07 May 2006

SoapBox Sunday - Destination Slop

"A soapbox is a raised, improvised platform on which one stands to make an impromptu speech, often about a political subject. Alternately, the word may be used to describe the box that soap comes in." Wikipedia

42758 S658SNG First Devon and Cornwall

It has been noticed recently that the appearance of the local FDC fleet has improved quite a bit over the past year and the fleet is looking better now than it has done for many years. Sadly for bus spotters this has been partly achieved by all but removing the elderly VRTs but its also by removing the older Mercedes bread vans and also by repainting many of the remaining older buses. Even though some of the incoming Leyland Olympians are well past their prime, and not much younger than the VRTs they do look pretty smart. So why does First go and spoil it by sloppy destination displays like this?

The destination blind has obviously come of one of the out going breadvans - Its much cheaper reusing them in other buses. But surely they could have at least tidied it up a bit. Even just some black masking tape on the destination glass to hide the edges would make a big improvement. This just looks like penny pinching and adds to the growing poor reputation of the company over the past year. Once a company gets a poor reputation it can be difficult to change it.

FDC has I think suprised people by the quality operation on the new Park and Ride service with very smart, and clean and tidy buses. Even when they were still in London red they looked smart. People I spoke to before they took over all expected FDC to mess things up and run a poor service. So far that has not been the case. It has been noticed that the small posters on the buses announcing "New buses coming Summer 2006" have been replaced with "New Buses coming soon" but the Tridents are so much better quality than any of the other double deckers we have (Torpoint Tridents excepted) that most passengers probably wont mind too much about that!

I hope that as the new management gets things sorted then the improvement will continue and that Citybus will finally get some serious competition in Plymouth. Passengers in Plymouth need it!

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