D is for Durham

Saturday 26th February 2022 It's time for my fortnightly visit to a small to mid sized town and for D I selected one of England's most beautiful and iconic cities which I hadn't explored for many months. The city of Durham's population is around 50,000. It's the administrative centre of its namesake Durham County Council... Continue Reading →

Harlow’s spring clean up

Sunday 6th February 2022 Readers will have seen my recent news update about Essex County Council promoting its "spring clean" of Harlow's notorious bus station “with help from Arriva and Harlow Council”. It was good news that "public transport posters and timetables have been updated, alongside a deep clean" so as I was passing through... 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 →

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 →

Three refunds and a bouquet for TfL

Wednesday 13th October 2021 As promised last month, a further quick update on my recent experiences with customer service teams in the public transport sector. In my Sunday 19th September blogpost I explained how I’d encountered a problem at Tottenham Hale Underground Station on Friday 17th when the ticket gate ate my rail ticket and... Continue Reading →

Customer service resolutions (or not).

Sunday 19th September 2021 I thought I should provide a few updates after my post a month ago about unsatisfactory experiences at the hands of various rail companies and their hard to reach customer service departments, or often, their sub-contracted outsourced companies. I explained how South Western Railway had twice declined my delay repay claim... 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 →

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 →

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 →

Get down Sheppey

Friday 9th April 2021 The Isle of Sheppey has been on my ‘to visit again’ list for some time, so news Arriva are retrenching from the island by closing their garage with its rather basic facilities sited alongside Sheerness station seemed a good reason to arrange a trip yesterday. I'd also been browsing Arriva's infamously... Continue Reading →

Milton Keynes tries Connecting

Wednesday 31st March 2021 It's all change for Milton Keynes Council's funded bus routes tomorrow as the local authority sweeps away the low frequency services which compliment Arriva's cross town commercial network replacing them with Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) commissioned from the tech company Via. Councillor Lauren Townsend, Cabinet member for Community Safety, hailed the... Continue Reading →

Week 8: Irreversible

Saturday 27th February 2021 The Government's new-look-cautious irreversible-one-way-road approach to unlocking means the 'stay-at-home' message will be eased, subject to data, "data not dates", in four weeks (at the earliest) on 29th March (which sounds like a date to me, as does 12th April, 17th May and 21st June, but I'm sure it's all splendidly... Continue Reading →

On the Essex-Herts-London border: part 2

Friday 25th September 2020 Bus provision in the Harlow area has been challenging for many years. Not helped by a myriad of small bus companies of dubious quality coming and going into the market causing inevitable instability to the network, nor the town being seemingly left out on a limb in Arriva's various management reorganisations... Continue Reading →

On the Essex-Herts-London border: part 1

Thursday 24th September 2020 Fifty-one years ago it was all very straightforward. London’s red buses ventured north as far as Potters Bar, Cheshunt and Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire as well as Waltham Abbey, Epping and Debden in Essex (oh, and Ongar as well of course). London’s green buses ventured much further north to serve places... Continue Reading →

Arriva’s new website. A brutal review.

Wednesday 26th August 2020 It's been trailed on social media as making "it easier than ever to connect with the people and places that matter to you". Arriva'smuch vaunted new website and app were launched yesterday. It gets a one star rating from me, and that's being generous. Bring back the previous website famed for... Continue Reading →

My new found freedom from fares

Wednesday 6th November 2019 Today's been an auspicious day for me. It's not my birthday but by dint of political chicanery back in 2010, my postcode and date-of-birth numbers have today, at last, come up in the concessionary bus fares entitlement lottery. There are now 8,500,001 people in England enjoying free travel on local bus... Continue Reading →

Click for Leicester

Wednesday 1st May 2019 It's day three of Arriva's latest Click venture introduced in Leicester on Monday, so I thought it was worth a trip to see how it's panning out. Corporates love to boast about being the first to do something; they salivate over 'ground-breaking initiatives' and associated hype reckoning it makes for a... Continue Reading →

I Gave the Bus A Chance

I arrived in Liverpool yesterday lunchtime to try out Arriva’s new Click service and soon spotted the awful ‘Say Yes To Bus’ bus with its gaudy contravision vinyl, passing by on route 53. 'Say Yes To Bus’ is a campaign funded by partners in the ‘Liverpool Alliance’ with the laudable objective of encouraging bus travel... Continue Reading →

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