Riding routes 11 and 24; while I can.

Tuesday 31st May 2022 TfL are set to announce further major cuts to its central London bus network today with speculation mounting they'll include the withdrawal of some iconic routes including low numbered jewels 11, 12, 14, 16 and 24. Of course these may just be scurrilous rumours as the Mayor and TfL negotiate future... Continue Reading →

J is for Jarrow

Sunday 29th May 2022 I know it’s not a mid-size town with a distinct geographic hinterland but I struggled to find a J to match my normal AtoZ criteria; so Jarrow it is. Famous of course for the 1936 Jarrow Crusade which saw 200 men march to Westminster protesting at high levels of unemployment and... Continue Reading →

Another DRT for Warwickshire

Saturday 28th May 2022 As well as a new station opening in Reston, Monday also saw another DRT scheme take to the road; this time in Warwickshire thanks to £1.02 million from the DfT’s magic money rural mobility funding tree. And if you’re thinking ‘haven’t I read one of your blogs about a DRT bus... Continue Reading →

It’s here

Thursday 26th May 2022 Four things struck me when riding the new Elizabeth Line alongside thousands of excited passengers on Tuesday's grand opening day. First the sheer scale of the cavernous station structures particularly underground. Liverpool Street I remember the exciting new Victoria line in the late 1960s bringing noteworthy improvements to the London Underground... Continue Reading →

Reston is Britain’s luckiest village

Tuesday 24th May 2022 TPE staff with an original station sign There will undoubtedly be early morning shenanigans today with thousands out celebrating London’s new railway opening its central core gate lines for the first time, but today I’m bringing you news of a comparatively minor development - yesterday's opening of another railway station closed... Continue Reading →

First And Last Mile in Oxfordshire

Saturday 21st May 2022 There’s been talk about how to solve the 'first and last mile' conundrum in transport circles for ages. Pre Covid, whole conferences were even devoted to pontificating on the best ways passengers could ‘transit’ from their rural/suburban based homes to reach trunk bus routes or railway lines for longer commutes and... Continue Reading →

New trains have a-pier-ed in Southend

Tuesday 17th May 2022 Southend-on-Sea’s famous pier has recently seen the arrival of two new eco-friendly trains for its iconic three-foot narrow gauge railway so I popped over yesterday to take a look. Sadly, neither were in service. One train has yet to be made ready for service and the second had some ‘teething troubles’... Continue Reading →

Seen around

Sunday 15th May 2022 I couldn't help but notice a few other things as I wandered around south east London and south Newham on my recent travels. Here's a few for your edification. Liverpool Street bus station You'd think the bus station alongside Liverpool Street station would be a prime spot to reach out to... Continue Reading →

A long time coming

Saturday 14th May 2022 Running almost four years late and over budget by £4 billion but all the trials and tribulations of this unduly long gestation period will soon be forgotten as today's the day TfL finally launches its programme of bus service changes in south east London centred on Abbey Wood, Greenwich and Lewisham... Continue Reading →

Reading’s Tiger returned

Thursday 12th May 2022 Back in January I blogged about the decision by Reading Buses to suspend its Tiger branded route 7 between Reading and Fleet from 17th January. Problems with long term roadworks necessitating a lengthy diversion and few passengers travelling were cited as reasons as well as every bus company being desperately short... Continue Reading →

Moorlands Connect gets an upgrade

Tuesday 10th May 2022 Photo courtesy Ashbourne Community Transport. My latest DRT expedition was last Tuesday when I took a ride on Staffordshire County Council’s Moorlands Connect. It’s been around for a few years but until last month only as a phone based community bus dial-a-ride type operation. From April, thanks to that DfT pot... Continue Reading →

I is for Inverness

Saturday 7th May 2022 To Scotland for the first time in my fortnightly A-to-Z wanderings and the wonderful city of Inverness. The administrative centre of Highlands Council, it's a fast growing city - some say it's the fastest growing city across Europe - with a population of around 65,000. Everywhere I went as I travelled... Continue Reading →

Blooming bluebells at the Bluebell

Thursday 5th May 2022 I took a ride on the wonderful Bluebell Railway on (Bank Holiday) Monday. I almost left it too late this year with peak bluebell season nearly over but I wasn’t disappointed. Unlike many heritage railways the Bluebell wasn’t a victim of the Beeching axe. British Railways actually closed the line as... Continue Reading →

A ride around the Forest of Dean

Tuesday 3rd May 2022 It's a lovely train ride over to Gloucester particularly the scenic section through the Cotswolds between Swindon, Kemble, Stroud and Stonehouse. Gloucester railway station is perhaps not quite so scenic but its renowned claim to fame is having Britain’s longest continuous unbroken platform measuring 659 yards - that’s over a third... 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 →

Printed matters

Thursday 28th April 2022 I had an enjoyable evening last Saturday at The Hawth Theatre in Crawley (Tony Blackburn's Radio 2 Sounds of the Sixties Tour since you asked - highly recommended for those of us of a certain age). Whilst there I couldn't help but notice in the foyer and throughout the theatre were... Continue Reading →

H is for Harrogate

Saturday 23rd April 2022 And so to H. I thought about Harlow, just fleetingly, but couldn’t face the negativity. Hemel Hempstead came to mind - I sort of lived there with my parents for a time in the early 1970s while at university in Reading and it’s always interesting to go back - but in... Continue Reading →

Birmingham loses the Salt Road connection

Thursday 21st April 2022 The bus route between Birmingham, Bromsgrove, Droitwich Spa, Worcester and Great Malvern was first introduced by Midland Red in 1914 and although extended to Malvern Wells two years later and given route number 144 in 1928, it's pretty much continued unchanged for the past hundred years or so, save for the... Continue Reading →

Long bus rides: 700

Tuesday 19th April 2022 It's been six months since I've done a marathon bus journey (Stagecoach's route 35 in Aberdeenshire) so decided it was opportune to take another extended ride over the Easter weekend. Stagecoach’s long established route 700 takes a lengthy 4 hours and 40 minutes to travel all the way from Portsmouth to... Continue Reading →

DRT riding in rural Norfolk

Tuesday 12th April 2022 It's been a while since I tried out a new DRT service so I was pleased to put that right yesterday by giving the recently introduced new scheme in rural Norfolk the once over. It’s been included as part of Norfolk County Council’s well established 'Flexibus' brand which has been running... Continue Reading →

G is for Grantham

Saturday 9th April 2022 "it" looks like an old branding scheme as it was the only example I saw. Located towards the south western tip of Lincolnshire 23 miles south of the county town of Lincoln, 22 miles east of Nottingham, 29 miles north of Peterborough and 31 miles west of Boston, Grantham’s population is... Continue Reading →

The Haves and the Have Nots

Thursday 7th April 2022 Congratulations to this week's 31 lucky winners in the DfT’s Bus Service Improvement Plans lottery. Roughly half of England is destined to enjoy buses emulating what the Secretary of State describes as the "success of London" (which, by the way, confirms for any doubters the DfT really does suffer from some... Continue Reading →

Rallying for Ukraine

Tuesday 5th April 2022 A shorter than usual and unashamedly self indulgent post today following the wonderful bus rally based on Lewes organised by David Mulpeter and the team at Seven Sisters Bus & Coach I was pleased to attend on Sunday. The rally was arranged at short notice to raise funds for Ukraine and... Continue Reading →

Suggestions for TfL

Saturday 2nd April 2022 Palestra Twitter followers will know I was privileged to be asked into TfL Towers (Palestra in Southwark) on Tuesday afternoon to share ideas on how to improve revenue and grow the number of passengers using its bus network based on best practice pursued by the country’s leading bus companies in the... Continue Reading →

Clear Bluewater

Thursday 31st March 2022 Bluewater's bus station is next to Marks& Spencer in the south east apex of the complex. Out-of-town shopping centres can be extremely difficult to serve by bus. Only the very large ones like Bluewater have anything like a decent service. But they're a mecca for car users. Bluewater opened its swanky... Continue Reading →

Is there a place for travel shops?

Tuesday 29th March 2022 It's not often a bus company opens a brand new travel shop these days. Many bus companies have been only too pleased to save costs and close down any ‘High Street’ vestiges they once had which provided helpful face to face contact with the travelling public. Arriva's former travel shop in... Continue Reading →

F is for Folkestone

Saturday 26th March 2022 Continuing my fortnightly alphabetical wander around Britain brings me to the south coast. Folkestone’s population is 47,000. A further 15,000 people live in neighbouring Hythe, while the total population of the Folkestone & Hythe District Council area (renamed from Shepway Borough Council in 2018) is 113,000. Being a coastal town, and... Continue Reading →

I tried out the secret free buses in Newport

Thursday 24th March 2022 March is free bus travel month in Newport but shhh, don’t tell anyone. It’s a secret. This latest month’s worth of free bus fares follows a similar arrangement in December last year up to Christmas Eve and arises following what’s known as the Burns Commission report (named after its chairman Lord... Continue Reading →

All across Dalcross

Tuesday 22nd March 2022 Photo courtesy Network Rail Aside from the shiny new mega-size stations about to open in the Crossrail core there are quite a few other brand new stations currently under construction on the national network which are due to open during 2022. It’s a bit of a sweepstake to see which will... 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 →

Kent’s summer bus cull

Saturday 19th March 2022 Kent County Council launched a consultation last month seeking views on a raft of cuts to bus services it funds across the county which will be introduced this summer. Notwithstanding Bus Recovery Grant 2 and Bus Back Better’s vision of a wonderful utopian future for bus provision the reality in Kent... Continue Reading →

TfL’s “bold vision for buses”

Thursday 17th March 2022 TfL launched a"long-term plan for buses" last week. The press release headlined it "TfL sets out bold vision for buses in the capital" with the new Bus Action Plan aiming for a "modern bus network to attract more customers and help the capital become net zero by 2030". The 94-page Bus... Continue Reading →

The cost of a rail ticket refund

Tuesday 15th March 2022 I’ve been ‘off the road’ for operational reasons since last Monday (otherwise known as testing positive for Covid) which has given me an opportunity to reflect on the rail industry’s policy on ticket refunds. It’s all very simple if you’re a Marks & Spencer customer. Famous for its no quibble policy,... Continue Reading →

E is for Evesham

Sunday 13th March 2022 Evesham is the smallest town I’ve visited so far in my fortnightly A to Z exploration of the state of public transport in small to mid size towns. It’s got a population around 26,000 so is about half the size of Andover and Durham and a third the size of Bracknell... Continue Reading →

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑