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 →

LCBS 50th Anniversary Tour: Part 4

Sunday 17th October 2021 A surprise ending And so to the fourth and final quadrant of our London encirclement commemorating last year's fiftieth anniversary of the much missed London Country Bus Services. We'd journeyed from Gravesend to Dorking; Dorking to Amersham and Amersham to Bishops Stortford and Friday saw the circle completed by travelling from... Continue Reading →

Rain doesn’t stop the Falmouth Coaster

Thursday 7th October 2021 While down in Cornwall last weekend I took the opportunity to take a ride on First Kernow’s new-for-the-2021-summer-season Falmouth Coaster branded open top bus tour of the town. It’s part of FK’s Adventures By Bus over arching brand of initiatives introduced this summer to attract the leisure travel market. Regular readers... Continue Reading →

Cornish crackers

Tuesday 5th October 2021 First the good news. Go-Ahead’s Go Cornwall Bus website which acts on behalf of Transport for Cornwall (TfC) now includes a comprehensive map of the combined county bus network showing both First Kernow’s commercial and TfC’s tendered networks. Fantastic. An integrated bus map. At last. And as I found when I... Continue Reading →

Sheppey goes against the Grain

Wednesday 29th September 2021 I explored the Isle of Sheppey back in April as my very own ‘Farewell to Arriva on the Island’ Tribute Tour. The Arriva bus garage alongside Sheerness station closed as planned in July with Sittingbourne based independent owned bus and coach company Chalkwell taking over operation of the bus routes on... Continue Reading →

The Snowdon Sherpa

Friday 17th September 2021 The Snowdon Sherpa network of bus routes provides a great way to explore the Snowdonia National Park. It links the six walking paths which give access to the mountains and removes the tediousness for walkers needing to retrace their outward route if parking in one of the designated parking areas across... Continue Reading →

Another new TrawsCymru route

Wednesday 15th September 2021 Transport for Wales have only gone and done it again. They've further expanded the TrawsCymru network of bus routes with a brand new route - the T10 - running through the Snowdonia National Park linking Wrexham via a connection in Corwen with Betws-y-Coed and Bangor. The T10 timetable provides a two-hourly... Continue Reading →

Redline goes for the Oxford market

Thursday 9th September 2021 Buckinghamshire’s expansionist bus company Redline has upped the stakes in its competitive battle with Arriva by introducing of a new hourly route X20 between Aylesbury and Oxford. It challenges Arriva’s long standing three-bus-an hour Sapphire branded route 280 on the same route. Redline are differentiating their interloper by offering a quicker... Continue Reading →

The LCBS 50th Anniversary Tour: Part 2

From Compass to Carousel Thursday 26th August 2021 The LCBS Anniversary Tour Gang of Four (now joined by Mike Best and David Cole to make Six of the Best) reconvened on Tuesday to continue our wander around that much missed company’s Polo mint operating area taking us from Dorking Station (where we left off last... Continue Reading →

Route W13. All three of them.

Sunday 22nd August 2021 Britain has three* bus networks using the prefix W. They’re a very diverse threesome. One comprises frequent routes in Wood Green and Walthamstow in north London (as well as Wanstead and Woodford). Another can be found running through the most remote spectacular scenery you’ll ever find in Britain, in the Outer... Continue Reading →

Buster’s Forest Explorer explored

Tuesday 10th August 2021 As well as bringing back open top bus routes all along Bournemouth’s seafront between Mudeford and Alum Chine this summer, Yellow Buses have also introduced a new route aimed at the leisure market linking Christchurch with Ringwood taking in the western side of the New Forest. It began operating at weekends... Continue Reading →

Canterbury and Maidstone get connected

Wednesday 4th August 2021 This week has seen Stagecoach South East revamp its bus routes between Canterbury, Faversham and Sittingbourne and introduce an exciting new extension onwards to Maidstone. Southeastern trains run regularly between Faversham and Sittingbourne but services to Maidstone are not so convenient with journeys taking well over an hour and involving a... Continue Reading →

Making the Tiger better

Monday 2nd August 2021 It was a welcome makeover at the time. In September 2013 Arriva bought out its majority partner shareholders in Centrebus Holdings which had been running buses from bases in Huddersfield, Elland and Honley since 2008 under various brands. Some of the operations had originally been part of the old Yorkshire Traction... Continue Reading →

A free-for-all in Swansea

Saturday 31st July 2021 How many times have you heard local councillors or traders calling for reduced or even free car parking to encourage shoppers back to town centres? Many of us in the industry usually retort “how about making bus travel free instead?". That’s exactly what's happened in Swansea where councillors have funded completely... Continue Reading →

Dee Valley Picturesque Bus

Monday 26th July 2021 It’s not the longest bus route - extending only about five miles north and east of Llangollen at its furthest points - but it would be hard to find another route that packs in so many amazing scenic delights and heritage sites per mile. The brand new Dee Valley Picturesque Bus... Continue Reading →

Electrifying Leicester

Sunday 18th July 2021 As well as open-top buses and DRT, 2021 is also proving to be the year of the electric bus with more and more entering service as various Government funding schemes enable operators and local authorities meet high introduction costs not only of the buses but also the associated charging infrastructure. The... Continue Reading →

East Yorkshire’s new EastRider X5

Sunday 11th July 2021 As January’s lockdown began at the start of 2021 the Go-Ahead owned East Yorkshire bus company revamped its bus service between Goole and Hull creating a new fast limited stop route X5 operating between the two towns to compliment the stopping service. It sounded like a great initiative to grow the... Continue Reading →

A Couple of Cornish Coasters

Friday 9th July 2021 I thought it was about time I wrote another blog about open-top bus routes - well, it’s been just over a week since the last one - so here’s a report on my recent travel experiences on First Kernow’s two prime routes in Cornwall - the Atlantic Coaster and Lands End... Continue Reading →

Moorsbus is back

Monday 4th July 2021 It’s great to see the brilliant Moorsbus network of summer weekend bus routes across the North York Moors make a much welcome return after its enforced Covid absence last year. Running every Saturday and Sunday throughout July, August and September the routes numbered M1 to M8 as well as M31 provide... Continue Reading →

Peak travel in the Peak is weekends

Friday 2nd July 2021 I promised myself last October when trying out Hulleys of Baslow’s then brand new Snake X57 bus route across the Peak District’s Snake Pass I’d be back for another ride if, as I dared hoped, it survived the winter and was still running this summer. Eight months later with summer arrived... Continue Reading →

Rooftop bus riding in Cardiff (not Reading)

Wednesday 30th June 2021 It might not have the scenic delight served up by the Exmoor Coaster or Dartmoor Explorer but the new open-top bus service introduced by Cardiff Bus this week has the potential to prove popular with both residents and visitors fancying a novel bus ride to Cardiff Bay and Penarth seafront. Open-top... Continue Reading →

The Jurassic Coaster

Monday 7th June 2021 It’s not just First Bus in the South West who’ve introduced new open-top and leisure bus routes this summer. Their colleagues in neighbouring First Hampshire and Dorset have also joined in the fun with some much welcome developments on the well established Jurassic Coaster service. When first introduced a good few... Continue Reading →

The Exmoor Coaster

Wednesday 2nd June 2021 This is the one I’ve been waiting for. Of all First Bus in the South West’s exciting new initiatives for the summer season under the "Adventures By Bus" brand, it's been the new Exmoor Coaster open-top service between Minehead and Lynmouth I’ve been looking forward to the most. It began at... Continue Reading →

Adventures By Bus in Cornwall

Wednesday 26th May 2021 Following my hugely enjoyable ride across Dartmoor on the Dartmoor Explorer last Tuesday I made a return visit to the South West over the last couple of days to take a look at the many new bus routes aimed at the leisure market First Kernow are now running in Cornwall. There... Continue Reading →

Exploring the Dartmoor Explorer

Tuesday 18th May 2021 First Bus in the South West are launching a number of exciting bus route initiatives this summer with the aim of tapping into the tourist and leisure market. They're all featured on a new website adventuresbybus.co.uk which takes you through to a colourful page on the First Bus website showing all... Continue Reading →

One Public Transport system for Cornwall?

Thursday 6th May 2021 I was struck by Baroness Vere's forthright endorsement of Cornwall Council's "vision for a high-quality, integrated and customer-focused public transport network" (quote from the Transport for Cornwall website) at the recent Transport Select Committee enquiring into the 'Bus Back Better' Strategy. “You should be very excited about Cornwall" she told Committee... Continue Reading →

More Bucks for your Bang

Monday 19th April 2021 As the deregulated era of free market bus operation draws towards a close it’s not surprising head-to-head bus competition is pretty rare nowadays. Not least currently because Covid has reduced passenger numbers to (at best) less than two-thirds of normal times, and no one is making a profit in the current... Continue Reading →

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