More more in Bournemouth

Sunday 7th August 2022 Thursday 4th August 2022's stark announcement 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... Continue Reading →

O is for Oswestry

Saturday 6th August 2022 It’s the smallest town I’ve visited in my fortnightly AtoZ safaris but there aren’t many O options to choose from. Oswestry’s population at around 17,000 means it’s not my normal ‘mid size’ town for a visit although by Shropshire standards it is in fact the second largest town in the unitary... Continue Reading →

DRT developments in Leicestershire (Part 1)

Tuesday 2nd August 2022 I recently blogged about Leicester’s new St Margaret’s bus station observing more exciting public transport developments were coming to this forward looking city. And here we are again, looking at three new initiatives in the city and another in neighbouring Leicestershire, including two new DRT schemes. Launching yesterday was NovusFlex operated... Continue Reading →

Seen around

Sunday 31st July 2022 Here are some more examples of good and bad practice I've spotted on recent travels. Arriving at Bridgwater rail station I had a vague idea of which direction to take to walk to the bus station but was reassured to see a prominent notice attached to a lamppost right outside the... Continue Reading →

The tram that now serves a village

Saturday 30th July 2022 As well as Barking Riverside, last week also saw another small but significant extension of Britain's rail and tram networks open up for business. Sunday 17th saw the extension of West Midlands’ Metro tracks for just under a mile from its central Birmingham terminus through to Edgbaston including two additional stops... Continue Reading →

Games Makers

Thursday 28th July 2022 Today sees the start of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham continuing through to Monday 8th August. It's a great opportunity for public transport to show off its credentials, as happened during the 2012 Olympics. But, oh dear, ten years on and circumstances are rather different, not least the impact of driver... Continue Reading →

Southsea gets a Coaster

Tuesday 26th July 2022 After last year’s return of an open top bus service along Southsea seafront following a nine year absence by Aldermaston Coach Lines, this year it’s the turn of First Portsmouth to try and make a go of it. Like Aldermaston’s foray First’s period of operation is the school summer break of... Continue Reading →

N is for Neath

Sunday 24th July 2022 It’s been nice to be able to select a mid-size town to visit in Wales for my fortnightly A-to-Z wanderings and although Neath is located fairly close to its near neighbour and local authority partner, Port Talbot, with pretty much continuous ribbon development through Briton Ferry and Baglan joining the two,... Continue Reading →

Exmoor Coaster meets Exmoor Sunseeker

Saturday 23rd July 2022 First Bus in the South West has expanded its Adventures by Bus portfolio of leisure services in north Devon this summer. After my Bridgwater to Minehead quirky rural ride last Tuesday, on Wednesday I sampled the reinstatement of the much missed Minehead to Ilfracombe link (albeit with a change in Lynmouth)... Continue Reading →

An extension and a curtailment

Thursday 21st July 2022 As TfL advised “do not travel” due to the record breaking temperatures, Monday also saw the much anticipated 2.8 mile extension to the Overground from Barking to Barking Riverside open for business. It brings a 15 minute rail service taking a scheduled seven minutes to the huge 179-hectare brownfield site on... Continue Reading →

Happy 50th Birthday Ensignbus

Tuesday 19th July 2022 A special livery for a special anniversary. Photo credit Ensignbus. This year sees Purfleet based Ensignbus celebrate its first half century. Formed in 1972, the family run company pioneered by industry legend Peter Newman before being joined by sons Ross and Steve famously began life in used bus sales - notably... Continue Reading →

New bus station for: Leicester

Saturday 16th July 2022 It's been a busy few weeks for new bus station openings. Joining Stevenage (see Tuesday's blog) is the city of Leicester which unveiled its all new St Margaret's Bus Station to the public on Sunday 26th June. I was able to pay a visit last Sunday to check out the new... Continue Reading →

Not another extension

Thursday 14th July 2022 There have now been 11 deadlines for Government funding support for TfL since the pandemic began in late March 2020. That’s an average of one deadline every 78 days. Or one very two and a half months. Bearing in mind the first funding settlement lasted for six and a half months... Continue Reading →

New bus station for: Stevenage

Tuesday 12th July 2022 It's always good to see investment in new bus stations and the last few weeks have seen two open up for business. Stevenage's new 'Transport Interchange' has provided a real step change with a greatly improved waiting area for passengers in a purpose built building housing ten saw-tooth drive in and... Continue Reading →

M is for Maidenhead

Sunday 10th July 2022 Ian kindly suggested Margate as a suitable M for my fortnightly A-to-Z wanders and I almost took him up on it but its proximity to neighbouring Ramsgate and the urban sprawl of Thanet made me question its suitability due to my criteria of choosing ‘independent’ mid size towns where possible and... Continue Reading →

Long bus rides: Ride the Wave through Rye

Thursday 7th July 2022 I’d originally planned a ride all the way from Hastings to Dover on Stagecoach’s long coastal bus route branded "Wave" between East Sussex and Kent skimming along the edge of Romney Marsh. And then I remembered buses haven’t run right through for some time with the route split at Rye. Still,... Continue Reading →

Travels with Avanti

Tuesday 5th July 2022 I’m still trying to get the hang of Avanti West Coast’s Standard Premium class. It’s the ‘declassified’ first class coach H on a nine coach Pendolino that gives you first class comforts but without the complimentary refreshments. On 11 coach trains two coaches (G and H) are normally set aside for... Continue Reading →

To cap it all … a £2 limit

Sunday 3rd July 2022 Speculation is growing of an imminent announcement of a £2 cap on all bus fares throughout England to apply for six months from October as part of Government plans to help with the cost of living. Such a plan has already been announced by West Yorkshire Combined Authority Mayor Tracey Brabin... Continue Reading →

A reverse move for First

Saturday 2nd July 2022 First Bus has announced a major shake up of the management structure of its subsidiary companies which will cut costs particularly senior managers and overheads. It's a laudable aim as Government Covid financial support comes to an end in a couple of months time and with passenger numbers still 80% of... Continue Reading →

L is for (Royal) Leamington Spa

Sunday 26th June 2022 Thanks to blog reader Barry who suggested L could be for Lancaster which would have been a good call for a visit but sadly this week’s rail disruption meant a long journey and overnight stay was impractical, so Leamington Spa it was, and on a glorious sunny day too. This delightful... Continue Reading →

Dear Grant and Sadiq

Saturday 25th June 2022 Extract from Grant Shapps' letter of 23rd June to Sadiq Khan. Dear Grant and Sadiq I was intrigued to be quoted in Thursday’s letter (from you Grant to you Sadiq) so wondered if I could help by acting as a bit of an ‘honest broker’ between the two of you as... Continue Reading →

Restoring Your Railway update

Thursday 23rd June 2022 Last Saturday Minister of State for Transport Wendy Morton announced “a further £15 million in funding to develop nine Restoring Your Railway schemes across England to reopen disused railway lines, services and stations, including some that were axed in the 1950s and 60s – with one station taken out of use... Continue Reading →

Discover Dundee with Discover Dundee

Tuesday 21st June 2022 McGills owned Xplore Dundee began a new open top bus tour of the city at the end of April. I had a ride while visiting Dundee one Sunday last month and am pleased I did. It’s a great ride with friendly drivers, a great commentary containing fascinating information about the city... Continue Reading →

My verdict on TfL’s bus cuts (Part 2)

Sunday 19th June 2022 Following yesterday's blog here are some more thoughts on TfL’s proposed central London bus cuts based on my recent travels and observations on the ground. First up let's take a look at a couple more “over capacity” corridors into central London from the north. Firstly Edgware Road which will see the... Continue Reading →

My verdict on TfL’s bus cuts (Part 1)

Saturday 19th June 2022 Next week isn't going to be a good week for public transport. As well as strikes on the National Rail network on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday with knock on impacts on other days there’s a strike on the London Underground on Tuesday continuing into Wednesday morning and by Friday TfL’s current... Continue Reading →

Chelmsford contrasts

Thursday 16th June 2022 Readers may recall when I tried the DigiGo DRT operation from Chelmsford’s Chelmer Valley Park & Ride site at Easter I spotted the temporary 'dealer stock' buses being used by Vectare on that route into the city pending delivery of a new fleet of buses as part of the company winning... Continue Reading →

Stockwell garage celebrates its 70th

Tuesday 14th June 2022 There’s nothing better than a well organised bus garage open day to attract a curious local community to come and take a look behind the scenes as well as generate huge goodwill among bus industry supporters and passionate enthusiasts. And last Saturday there was nothing better than the well organised open... Continue Reading →

K is for King’s Lynn

Sunday 12th May 2022 King's Lynn lies south east of The Wash in the Fenland area that connects East Anglia with Lincolnshire. It's the western most sizeable town in Norfolk with a population of 43,000 falling within the Borough Council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk. Nearest large towns include Spalding around 25 miles west,... Continue Reading →

The next TfL financial crunch will be wrapped in a purple ribbon, and labelled “Crossrail”.

Saturday 11th June 2022  Guest Blog - David Leeder, Managing Partner, Transport Investments Ltd. The much-delayed opening of Crossrail / Elizabeth Line once again raises questions about the corporate culture of TfL and the medium-term financing of the transport behemoth.  The vast, clinical stations are now open, the shiny Bombardier trains are running, smiling families... Continue Reading →

Barking Riverside’s new service

Thursday 9th June 2022 Now in its seventh week after a low profile ‘soft’ launch the expanding area known as Barking Riverside in east London is enjoying a brand new direct service to the City and Westminster. No, I'm not talking the substantial new railway station. That's due to open later this autumn as the... Continue Reading →

Route 84 lives on

Tuesday 7th June 2022 Back in February when Metroline announced it was throwing in the towel on route 84 between St Albans and New Barnet station there was much speculation what the future would hold for this much loved long standing iconic bus route. Famous for its heritage as a former London Transport red bus... Continue Reading →

Catering for train travel

Sunday 5th June 2022 Over the last few weeks I’ve been keeping notes of the state of catering for passengers travelling first class on trains. Here’s my report complete with a complimentary coffee, biscuits and packet of sea salt flavoured crisps. It’s only long distance ‘inter-city’ train operators who get involved in on board catering... Continue Reading →

Fifteen random Rail Rover reflections

Saturday 4th June 2022 It's a week since I completed my spring time seven-day All Line Rover. Here are a few random reflections on my week long travels around the country with apologies to Twitter followers who may already have read much of the following from last week. 1. Checks on first class abusers on... Continue Reading →

ScotRail’s woes are ember’s gains

Thursday 2nd June 2022 Monday last week saw Scotland’s rail timetables slashed by a third with many last journeys brought forward to early/mid evening to better match reduced driver availability due to staff shortages (post Covid training backlog) and ASLEF’s continuing overtime ban in pursuit of a pay claim. Prior to the reduced timetables services... Continue Reading →

Carnage on the buses (in central London)

Wednesday 1st June 2022 A blog post extra. Route 14 will be axed TfL’s much anticipated six week consultation about its "central London's bus review" began today. It’s going to take that long to work out what’s planned if you rely on TfL's website. TfL's consultation portal - and there's more - Equality Impact Assessments... Continue Reading →

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