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 →

Basingstoke greens and Salisbury reds

Sunday 9th Febraury 2020 It seems not a week goes by at the moment without new ‘state-of-the-art’ vehicles being introduced to bus fleets around the Country; usually promoted with understandable emphasis on their green credentials at a time of increasing climate change concerns. None more so than in Basingstoke where Stagecoach South introduced a fleet… Continue Reading →

Y is for Yeovil

Saturday 10th December 2022 Welcome to my final A to Z fortnightly exploration of public transport provision in Britain’s mid sized towns which brings me to Somerset. Yeovil is the county’s second largest town after Taunton, having a population of around 48,000 making it just a bit larger than Bridgewater and Frome. Its in the… 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

More more in Bournemouth

Sunday 7th August 2022 Bournemouth’s buses dramatically changed colour yesterday following the sad news on Friday 29th July the town’s Yellow Buses had called in the Administrators. The company ceased trading less than a week later at 18:00 on Thursday 4th August leaving the town without its familiar bright yellow liveried buses all day on… Continue Reading →

GWR quits Brighton. What a shame.

30th April 2022 If you fancy taking a direct train from Brighton station to somewhere beyond the normal Southern/ Thameslink outposts of Southampton, London Victoria, Bedford, Cambridge or Hastings/Ore then you’ve got just ten working days left. After Friday 13th May those destinations will be the limit of your rail travel experience without a change… Continue Reading →

A compendium of jointly operated bus routes

There was a time when jointly operated inter-urban bus routes were quite common not least between adjacent subsidiaries of the National Bus Company. It made for an efficient way to operate a route which linked towns many miles apart which were located in different bus companies’ territories’. One of the most extensive operations I was… Continue Reading →

A compendium of jointly operated bus routes

Sunday 20th March 2022 There was a time when jointly operated inter-urban bus routes were quite common not least between adjacent subsidiaries of the National Bus Company. It made for an efficient way to operate a route which linked towns many miles apart which were located in different bus companies’ territories’. One of the most… Continue Reading →

A is for Andover

Sunday 16th January 2022 Join me during 2022 as I check out the state of public transport provision in a variety of small to medium sized towns across England. And as I like to bring a bit of order to such meanderings, let’s start with the letter A and take a visit to Andover in… Continue Reading →

Muswell Hill’s celebrities

Monday 8th November 2021 2020 marked thirty years since the closure of Muswell Hill bus garage in north London and as Covid restrictions decimated plans for running days last year, organisers waited until yesterday to bring out the RTs, RFs and RMs plus some surprise guest appearances to celebrate this anniversary. It was well worth… Continue Reading →

A DRT chronology

Regular blog readers will know I’ve been sampling DRT schemes from the passenger perspective ever since the craze began with Slide in Bristol in 2016. I’ve yet to find a scheme that works in the interests of passengers and provides a better service than a fixed timetable bus route but this hasn’t stopped local authorities,… Continue Reading →

Week 12: Flagging

Saturday 27th March This week’s decision by Mayor Burnham to introduce bus franchising in Greater Manchester came as no surprise. After spending over £11 million in preparatory work over the last couple of years with two public consultations promising better buses alongside much “take back control” rhetoric it would have been a strange outcome if… Continue Reading →

Week 15. Avoid avoid public transport.

Saturday 4th July 2020 It’s been another week of mixed message muddles, inconsistencies and questionable priorities. No, I’m not referring to today’s reopening of pubs while schools pretty much remain closed until September. Nor fast food outlets up and cooking, while gyms stay closed. Even though such misplaced priorities are questionable enough. I’m all about… Continue Reading →

Week 12. Bus Full.

Saturday 13th June 2020 Good news this week for those convinced social distancing and public transport don’t mix. Trouble is it’s 11,000 miles away in Auckland where everything returned to normal on Monday. New Zealand closed its borders on 19th March and locked down on 26th March. We can but live in hope. Closer to… Continue Reading →

Focus on bus satisfaction

Tuesday 28th April 2020 Back in Lockdown Week 1 at the end of March (remember that?) Transport Focus published the results of its annual Bus Passenger Survey. The trade press was by then busy furloughing so the report didn’t receive its usual extemsive coverage. Nor was it appropriate for bus companies to give their usual… Continue Reading →

London versus…

Sunday 12th May 2019 The Guardian newspaper ran a high profile series of articles last week comparing London with the rest of England across various quality of life parameters under the theme “London versus…”. “The price of a standard pint of Carling lager in Wetherspoon’s pubs across England varies by more than £2, depending on… Continue Reading →

Who needs an App when John’s in Control?

Friday 12th April 2019 Wiltshire’s Wigglybus was introduced way back in 1999. At one time it was considered so cutting edge as a project to solve the rural transport challenge it attracted £1million in Government funding for expansion. Rebranded, along with other shared taxi type services across Wiltshire, to the less colloquial ‘Connect2Wiltshire’ umbrella brand… Continue Reading →

My Hundred Best Train Journeys 4

Wednesday 26th December 2018 And so the final forty of My Hundred Best Train Journeys ranked 61-100. You can read the top 10 here, 11-30 here and 31-60 here. 61 Brighton – East Croydon This line which passes my home station of Hassocks. I reckon I know just about every inch of its track and… Continue Reading →

My Hundred Best Train Journeys 3

Sunday 2nd December 2018 Back on track(s) again to describe thirty more wonderful train trips, ranked 31-60 in My Hundred Best Train Journeys. For the Top 30 previously published click here and here. 31 Exeter – Exmouth I love this journey not only for the truly superb views as the train trundles along the east… Continue Reading →

My Hundred Best Train Journeys 2

Thursday 15th November 2018 Following the top ten listing in Part 1, welcome to the next twenty most wonderful train journeys around Britain – they’re part of my Hundred Best Train Journeys. Read along for the rides …… 11  Shrewsbury – Llandrindod – Swansea  After the Cambrian Coast line entry in tenth place, we’re still… Continue Reading →

Roaming round Romsey

Community Rail Partnerships do some great work promoting branch lines around the country; a really good example can be found in the south west corner of Hampshire where the Three Rivers Community Rail Partnership promotes the lines between Southampton and Salisbury via Romsey and Eastleigh/Chandlers Ford. They organise a bus on Summer Sundays and Bank Holidays… Continue Reading →

It helps to have a Plan B

The plan was to catch Stagecoach operated route 4 from Axminster station at 1215. It runs via Honiton to Ottery St Mary where I’d pick up the four-journey-a-day Hatch Green operated rural route 382 via Whimple and Feniton. A scheduled arrival at Axminster on the South Western Railway train at 1202 provided a nice 13… Continue Reading →

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