My bus ride to a “living lab project”

Thursday 3rd February 2022 I’d been hearing encouraging news about the way the business and technology park known as Milton Park, near Didcot, is embracing public transport so took a ride out there one day last month to see what’s happening. Situated two-and-a-half miles west of Didcot Parkway railway station, Milton Park is one of... Continue Reading →

Slough’s Bath Road gets a plug

Thursday 29th October 2020 This week sees the start of a trial of BYD's electric EMV200 single deck demonstrator bus in Slough. But this isn't one of those short visit bus demonstrators slotted into an existing bus route for a few days enabling bus company managers to get a feel for what a new bus... Continue Reading →

Tour Hidden London from home

Tuesday 25th August 2020 The London Transport Museum has been running a series of Hidden London branded tours for a number of years. There's even a book recently published which features the tours and history of the locations and a dedicated exhibition was added to the Museum in Covent Garden prior to lockdown featuring highlights... Continue Reading →

A Tease on Tees

Friday 21st February 2020 (updaated Saturday 22nd February) The latest Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) scheme gets going on Monday so I thought I’d prepare travel plans and be ready to try it out. Except it’s proving a bit trickier than I thought. It’s in the Tees Valley Combined Authority area and comprises three separate geographic... Continue Reading →

Revolutionising the Harrogate experience

Friday 17th Janurary 2020 Last month's timetable change saw a greatly improved train service for Harrogate with LNER introducing direct trains to and from London Kings Cross every two hours; a substantial increase over the once a day journey which previously ran. Six daily southbound departures from Harrogate leave at 07:34; 09:36; 11:36; 13:36; 15:36 and... Continue Reading →

By Tandem to Rushden Lakes

Monday 13th January 2020 Ride sharing's been around since the first horse bus began plying it's way but the modern incarnation envisages using a website or app to book a journey and clever software linking you up with other people going the same way, because that's what clever software can do. The fact there aren't... Continue Reading →

Tapping into confustion

Tuesday 26th November 2019 It's good to see more and more bus companies playing payment systems catch-up by accepting contactless cards as an alternative to cash. I'm not convinced the transaction time is quicker, and indeed could well be slower in the hands of a proficient and experienced cash handling driver, but it's the way... Continue Reading →

Go-Coach trailblazing in Sevenoaks

Wednesday 23rd October 2019 Small independently owned bus companies are a vital part of the industry. They serve small size towns and rural areas which other plc group companies cannot reach. They're becoming increasingly important as the Groups try and reverse falling margins. These small businesses are usually run by dedicated passionate individuals working very... Continue Reading →

Only Connect in Kent

Monday 16th September 2019 Back in July I took a ride on Nu-Venture's route 58 between Maidstone, East and West Malling and villages and hamlets close to Wrotham Heath in Kent before it was transformed as part of one of Kent County Council's rural pilots. The idea was to cut the route back from the... Continue Reading →

Pods in the Park

Tuesday 10th September 2019 Readers will know of my scepticism concerning Demand Responsive Transport; I've made enough journeys to conclude there's no way such schemes will ever be commercially viable let alone more convenient for passengers over a fixed timetabled bus route. The Speke trial comprising a one bus fixed timetabled route (with passengers knowing... Continue Reading →

zeelo lands at Gatwick Airport

Wednesday 21st August 2019 I sampled zeelo's new commuter coach service between Newport and Bristol back in the Spring and wrote about the company and my travel experience on 24th May. Now the enterprising entrepreneurs based at zeelo's London Shoreditch HQ have started another new venture, also aimed at commuters, this time connecting part of Crawley... Continue Reading →

Hard and soft launches in Edinburgh

Thursday 1st August 2019 LNER know all about high profile launches. I guess it helps being in the public sector with a generous marketing budget rather than being a cash strapped TOC with unattainable winning franchise pledges submitted to the DfT in misplaced optimism a few years back. Following LNER's all singing, all dancing Kings... Continue Reading →

Another rural pilot in Kent

Friday 12th July 2019 Kent County Council's fourth 'Rural Transport Initiative' gets underway on Monday next week so earlier today I took a ride on the last weekday operation of the old order to get a sense of what this one's all about. (My write up of the first three pilot schemes can be read... Continue Reading →

Rural pilots take off in Kent

Tuesday 18th June 2019 Kent County Council's 'Rural Transport Initiative' using 'Taxi Buses' has begun so I thought I'd take a look to see how it's going. It's early days but there are already signs of interest building in the rural communities now enjoying public transport either for the first time or after quite a... Continue Reading →

293 and 294 bow out in Kent

Tuesday 11th June 2019 Yesterday was the final time routes 293 and 294 connected various Kent villages with Tenterden. The routes' withdrawal are a consequence of Kent County Council's slimmed down funding cut to uncommercial bus services following its 'Big Conversation' consultation about rural transport last year. I'd been alerted to the withdrawals on social... Continue Reading →

Commuting with Zeelo

Friday 24th May 2019 There was a time if you fancied running a coach travel business you'd get yourself a coach or two (probably decent second-hand stock to begin with), pick up a school contract to run, get known among well-to-do local clubs and societies for those lucrative private hires and maybe run a small... Continue Reading →

Three month Meridian countdown

Saturday 16th February 2019 There's another rail construction project approaching its deadline for completion - the opening of a brand new train station in London. Meridian Water is due to welcome its first passengers coinciding with the summer timetable change on 19th May. That's just twelve weeks away so I thought I'd pop along for... Continue Reading →

railair & you’re there

Thursday 24th January 2019The recent launch of First Bus's nine brand new Scania Irizar i6 bodied K-series coaches for its prestigous RailAir nonstop service linking Reading Station with Heathrow Airport attracted a shoal of positive comments on Twitter and in the trade press so I thought I'd give it a road test today. All the... Continue Reading →

The m1 arrives in Bristol

Sunday 6th January 2019 Today saw the launch of the third route in Bristol's metrobus trilogy: the m1. And this is the biggy. Route m3 was first out of the blocks last May between Emersons Green and the city centre using a new bus only exit off the M32 for easy access to the University... Continue Reading →

Switched on Harrogate

Friday 23rd November Hats off to Transdev Blazefield owned Harrogate Bus Company for getting their brand new fleet of electric buses for the town's network of local bus routes on to the road and into service. Unlike London's all electric Waterloo garage where buses only charge up back at base, this scheme introduces 'opportunity charging'... Continue Reading →

Top 10 Show offs

Tuesday 30th October 2018 The Euro Bus Expo show opened at Birmingham’s NEC today for its biennial showcase of what’s hot in the bus and coach industry. I popped along for a stroll round the stands; here are ten exhibits that took my fancy. 1 Navaho Technologies Ltd’s displays These guys were demonstrating attractive bright... Continue Reading →

10 years from now

Wednesday 24th October 2018 Last week's conference for Young Bus Managers in Bristol was another great success. A hundred people attended from across all five of the UK's big bus Groups as well as ten smaller companies and even some transport students from Aston and Huddersfield Universities. The afternoon workshop session asked attendees what the... Continue Reading →

Gliding on Glider

Ever wondered what around £100 million will buy in the way of Bus Rapid Transit? I popped over to Belfast today to find out. The idea of creating a metro style cross city transit route has been discussed in the City for some years and as always with projects of this kind, (like in Bristol),... Continue Reading →

Bristol’s latest metrobus m2 begins

The second of the three new metrobus routes began operating in Bristol yesterday. The m2 links the Long Ashton Park & Ride site (south west of the city) via some impressive newly constructed exclusive busway road to the city centre where the bus does a large anti-clockwise circuit. It's been controversial and way behind schedule.... Continue Reading →

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