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 →

TrawsCymru dryswch*

Sunday 13th January 2021 * that's Welsh for confusion. I’ve always liked the TrawsCymru network and brand. It’s grown in size and extent over the years providing frequent links across Wales, mostly on corridors where there’s no rail option. The branding is consistently applied thanks to the Transport for Wales policy of specifying and even... Continue Reading →

Cannock to Telford with Chaserider

Wednesday 9th June 2021 It’s exactly five months since Arriva sold its Cannock based operations comprising about a dozen bus routes, 46 vehicles and the Delta Way bus garage to D&G Bus back on 9th January, so with a brand new service introduced last week, I thought it was a good time for a visit... Continue Reading →

Bank Holiday weekend joyrides

Monday 31st May 2021 It was 45 years ago this month when I first made the journey from Leeds to Hawes by bus. I remember it was a Saturday on a West Yorkshire Road Car Bristol RE and with a conductor too. As a Londoner with bus and train rides until then largely confined to... Continue Reading →

Week 1: Here we don’t go again

Saturday 7th November 2020 Welcome back to another series of weekly updates of bus and train developments during lockdown. Now, where were we before that “Stay at home” regime was so rudely interrupted back in early July with our being encouraged to go out and about again. Ah yes; my first journey was to enjoy... Continue Reading →

Beachcomber and EastRider riden

Thursday 20 August 2020 The last time I took a ride on East Yorkshire's open top bus service along Scarborough's seafront was in May last year, just before the lovely bright new Beachcomber brand was rolled out, so it was nice to make a return visit on Tuesday and see the Best Impressions designed makeover... Continue Reading →

Kent’s fifth rural initiative

Thursday 23rd July 2020 Regular readers will remember last summer I took a ride on four of Kent County Council’s new ‘Rural Transport Initiatives’. Three of these involved the introduction of ‘Taxi Buses’ including a Sevenoaks Taxi Bus linking West Kingsdown and the East Hill Residential Park with Sevenoaks; a Sandwich Taxi Bus linking that... Continue Reading →

Week 14. Shifty about modal shift

Saturday 27th June 2020 If you’re a believer in public transport, spent your whole career in it, use it extensively, love everything about it, feel passionate about it, you know the sort of thing; you’d have been forgiven back in March for getting mildly excited at the DfT publishing its ‘Decarbonising Transport - Setting the... 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 →

Xpress Dundee done, (and Airlink)

Wednesday 16th October 2019 Xplore Dundee, the National Express owned bus company in Dundee, launched a brand new airport express coach service back in June linking the city directly with Edinburgh Airport via the A90 and M90. Four months on I thought it was a good time to take a look and see how it... Continue Reading →

OS at 90

Monday 30th September 2019 The Omnibus Society marked its 90th anniversary over the weekend with its annual Presidential Weekend offering a brilliant programme of events based in the Solent area. Around a hundred members from all over the country attended the weekend hosted by this year's president, Andrew Wickham, managing director of Go South Coast.... Continue Reading →

Electric shock on rear seats

Thursday 26th September 2019 Metroline, the Singapore based ComfortDelGro owned bus company, which operates a large network of bus routes for TfL across north and north-west London has been in the news recently as they roll out an expensive new fleet of 67 all electric battery-rechargeable double deck buses. Having read glowing coverage in the... Continue Reading →

Toon Time

Friday 23rd August 2019 It's always a pleasure to spend some time on Tyneside. Open tops Yesterday I sampled the new open-top sightseeing tour introduced this summer by Go North East and branded as 'toontour'. There's been a bit of a change round on the open-top tour front on Tyneside this year. Stagecoach pulled out... Continue Reading →

Britain’s most southerly bus stop…

... and other west Cornwall travels. Thursday 8th August 2019 Having travelled up to Cape Wrath last month to visit mainland Britain's most northerly bus terminus I thought it was time to take a look at the most southerly bus stop. It's located at The Green, Lizard, just north of Lizard Point itself, where First... Continue Reading →

On Track in Taunton

Saturday 3rd August 2019 South West Trains started the 'run trains to link with heritage railways' trend a couple of summers ago (before they handed the keys over to South Western Railway) by running a few trains on a summer Saturday on the connecting tracks from Wareham to the Swanage Railway at Corfe Castle. This... Continue Reading →

A day in Stranraer and The Rhins

Thursday 6th June 2019 It may not rank as high as the West Highland Line, the Kyle of Lochalsh Line or the Far North Line in the great Scottish Scenic Rail Lines stakes but ScotRail have rightly designated the line down to Stranraer as a Scenic Rail Journey and very justifiably so too. While I... Continue Reading →

New trains in 2019 5: Class 710

Sunday 26th May 2019 Train manufacturer Bombardier has at last finally sorted the software issues on the new Class 710 trains for London Overground’s Gospel Oak to Barking route and the much delayed trains entered public service for the first time last Thursday. As operator Arriva Trains London organise more drivers fully trained to drive... Continue Reading →

Breich, Borders, Bike Buses and Berwick

Friday 3rd May 2019 Finding myself in Glasgow at 7.30am yesterday morning (after my inaugural Caledonian Sleeper Mark 5 journey) I thought it would be an opportunity to continue the first-time experiences by taking a ride on the recently completed electrified ScotRail line to Edinburgh via Shotts and then catch a Borders Buses X62 down... Continue Reading →

4,200 bus seats for Edinburgh

Tuesday 19th March 2019 Lothian Buses have just started operating their brand new 100 seat tri-axle buses in service on city routes 11 and 16. I thought I'd take a ride. They're Alexander Dennis Enviro400XLB bodies on a Volvo chassis (according to the swanky promotional video which plays out every five minutes or so on... Continue Reading →

An Anglian Adventure

Thursday 14th March 2019 It began a month ago. A day out to Norwich to travel route 88 via Bungay and Halesworth to Southwold, where I'd catch the four-journey-a-day tendered route 90 which returns to Halesworth via a very circuitous route through some delightful Suffolk villages as well as the small town of Beccles. Both... Continue Reading →

A great Deal in Kent

Sunday 10th March 2019 It's always a pleasure to visit the Garden of England. My journeys on two days last week included visits to both ends of Kent - to Dover and Deal on the Channel coast in the south east and to Sevenoaks close to the County’s western border with Greater London. Both Stagecoach South... Continue Reading →

A few days in scenic Scotland 1

Day 1 Wednesday 27th February 2019  West Highland Line A quick, cheap Easyjet flight from Gatwick up to Glasgow for 1030, a ride into the city centre on First Glasgow route 500 allowing time for a wander to admire recent and welcome new arrivals in that company's bus fleet and it's soon time to see... Continue Reading →

Skylarking on skylink

Sunday 24th February 2019 No bus company does route branding as well as trentbarton (as they like to be called, with no capital letters). trentbarton were the original bus route brand masters and have retained that crown trailblazing regular investment in impressive new vehicles, upgrades and refreshes to the brands and an eye for getting... Continue Reading →

A day out in Sheppey

Friday 25th January 2019was too good an opportunity to miss. As Ford's Chariot accepted its last ride share booking today, closing down just a few weeks after RATP's Slide and Esoteric Systems' (with First Bus) MyFirstMile in Bristol also both bit the dust, Arriva's Click has been in celebratory mood marking its 100,000th booking by... Continue Reading →

A Lifebelt for ailing Hayling Ferry

Saturday 3rd November 2018 There's a handy passenger ferry which connects the south western tip of Hayling Island with the south eastern tip of Portsea Island across Langstone Harbour. It only takes a couple of minutes to cross and saves Hayling's residents a 12 mile detour via Havant and Cosham to reach the commercial centre... Continue Reading →

Friendly feedback for ManFred

Saturday 20th October 2018 Monday's 'Business Announcement' outlining proposals to centralise even more of Arriva's UK bus business mysteriously landed anonymously in my inbox. I'm told it's a legacy plan left over from recently departed UK Bus MD Kevin O'Connor (formerly Regional MD of G4S) who's now moved on to pastures new. I thought I'd... Continue Reading →

I went to Thorpe Park by bus

Tuesday 16th October 2018 No, not the infamous leisure park in Surrey, that's so last decade; I'm talking Thorpe Park as in 'a flagship scheme for the Northern Powerhouse Agenda' no less (well that's what their brochure reckons). And in case you didn't know, Thorpe Park 'sits in the city regions most significant growth area... Continue Reading →

Spiralling decline in London

Friday 28th September 2018 TfL's much leaked cuts to central London's bus routes were officially published today as a six week public consultation is launched. As expected the plans involve removing parts of or whole bus routes along busy roads also served by other routes on the grounds the overall capacity supplied by the combined... Continue Reading →

Which Ipswich bus station?

Tuesday 25th September 2018 There aren't many towns of Ipswich's size (circa 150,000 population) with two bus stations. Many similar sized towns don't even stretch to having one bus station these days let alone two. For example down the road and over the Suffolk/Essex border, Colchester rather cheekily calls its somewhat unexciting on-street bus stops... Continue Reading →

A peek into my inbox

I've received some interesting promotional emails from the new breed of ride sharers recently. Arriva Click sent an enticing personalised message on Thursday proclaiming some 'great news' for me. It seems Click now accepts concessionary passes. Amazing. Arriva certainly know how to rub salt into the wound of being in that frustrating cohort having to... 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 →

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑