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 →

Seen around

Saturday 10th September 2022 Another pot pourri of observational miscellany from recent travels. Models Firstly a shout out to Brian Jackson for his well earned retirement as proprietor of Morris Models, the fabulous model shop he's run in Lancing, West Sussex since taking over the business in 2004. Brian has decided it’s time to retire... Continue Reading →

1938 Stock’s Amersham outing

Thursday 8th September 2022 A shorter blog than usual this morning; appropriately about a shortened 4 car Underground train. London Transport Museum has a beautifully restored four car Underground train dating back to 1938 in its Acton based collection which occasionally runs on bookable special trips on the network. The train which was restored in... 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 →

Q is for Queensferry

Saturday 3rd September 2022 I know; it’s not a mid size town in its own right; not even a small size town come to that. More just a crossroads in Flintshire’s sprawling Deeside conurbation but ‘beggars can’t be choosers’ when it comes to awkward letters in my fortnightly A-to-Z visiting odyssey. The town gained its... 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the end of Tuesday's blog enjoying a wander around Launceston preparing to take a ride on Cornwall’s other about-to-be-withdrawn-from-this-weekend bus route - the three journeys a day (Monday to Friday) route 235 from Launceston south to Callington.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 →

A rival for troubled Avanti

Saturday 27th August 2022 Yesterday afternoon saw the second outing of an interloper’s new weekly appearance competing on the West Coast Main Line. The rail tour company Locomotive Services Ltd (trading as InterCity) has started running a southbound journey between Crewe and Euston followed by a return back to Manchester leaving London in the busy... 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 →

P is for Potters Bar

Sunday 21st August 2022 Continuing my AtoZ travels, I thought Potters Bar would make for an interesting mid-size town to look at with it being on the fringes of, but not part of, London. Although with a population of surprisingly only around 22,500 it’s more in the small-town size category, rather like O is for... Continue Reading →

Useless platform announcements

Saturday 20th August 2022 Southern and Thameslink seem to be going through a bad patch lately with cancellations and delays for a whole variety of announced reasons including “due to more than the usual number of trains needing repair at the moment”; “due to a shortage of train crew”; “due to a problem under investigation”... Continue Reading →

What next for HCT Group?

Thursday 18th August 2022 HCT Group, the country's leading social enterprise bus operator, posted an ominous update on its website a few days ago. It announced last Friday community bus route 812 in the Borough of Islington will cease operation after Friday 26th August. Although not a headline grabbing seismic development in the grand scheme... 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 →

Transport turmoil

Saturday 13th August 2022 Let’s take stock. The battle for TfL is ominously sliding towards a possible nuclear option of bankruptcy and Government "taking back control"…… Rail strikes are continuing with more trains in the sidings than on the tracks today with ASLEF drivers’ turn to stop work and RMT and TSSA members out again... Continue Reading →

More more in Bournemouth

Sunday 7th August 2022 Thursday 4th August 2022's stark announcement Bournemouth’s buses dramatically changed colour yesterday following the sad news on Friday 29th July the town’s Yellow Buses had called in the Administrators. The company ceased trading less than a week later at 18:00 on Thursday 4th August leaving the town without its familiar bright... Continue Reading →

O is for Oswestry

Saturday 6th August 2022 It’s the smallest town I’ve visited in my fortnightly AtoZ safaris but there aren’t many O options to choose from. Oswestry’s population at around 17,000 means it’s not my normal ‘mid size’ town for a visit although by Shropshire standards it is in fact the second largest town in the unitary... Continue Reading →

DRT developments in Leicestershire (Part 1)

Tuesday 2nd August 2022 I recently blogged about Leicester’s new St Margaret’s bus station observing more exciting public transport developments were coming to this forward looking city. And here we are again, looking at three new initiatives in the city and another in neighbouring Leicestershire, including two new DRT schemes. Launching yesterday was NovusFlex operated... Continue Reading →

Seen around

Sunday 31st July 2022 Here are some more examples of good and bad practice I've spotted on recent travels. Arriving at Bridgwater rail station I had a vague idea of which direction to take to walk to the bus station but was reassured to see a prominent notice attached to a lamppost right outside the... Continue Reading →

The tram that now serves a village

Saturday 30th July 2022 As well as Barking Riverside, last week also saw another small but significant extension of Britain's rail and tram networks open up for business. Sunday 17th saw the extension of West Midlands’ Metro tracks for just under a mile from its central Birmingham terminus through to Edgbaston including two additional stops... 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 →

Southsea gets a Coaster

Tuesday 26th July 2022 After last year’s return of an open top bus service along Southsea seafront following a nine year absence by Aldermaston Coach Lines, this year it’s the turn of First Portsmouth to try and make a go of it. Like Aldermaston’s foray First’s period of operation is the school summer break of... Continue Reading →

N is for Neath

Sunday 24th July 2022 It’s been nice to be able to select a mid-size town to visit in Wales for my fortnightly A-to-Z wanderings and although Neath is located fairly close to its near neighbour and local authority partner, Port Talbot, with pretty much continuous ribbon development through Briton Ferry and Baglan joining the two,... 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 →

An extension and a curtailment

Thursday 21st July 2022 As TfL advised “do not travel” due to the record breaking temperatures, Monday also saw the much anticipated 2.8 mile extension to the Overground from Barking to Barking Riverside open for business. It brings a 15 minute rail service taking a scheduled seven minutes to the huge 179-hectare brownfield site on... Continue Reading →

Happy 50th Birthday Ensignbus

Tuesday 19th July 2022 A special livery for a special anniversary. Photo credit Ensignbus. This year sees Purfleet based Ensignbus celebrate its first half century. Formed in 1972, the family run company pioneered by industry legend Peter Newman before being joined by sons Ross and Steve famously began life in used bus sales - notably... Continue Reading →

New bus station for: Leicester

Saturday 16th July 2022 It's been a busy few weeks for new bus station openings. Joining Stevenage (see Tuesday's blog) is the city of Leicester which unveiled its all new St Margaret's Bus Station to the public on Sunday 26th June. I was able to pay a visit last Sunday to check out the new... Continue Reading →

Not another extension

Thursday 14th July 2022 There have now been 11 deadlines for Government funding support for TfL since the pandemic began in late March 2020. That’s an average of one deadline every 78 days. Or one very two and a half months. Bearing in mind the first funding settlement lasted for six and a half months... Continue Reading →

New bus station for: Stevenage

Tuesday 12th July 2022 It's always good to see investment in new bus stations and the last few weeks have seen two open up for business. Stevenage's new 'Transport Interchange' has provided a real step change with a greatly improved waiting area for passengers in a purpose built building housing ten saw-tooth drive in and... Continue Reading →

M is for Maidenhead

Sunday 10th July 2022 Ian kindly suggested Margate as a suitable M for my fortnightly A-to-Z wanders and I almost took him up on it but its proximity to neighbouring Ramsgate and the urban sprawl of Thanet made me question its suitability due to my criteria of choosing ‘independent’ mid size towns where possible and... 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 →

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