A reverse move for First

Saturday 2nd July 2022 First Bus has announced a major shake up of the management structure of its subsidiary companies which will cut costs particularly senior managers and overheads. It's a laudable aim as Government Covid financial support comes to an end in a couple of months time and with passenger numbers still 80% of... Continue Reading →

K is for King’s Lynn

Sunday 12th May 2022 King's Lynn lies south east of The Wash in the Fenland area that connects East Anglia with Lincolnshire. It's the western most sizeable town in Norfolk with a population of 43,000 falling within the Borough Council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk. Nearest large towns include Spalding around 25 miles west,... Continue Reading →

Birmingham loses the Salt Road connection

Thursday 21st April 2022 The bus route between Birmingham, Bromsgrove, Droitwich Spa, Worcester and Great Malvern was first introduced by Midland Red in 1914 and although extended to Malvern Wells two years later and given route number 144 in 1928, it's pretty much continued unchanged for the past hundred years or so, save for the... Continue Reading →

More on Exmoor Coaster

Sunday 27th June 2021 You can usually pick up the vibes quite quickly whether a new bus venture will be a success when experiencing the service on the road. Despite my previous trip on First Bus’s (Buses of Somerset) Exmoor Coaster having a disappointing single decker at the beginning of the month the omens were... 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 →

H is for Aberdeen

Wednesday 12th May 2021 After visiting Kintore Station on Monday I stopped off in Aberdeen to catch up on the latest development in the city’s high profile commitment to hydrogen powered vehicles. In 2015 First Bus and Stagecoach introduced ten Van Hool A330H hydrogen powered single deck buses between them as phase one of an... 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 →

Leeds leads in West Yorkshire

Tuesday 3rd November 2020 First Bus in Leeds have just introduced a fleet of nine electric buses manufactured by the Chinese company, Yutong. They’re becoming a popular purchase choice with a fleet of 14 recently introduced in Newport, South Wales and a batch arriving for Go North East imminently. With Lockdown 2.0 fast approaching and... Continue Reading →

go2 goes to Sevenoaks

Friday 3rd April 2020 A couple of weeks ago I suggested these unprecedented times might be a good opportunity to give Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) a really good try out to see if its unproven business model would work in the current corona circumstances. With demand for traditional bus services plummeting to around 10% (or even... Continue Reading →

Manchester miscellany

Monday 2nd March 2020 Stagecoach rolled out its high profile £16.5 million investment in 32 BYD ADL Enviro400EV double deckers yesterday so I popped up to Manchester today to take a look. They're zero emission electric buses and in a nice piece of purchase symmetry the Government's Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme contributed a handy £6.9... Continue Reading →

excel excels

Monday 17th February 2020 It's 'take a ride on another high profile brand new fleet of buses' time again. Another £5.3 million spend. Another whole route conversion. This time nineteen buses for First Eastern Counties' excel branded Norwich to Peterborough 84 mile route. And all this before Johnson's promise last week of "4,000 beautiful, bouncing,... Continue Reading →

Will Clacton be all at sea?

Wednesday 1st January 2020 Head to head competition between First Essex and Go-Ahead owned Hedingham between Colchester and Clacton-on-Sea comes to an end on Saturday. First Essex closed its Clacton-on-Sea base back in July 2018 with Hedingham taking over the town's local bus routes leaving First running only the three-bus-an-hour inter-urban link from Colchester to... Continue Reading →

When a bus route becomes a coach route

Tuesday 31st December 2019 Go-Ahead owned Carousel extended its High Wycombe to Uxbridge route 102 on to Heathrow Airport on Sunday; I took a ride yesterday to try it out. The route is part of the Chiltern Hundreds (routes numbered 101 to 105 - get it?) branded buses running between High Wycombe, Beaconsfield and Slough/Watford/Uxbridge... Continue Reading →

Bus battle Southampton style

Sunday 1st December 2019 There was a time when Oxford was the oft quoted example of head-to-head quality competition between two major bus companies as each operator aimed for a high standard of service to attract custom. Oxford's bus market matured after a statutory partnership deal led to a coordinated network so its fallen to... Continue Reading →

43 years later in Cornwall

Sunday 6th October 2019 I picked up an old Western National timetable book for Cornwall when visiting the Isle of Wight Bus Museum last weekend. It's always fascinating to see how bus routes have changed over the decades so as I was heading down to Cornwall over this weekend I took it with me to... Continue Reading →

Ninety round Glasgow

Monday 2nd September 2019 I've ridden round Birmingham (on both NatEx's inner and outer circular bus routes); round Leicester with Centrebus; round Coventry before that city's circular route (neatly numbered 360) got the chop so I thought it was time to take a ride on First Glasgow's route 90, which almost completes an inner circuit... Continue Reading →

A day in Lothian

Wednesday 31st July 2019 Edinburgh's a great city to visit and for those of us with an interest in public transport it's always full of interesting developments, whether it be new low floor coaches on inter-urban express routes, mega-size tri-axle double deckers on city bus routes, buses which accommodate bicycles, new electric trains to Glasgow,... Continue Reading →

A south Suffolk saunter

Friday 26th July 2019 I incorporated Wednesday's ride on Buckland Buses' splendid 1929 Dennis on route 250 between Aldeburgh and Thropeness into an enjoyable couple of days saunter around the lovely countryside in south Suffolk. On Tuesday morning I caught the stopping train to Ipswich out of Liverpool Street at 11:04 as far as Marks... Continue Reading →

Three Staffordshire bus rides

Tuesday 9th July 2019  Welcome to a fourth day of travelling to tick off various 'to do' routes, destinations, new buses and trains which began with an early start from Llandrindod Wells on the first 06:18 journey which starts its journey at this lovely station and continues beyond Shrewsbury as a stopping train through to... Continue Reading →

railair takes off from Guildford

Wednesday 3rd July 2019 Bus and coach routes serving airports have expanded greatly over the last few decades with a seemingly constant stream of new initiatives. I wrote about the recent upgrade to First Glasgow's route 500 between Glasgow Airport and the city centre last month while over at Edinburgh Airport, Xplore Dundee have started... Continue Reading →

Elevated views on the 500

Friday 7th June 2019It's been a long time waiting but finally First Bus have allocated much needed double deck buses on their high profile Glasgow Airport Express route 500. Ten smart new buses began operating the 24/7 shuttle link between the airport and city centre from the middle of April so I was pleased to... 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 →

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 →

The battle for West Lothian

Wednesday 28th November 2018 A right royal bus battle is underway in West Lothian with more salvos being fired this weekend. At the beginning of August First Bus gave their extensive network based on Livingston a good old sort out introducing a simplified route pattern offering quicker journeys and new links into Edinburgh's city centre... Continue Reading →

Go Gower

I've fond memories of living in Swansea, working for South Wales Transport, in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It's a great part of the country and the Gower Peninsular is a spectacular area to visit with its secluded bays and picturesque scenery. In those days SWT had an outstation in the peninsular's south west... Continue Reading →

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