the thousands of tourists flocking to Cornwall this summer.
As I’ve commented before, it’s a shame that some coordination of information with the tendered network operated under the Transport for Cornwall brand hasn’t been possible for this summer, but maybe that will develop later in the year.
If only Cornwall Council would commission Best Impressions to produce an ‘integrated’ comprehensive map and guide to both bus networks.
At least printed information is available. There’s a disturbing trend among some bus operators to cease production of timetables and maps using the “it’s all on line” mantra as a lazy cop-out. This really is a short sighted approach and will do nothing to win back passengers.
There’s never been a more important time to be producing and distributing enticing printed marketing material to encourage passengers. Merely expecting potential customers to seek out information on a website is not going to do it..
Also delivered to my door this week with my pinta delivery was the latest edition of a regular colourful publication to encourage me to buy more products from the doorstep delivery company, Milk & More.
The whole Milk & More operation is now an online business with customers ordering and paying for goods through the company’s website.
It’s no longer possible to leave a note out for the milkman (or woman). Everything is now a click operation. But that doesn’t stop Müller, the giant international dairy company which owns Milk & More, from producing and delivering a full colour brochure with splendid photography to entice me to make more purchases in addition to a pint of milk.
Everything in the printed brochure is also listed online, but Müller sensibly don’t leave it to me to find products. They encourage and entice me through their brochure leading me to their website to make the purchase.
There’s a few bus companies out there who could learn a thing or two from Milk & More’s approach as well as the excellent examples set by Centrebus and First Kernow, and, thankfully, many others too, who do ‘get it’.
I used to run a bus company but in retirement am a full time passenger travelling all over Britain enjoying its splendid scenic delights by bus and train. Currently social distancing at home.