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 →

All across Dalcross

Tuesday 22nd March 2022 Photo courtesy Network Rail Aside from the shiny new mega-size stations about to open in the Crossrail core there are quite a few other brand new stations currently under construction on the national network which are due to open during 2022. It’s a bit of a sweepstake to see which will... Continue Reading →

Life after Arriva in Guildford

Tuesday 1st March 2022 It's just over ten weeks since Arriva pulled out of Surrey so I took a ride over to Guildford last Wednesday to see how things were going. Bus networks in Crawley and Burton-on-Trent as well as Cannock have prospered since Arriva gave up on those towns so I wondered if the... Continue Reading →

C is for Carlisle

Sunday 13th February 2022 Having explored a couple of southern towns to kick off this year's A to Z of public transport provision in small to mid sized English towns last month I thought I’d better level up and select this month’s two contenders in the north. And what’s more they’re both cities rather than... Continue Reading →

It’s a ting thing

Friday 29th October 2021 This week’s DRT bus service launch is Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority’s trial in that rural part of ‘West Huntingdonshire’ lying west of Huntingdon and St Neots. It’s got the same features and challenges I’ve covered in other blogs about rural DRT operations so I won’t repeat the same old stuff... 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 →

£13 million down the tube

Monday 7th December 2020 The order was announced in a fanfare of publicity on 4th March: "Europe's most frequent coach service set to get even better with 34 new coaches this summer.... the largest single order of coaches in the history of Stagecoach .... the latest technology designed to enhance the customer experience". Their deferment... Continue Reading →

Separate Beds

Tuesday 29th September 2020 It was disappointing to hear Stagecoach has split its Oxford to Cambridge route X5 in Bedford. The X5 is the well established bus equivalent of East-West Rail now under active development. The half hourly frequency has been retained throughout but the opportunity has been taken to convert the more heavily used... Continue Reading →

Stagecoach Rewards reviewed

Tuesday 22nd September 2020 According to its website, the Marketing Lounge Partnership (MLP) is"one of the UK's only combined incentive, loyalty, partnership and CRM agencies" which struck me as odd. It seems double dutch to say you're 'one of the only' of anything. Either you're ‘one of a few’, or you're ‘the only’. Surely? Anyway... Continue Reading →

fflecsi – the Welsh DRT

Thursday 13th August 2020I had high hopes for fflecsi (it’s Welsh for flex) - the Welsh version of DRT (Demand Responsive Transport).Transport for Wales (TfW) are replacing existing fixed-timetable small-scale bus routes with a bookable flexible bus running along the route and its environs according to demand. It’s a bit like how Go Coach Hire... 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 →

Testing the flex in Tees flex

Tuesday 25th February 2020 After Friday's Tees teaser I spotted the new 'Tees flex' app became available to download over the weekend so armed with that and the zonal maps which blog readers kindly pointed out were on Stagecoach's 'Tees flex' webpage as click throughs from the zonal names, I was able to plan today's... 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 →

Big Bus Busway and electri-citi 6

Wednesday 19th February 2020 I took a ride on the Cambridge Busway earlier today to look at Stagecoach's latest vehicles purchased specifically to increase capacity to meet growing demand on the popular link from St Ives to the city as well as other destinations as far away as Peterborough and Royston. Eighteen vehicles costing £5... Continue Reading →

That Stagecoach rebrand

Wednesday 5th February 2020 I’ve yet to see a bus in what is officially dubbed the “people-powered new look” actually out on the road so these initial comments come with a health warning it might all look much better when seen in the flesh and I reserve the right to change my opinion. In the... 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 →

Warwick Uni’s bus battle hots up

Monday 6th January 2020 Universities are good business for bus companies. Many towns and cities benefit from having a network of attractive frequencies and buses running late into the night thanks to student travel. Despite this few, if any, University travel markets are hotly contested with competitive bus services. One exception is the University of... Continue Reading →

The soon to be ex X90

Wednesday 4th December 2019 The recent announcement by Oxford Bus of the withdrawal of their long standing X90 coach route between Oxford and London in a month's time on 4th January surprised a good few industry observers. Me included. But when I thought about it and read more of the background it really wasn't surprising... 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 →

Stagecoach’s new Designer X1

Tuesday 29th October 2019 It's good to see Stagecoach introducing another new commercial inter-urban bus route with the Group's Yorkshire company trailblazing a brand new service between Chesterfield and Nottingham this week. The new X1 provides an attractive alternative to the long standing Pronto branded route Stagecoach East Midlands operate jointly with TrentBarton running every... 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 →

On the M2 on the M2 … and a 301

Monday 22nd July 2019 You have to hand it to Stagecoach. Whenever they give a new commercial service a go, they don't hold back. Their South West Falcon introduced in 2016 linking Bristol with Plymouth was a massive investment involving a fleet of brand new coaches running hourly during the day as well as night... 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 →

Topless in Hastings

Friday 31st May 2019 There's been a welcome resurgence in the traditional open top bus market (as opposed to high profile City Sightseeing) over the last few years with long withdrawn routes returning to their once regular haunts. Yellow Buses resurrected their seafront service in Bournemouth and Boscombe a couple of years ago, as did... Continue Reading →

A paragon of virtue

Saturday 25th May 2019 The city of Kingston upon Hull got its share of fame in 2017 with its designation as UK City of Culture leading to all kinds of whacky artistic displays and events. Aside from its infamous autonomous telephone exchange and unique cream telephone boxes, for me, Hull has always been famous for... Continue Reading →

Cumbrian travels between LNER and Virgin

Tuesday 30th April 2019 My Funday in Furness yesterday exploring three small islands off England's north west coast came sandwiched between two other great travelling days. I travelled up the East Coast Main Line from Kings Cross to Newcastle on Saturday with LNER (always a favourite journey) to meet the lovely members of the Northern... Continue Reading →

Funday in Furness

Monday 29th April 2019 Today's been a fascinating day visiting three tiny islands off England's north west coast alongside Barrow in Furness. Until a few months ago when planning this adventure I had no idea they even existed! The Borough of Barrow, including neighbouring Dalton, has a population of around 57,000 and is Cumbria's second... 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 →

Three Counties Circular

There's a great bus ride to be had in that part of England where Lancashire meets Cumbria meets North Yorkshire. I recently took a circular trip from Lancaster (Lancashire) taking in Kirkby Lonsdale (Cumbria) and Ingleton (North Yorkshire). I highly recommend it. Stagecoach run the 80/81 from Lancaster to Ingleton (80) and Kirkby Lonsdale (81). While... Continue Reading →

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