The home of anything and everything to do with transport in and around Plymouth for NINE years and counting!
August is usually fairly quiet with everything gearing up for the new timetables in September. Citybus are preparing their Volvo Wrights into Blue Flash for the 42. It seems First are making a few fleet changes ready for September too - watch this space!
©did by graham

28 August 2014

Swapsies

The big swap around by First continues with several Tridents now working in Plymouth replacing Cornwall bound Enviro 400s. So far confirmed in Plymouth are 32802 32803 32817 32853 32861.

Enviro's 33658 33661 33662 33664 33665 have departed and are in Cornwall having had their TAVISTOCK names removed. This leaves Plymouth with 33659 33660 33666 33667 at the moment. 33659 and 33667 at least were still on Park & Ride duties a couple of days ago.

Nick Rice has managed to capture a few of the incoming buses over the last week or so...

T for two

©Nick Rice (cc) 13 August 2014

Trident times

©Nick Rice (cc) 18 August 2014

There had to be one!

©Nick Rice (cc) 18 August 2014

Recommended Reading

  • PUBLIC TRANSPORT EXPERIENCE: Cartographical Contemplations Consistency isn't Considered! Yet again, First produce their own network map. Is it geographical, like those on the leaflets or the area creations as above? Of course not, don't be silly; that would be far too easy. No we have what purports to be a London Underground style diagram complete with all the disadvantages that concept brings to a bus network
  • FOCUS TRANSPORT: Malta Buses - Preferred Bidder Selected The Malta Transport Ministry has confirmed that negotiations will officially start with preferred bidder Autobuses Urbanos de Leon, on the concession for Malta's public transport system.
  • BBC Scotland: Stagecoach reports rise in bus passenger numbers Transport giant Stagecoach has said more people boarded its buses this summer, after posting a 4% rise in revenues from regional services. The Perth-based group, which operates in the UK and North America, reported a 0.9% rise in passenger volumes outside London in the 12 weeks to 20 July.
  • NORWICH BUSES: Life after Norfolk - Lamberts M441CVG Plaxton Pointer bodied Volvo B6s have always been somewhat of a rarity, with most of the bodies being grafted to a Dennis Dart chassis. This makes it quite a shame to say M441CVG has since left Hedingham, presumably for the scrapyard
  • ANDYS BUS BLOG: Norfolk Green Fleet Update Meanwhile, other notable news is that six extra double deckers are required due to school contracts gained in the West Norfolk area - they will be ex Stagecoach London Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Tridents
  • LANCASTER OMNIBUS: United Utilities and the Bus Station - Phase 3 Phase three of United Utilities' work to improve Lancaster's drains and sewers started on Tuesday, 26th August with the works - and associated road closures - moving along Damside Street to beyond the junction with North Road.
  • IPSWICH BUS BLOG: 44516 ENTERS SERVICE Well she is here at long last arriving yesterday from First Essex's Clacton depot 44516 YX09 ACV she was straight into service unusually on the 60/61 services today,

27 August 2014

From School Bus to Driver Trainer

There has been a bit of a change around on some of the Volvos at Plymouth Citybus. 443 X549EGK was lettered up for the School Bus 112 service but has now been lettered up for Driver Training. Plymouth Citybus

©Richard Smith 3rd August 2014

IMG_1176

©Richard Smith 20 August 2014

Meanwhile former 453 Y826TGH has turned up at the newly revived Velvet Bus where it has been painted in a fetching allover pink livery captured on camera HERE

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  • PUBLIC TRANSPORT EXPERIENCE: fbb's Steyning Day; NOT Stenning, Ray. [2] The line soon settled down to its bucolic obscurity but it never achieved "main line" status as originally intended and only carried passengers to and from these local stations. We can "survey" the line and see what remains. Fortunately most of its length is now "The Downs Link", a long distance cycle route and footpath.
  • BRITISH BUS BUGLE: Suffolk County Council There is no county-wide map. We do have a page listing each are of Suffolk, where if you click on an area, you see timetables for all routes and a basic route diagram. Some diagrams are easier to follow than others however.
  • DENNIS BASFORD: ‘Scene’ briefly in Melton Mowbray It is almost a rear and a half since I last visited ‘MM’ so I thought that another visit was due. A North Leicestershire town which lies at the crossroads formed where the A 606 Nottingham to Stamford road and the A 607 Leicester to Grantham road intersect.
  • NORWICH BUSES: A chat with First Last month, Kieran and I were looking foward to meeting First Norwich's Operations Manager, Lee Howes, and discussing First's plans and ideas for their Norwich Network in the future
  • LANCASTER OMNIBUS: Dalton Square to Return as a Lancaster Terminus? Unfortunately, The Man on the Lancaster Omnibus can find no confirmation as to which services will be affected on the United Utilities website. Neither is there anything on Stagecoach's site, whilst the County Council's Public Transport Pages have been re-organised to be even less useful than previously
  • BENJIS BUSES: 14-64 Plate Buses With the new registration upon us we've decided to try and do a weekly update again as this proved fairly popular the last time we did it!
  • NORWICH BUSES: Eastern Transport Collection 2014 Bus Rally Today saw the annual Eastern Transport Collection bus rally hosted at the Old Buckenham airfield near to Attleborough. Although not the largest of rallies around, the event was all in all a very enjoyable day with a chance to meet up familiar faces
  • YARMOUTH BUS PAGE: Old Buckenham Bus Rally Look at the EYMS website for the pdf for the current 160/162 timetable and the timetable available is dated 15th August 1999. The two services run on Wednesdays and Saturdays linking various small villages into Goole and Howden.
  • FOCUS TRANSPORT: LONDON UNDERGROUND BAKERLOO LINE EXTENSION Plans for the long-awaited extension of the Bakerloo line are set to take a significant step forward next month. Transport bosses will start a ten-week public consultation on extending the line to parts of south-east London historically poorly served by the Tube.
  • PUBLIC TRANSPORT EXPERIENCE: fbb's Steyning Day; NOT Stenning, Ray. [3] But, grab your bike or pull on your walking boots and the Downs Link will take you most of the way. No trains, no track but a few bridges and other remnants will, if nothing else, remind you that this was a working railway.
  • IAN VISITS: Museum Meals – Museum of London It’s almost too easy to miss the larger cafe on the way out, for despite being next to the exit, and the cloakroom it doesn’t really protrude into the foyer in a way that might make it more noticeable. That it also comes after most people might have stopped at the smaller cafe on the lower floors probably doesn’t help in drumming up passing trade.
  • LANCASTER OMNIBUS: Stagecoach Finally Takes on Fishwick The new Stagecoach timetable leaflet doesn't show the Fishwick journeys but, surprisingly, Return tickets are still to be interavailable between the operators and something called the Walton Park Routerider will continue. J Fishwick & Sons, with its prime operating territory, has led a charmed life up to now but The Man on the Lancaster Omnibus wonders if this is just the start of something bigger.
  • IAN VISITS: New Routemaster gets Guitar Branding Another of London’s new Routemaster buses has been given an advertising makeover — this time by the guitar brand, Fender Stratocaster, which is marking its own 60th anniversary this year.
  • CIRCLE OF LONDON: Metroline Harrow Weald Garage [HD]...VWs for the 140/640 Located right at the pinnacle of Harrow is my local garage Harrow Weald, which is operated out of by Metroline and has done so for as long as I can remember. Although the garage at present only runs three routes, two of them are the busiest routes in Harrow. For years the garage has solely operated bus types but only on the Plaxton President body, however that is about to change and in this case change is good.
  • PUBLIC TRANSPORT EXPERIENCE: fbb's Steyning Day; NOT Stenning, Ray. [4] Sounds a bit American? In the UK "transit" has been used, historically, for the action of "crossing", as in "the transit of Venus" describing the passing of the planet across the face of the sun.
  • STEVES BUS AND TRAIN PAGE: Midweek Round Up 26/8/14 So now the decision has been taken to repaint 33423 into X1 livery. To rob it of its individuality and paint it like 24 others. Correction 26 others as apparently 2 of the former X1 Geminis are getting the same treatment. The question that is screaming out is in the name of all that's holy WHY?????
  • BRITISH BUS BUGLE: Report rues deregulation The big difference in London of course is the level of subsidy the bus network receives, which is per capita far in excess of that granted to any other region of the UK.

25 August 2014

Unwanted?

Thanks to David Devoy for his photo of ODV203W:
ODV203W
One ex Padarnbus vehicle yet to attract a buyer is ODV203W. This Leyland Atlantean AN68B/1R / East Lancs OH43/28D was new to Plymouth City Transport as their 159 in February 1981, and is currently in the stock of Drew Wilson (dealers)

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Lots to catch up on as I restart after a short break...
  • NORWICH BUSES: First Training Bus sighted in Norwich For sitting opposite First's Rouen Road office was the recently returned 60807 S568RNA, which now carries the special training livery.
  • IAN VISITS: London Bus themed bar to open next month Next month the Design Junction returns to London, and as in previous years, will include a London Transport themed bar.
  • DENNIS BASFORD: 'Scene’ on the West Coast of Scotland part 1 I recently had a short break staying at the Alexandra Hotel in Oban where most of these images were taken. The tour company was ‘Highland Heritage’ (HH) with whom I have no connection other than as a satisfied customer
  • BRITISH BUS BUGLE: Western Greyhound woes and sabotage claims Some unsettling reports from Cornwall. BBC News is rather muted, but the Cornish Guardian pulls no punches in hinting at behind-the-scenes trouble at one of the country's biggest and most respected independent bus operators.
  • PUBLIC TRANSPORT EXPERIENCE: A Tram.I.Am; but not Well Known [2] The Tramway was offered to the Council, who declined to take it over. The trams and the track were by now worn out and re-equipment was essential if it was to continue. The Directors gave notice of intent to close it on 29th September 1927, and that the 10.30p.m. from each end would be the last to run.
  • ALL OVER LONDON BLOG: The New Additions At Bow Stagecoach's Bow (BW) garage in East London has seen not one, but two changes recently. The count will be three by the end of summer and Bow (BW) will become almost a fully-hybrid garage bar the route 277, between East India (Leamouth, Billingsgate Market) and Highbury & Islington Station
  • FOCUS TRANSPORT: PROPOSALS FOR A FURTHER LONDON ORBITAL RAILWAY London mayor Boris Johnson revealed the scheme in his London Infrastructure 2050 plan and predicted the capital would see a population shift to the east with Barking possibly becoming the next Piccadilly Circus within 100 years time.
  • NORWICH BUSES: Sanders Joe Wilson kindly informed me this afternoon that Sanders Services of Holt have taken on three more VDL SB120 Wright Cadet buses.
  • BENJIS BUSES: 14-64 Plate Buses Weekly 14 / 64 Plate Photo's : W/E 23rd Aug 14
  • TRANSPORT ILLUSTRATED: Edinburgh One of the hazards of keeping tight records of your photo collection is that you can ask yourself the question "Surely it's only been five or six years since I was in Edinburgh" and be able to answer "No, it's been fifteen". Time really does fly so my visit on the last day of my tour was very overdue.
  • PUBLIC TRANSPORT EXPERIENCE: All Change Grimey : All Say Blimey [1] fbb does wonder why this company is entering the risky bus market, especially in view of the sudden (but not unexpected) demise of Redline. Waterson's web site does not mention any bus services. It is hard to see how an extra two journeys to Grimethorpe ill attract new and additional business,
  • FOCUS TRANSPORT: Rail Companies Shortlisted for Northern & TransPennine Express Three companies have been shortlisted to run the Northern franchise, while 3 companies are being considered for the TransPennine Express franchise. All of these companies have successfully passed the pre-qualification stage, and will now be asked to develop their plans for the franchises before they receive the government’s invitation to tender in Decembe
  • PUBLIC TRANSPORT EXPERIENCE: All Change Grimey : All Say Blimey [2] You have to feel sorry for the distressed folk of Grimethorpe. Their bus service used to be frequent and simple to remember. Now it has become complicated and well-nigh impossible to remember.
  • IAN VISITS: Weekly round-up of London’s railway transport news First Great Western says it is working on building better trust with its customers after a survey found it was among the worst performing train companies for customer satisfaction. BBC News
  • FOCUS TRANSPORT: Whitby locomotives mark opening of second platform Managing director Philip Benham, said: "We are delighted that we are now in a position to increase the number of NYMR trains serving Whitby to cater for the growing popularity of visitors to travel to and from the resort by heritage steam trains.
  • FOCUS TRANSPORT: 15m Scania Irizar i6 for megabus The UK's first 15-metre overall length Scania Irizar i6 coach is set to enter service later this month when it embarks upon long-term trials on a megabus.com route.
  • PUBLIC TRANSPORT EXPERIENCE: fbb's Steyning Day; NOT Stenning, Ray. [1] Note that local city crusties get a better deal than "furriners", being allowed free travel from 0900 to 0400; BUT the nice kind council does offer mitigation by allowing free travel ford the rest of us TWO MINUTES EARLY from Steyning.
  • HUMBER TRANSPORT: After 15 years, changes for the 160/162 Look at the EYMS website for the pdf for the current 160/162 timetable and the timetable available is dated 15th August 1999. The two services run on Wednesdays and Saturdays linking various small villages into Goole and Howden.
  • IAN VISITS: Crossrail Tunnels uncovered at Paddington Over the past couple of years, Costain Skanska Joint Venture has excavated down to the new Crossrail tunnels which run some 16 metres below ground. Using the under-digging method, they built the roof of the station at street level first, then excavated out the soil underneath, slowly working their way down to the tunnels beneath them.
  • FOCUS TRANSPORT: Lincoln Martin Arrand has sent us the pictures below, taken in Lincoln.
  • FOCUS TRANSPORT: Northampton Bus Station - STILL NOT SORTED Our new bus station continues to prove the inadequacies of the design, location and layout. Indeed, much of the time it only works because of the goodwill of drivers. It is particularly annoying when buses are unable to access stands and therefore passengers are held captive on the buses until the stand becomes free – frustrating when you sit and watch your next bus leave the bus station without you because you couldn’t alight from your arriving service.
  • TRANSPORT ILLUSTRATED: Fairbourne Railway I first visited the Welsh narrow gauge in 1971 and over the years have explored almost all. The one exception is the Fairbourne Railway so when I found a visit to the Talyllyn over the Spring Bank Holiday coincided with the Fairbourne's 'Little to Large' gala weekend I headed up the coast for my first visit.

22 August 2014

Terminated

Its funny how things seem to go round in cycles. We have seen it in Plymouth where at various times the fortunes of Plymouth Citybus and Western National / First seem to have swapped around. We are seeing it in Cornwall too. It does not seem that long ago that we were wondering how long First would remain in Cornwall as everything seemed to be going towards Western Greyhound who were busy filling in all the gaps left by the gradual withdrawal by First. WG could do no wrong then. Sadly it now seems to be the other way round.

Council terminates Western Greyhound s Callington Tavistock bus route contract   Cornish Guardian

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