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 →

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 →

Two Rambles in the South Downs

Sunday 4th September 2022 The South Downs National Park is blessed with some excellent frequent bus routes criss crossing its extensive area as well as Southern and SWR run railway lines. They make for helpful connections at the start and finish of walks, including the popular South Downs Way. Routes that come immediately to mind... Continue Reading →

Britain’s narrowest bus route is ending

Thursday 1st September 2022 I left you at the end of Tuesday's blog enjoying a wander around Launceston preparing to take a ride on Cornwall’s other about-to-be-withdrawn-from-this-weekend bus route - the three journeys a day (Monday to Friday) route 235 from Launceston south to Callington. Spoiler alert: I don’t really know if it’s “Britain’s narrowest... Continue Reading →

Buses no more over Bodmin Moor

Tuesday 30th August 2022 Cornwall is the country’s luckiest county; being first in the queue to receive oodles of Government cash to splash on additional bus routes, improved frequencies, new buses and cheaper fares - the way things are promised for 31 other areas fortunate to draw a winning ticket in the Government's Bus Service... Continue Reading →

Changes in the Chilterns

Thursday 25th August 2022 Firstly an update to Tuesday's blog regarding Kent's bus cull for blog subscribers and early morning online readers before the post was updated at 07:30. Thanks to reader Darryl I added an update after it had been published to confirm at a Kent County Council Scrutiny Committee meeting last Thursday the... Continue Reading →

End of the road for Kent’s shopper buses

Tuesday 23rd August 2022 Earlier in the year I reported on Kent County Council’s review of its supported bus services with a mission to save £2.2 million from the Council's annual £6.1 million tendered bus budget. And that was before the impact of Covid Bus Services Support Grant/Bus Recovery Grant originally scheduled to end this... Continue Reading →

Time is running out for route 250, but why?

Tuesday 16th August 2022 It looks as though Oxford’s failed Pick-Me-Up DRT operation is going to make a comeback; this time in deep rural Oxfordshire (cue emoji with raised eyebrows). It’s reported Oxfordshire County Council later this year is planning to replace hourly tendered route 250 which currently serves the expanding residential development known as... 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

Long bus rides: 35

Saturday 5th March 2022 Last autumn I took a ride across Aberdeenshire on most of Stagecoach's route 35 between Elgin and Aberdeen, and thought it was high time I told you about it. Elgin (which lies 38 miles east of Inverness) and Aberdeen ... .... are connected by ScotRail trains running eight times a day... Continue Reading →

Life after Arriva in Guildford

Tuesday 1st March 2022 It's just over ten weeks since Arriva pulled out of Surrey so I took a ride over to Guildford last Wednesday to see how things were going. Bus networks in Crawley and Burton-on-Trent as well as Cannock have prospered since Arriva gave up on those towns so I wondered if the... Continue Reading →

Sullivan saves route 84

Saturday 12th February 2022 There's been much consternation among bus passengers living in Potters Bar and the surrounding area over the last week. Long standing route 84 between St Albans and New Barnet has been deregistered by Metroline. The 84 is one of those iconic routes with a long history stretching back over a century... Continue Reading →

London’s newest bus route

Tuesday 18th January 2022 The last time I used "London's newest bus route" as a title for a blogpost was on 29th March 2021 heralding the arrival of new route 456 in north London. Almost ten months on I’ve taken another ride on the route to see how it’s getting on but before that another... Continue Reading →

Oxford’s bus routes rationalised again

Saturday 8th January 2022 This week has seen further rationalisation between Go-Ahead owned Oxford Bus and Stagecoach Oxford simplifying which bus company operates which routes. Long gone are the days of intense head-to-head competition between the two operators, now there’s sensible cooperation and coordinated timetables making for an attractive bus network to entice passengers. Following... Continue Reading →

Here in Hereford

Thursday 2nd December 2021 Hereford is one of those market towns where it’s notoriously hard to provide a decent bus service that’s financially viable. With a population of around 62,000, it’s a similar size to Corby, Canterbury, Scarborough, Taunton and Tunbridge Wells. It’s a typical English market town with a relatively low population density in... Continue Reading →

Pinky Pennine promises

Tuesday 30th November 2021 Transdev Blazefield’s purchase of Yorkshire Tiger from Arriva in July included an immediate high profile rename to Team Pennine along with a bright new pink themed rebrand with refreshed buses christened Denby Darts introduced on the Huddersfield to Denby Dale bus route renumbered D1 together with a promise of “creating better... Continue Reading →

Riding the ‘Dawlish avoiding line’

Friday 26th November 2021 As explained in Wednesday’s blog when the violent storm caused the railway track at Dawlish to collapse in 2014 there was much talk at the highest political level (Prime Minister David Cameron no less) about taking action to ensure the South West wasn’t ever cut off from the rail network again.... Continue Reading →

End of the road for Hulleys’ snake

Monday 22nd November 2021 It certainly can’t be said Hulleys haven’t given it a good try. Introduced on 26th October 2020 the much welcomed Snake X57 branded bus route linking Sheffield and Manchester, via the scenic A57 Snake Pass, is now on its last knockings with a complete withdrawal planned after after 8th January. It’s... Continue Reading →

End of the road for Hemel’s Green Line

Saturday 20th November 2021 It’s been a long lingering death sentence. 'The writing was on the wall’ way before the pandemic destroyed passenger numbers so it came as no surprise to hear news Arriva are withdrawing its Green Line branded route 758 between Hemel Hempstead and London Victoria. The route will cease after service on... Continue Reading →

Another way is Essex

Saturday 6th November 2021 I’m conscious there’ve been a few blogs recently about bus routes in Essex; well, sorry folks, here’s another one. The issue is, each time I visit I spot something that attracts my attention justifying a return visit to investigate further. I did the same a year ago when I took a... Continue Reading →

Island hopping in Essex

Monday 25th October 2021 Following my recent outing to Sheppey and Grain on the north Kent coast, it's time to replicate similar island exploring on the north side of the Thames Estuary along the Essex coastline - said surprisingly to be the English county with the longest coastline, mainly because of all its inlets and... Continue Reading →

First Debden debut

Saturday 23rd October 2021 It’s been a long time since you could catch a bus from the Debden and Loughton area of Essex, on the fringe of Greater London, and travel to the county town of Chelmsford. A locally based correspondent Chris reckons it was pre war when an early Green Line lettered route provided... Continue Reading →

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