11 November 2010

National or Local Identity

"We've said it here before, one of the drawbacks of a strong corporate image is where things go wrong in one location (or where things are perceived to do so, equally as bad), they tarnish and weaken the brand elsewhere, everywhere in fact."
This is the latest posting on Omnibuses blog which is well worth a read.
In the discussion which follows the posting Plymouth is mentioned as an area where First could possibly benefit from a more local image rather than just First.
We do have Ugobus but is that now a tainted brand?
The list of places where "Ugo" had been cut so much its hardly worth the effort plastering them over the back windows anymore.
Of course Citybus is now also part of a national group - but apart from stickers on windows the local identity is king. Would it be too late for Western National to make a reappearance?
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Sorry - but this is yet another email posting as PC issues continue. Hope to get the new PC back to Mesh shortly - and I now think the older back up PC has died on me too. Certainly there was a nasty looking dos screen up last night after it shut down...so I dread to see what I get tonight when I boot up.

because Plymouth needs an anorak or two



  1. I don't think it matters what FDC do locally their reputation and repute is damaged beyond repair. Just look at the latest changes to Woolwell and Tavistock - two sets of passengers alienated in one easy move. As you rightly say the Ugo brand is almost totally gone and with the current standard of reliability and vehicle allocation it cannot be long before the 12 sevice gets the axe. Will the last one to leave The Ride turn the lights off!!

  2. I am wondering if the Ugobus brand was at least partly conceived to inflict damage upon the then PCC owned PCB. In fact it is less than 2 years since the “bus war” between PCB and FDC broke out. I think we can now safely say that PCB won, particularly as it now has the might of the GoAhead Group behind it. I really have to wonder what it would have been like if FDC had won the war, would they have simply inflicted their damage and then started to walk away, as First so often seem to do? It is a shame because there is no doubt that FDC has many good and loyal employees and in the long run they are the victims of this. Let’s hope that things begin to change at First under their new leader.

  3. It actual fact it tends to be just bus enthusiasts who give opinions on their likes and dislikes of bus operators. The majority of the public are happy to get on the first bus that comes along. The changes to Tavistock services and Woolwell seem quite sensible. Two slow journeys from Tavitsock that service all locations and two fast journeys. Woolwell people still have a bus every 30 mins. This is also with some of the buses being refurbished. Of course if First pulled out of Devon & Cornwall completely, or even just Plymouth, there would be uproar as a monopoly would exist. From my observations Plymouth Citybus are no better or no worse than First. In fact the drivers tend to be more friendly on First than Citybus.
    When you think about it, there are still more buses running now by First than pre the Ugobus launch. We are just waiting for the big axe to fall with service cuts at Citybus – its nearly 12 months since the deal to go-ahead

  4. I think its rather more than just bus enthusiasts who have opinions on who operates the buses, but you do have a point. As for the recent Tavistock changes I can see that Woolwell is still served so have not lost out too much. The loss of the 7 though has also had an impact on the 15 which is now less reliable than it was before as the extra run into Marjons takes up so much time in the afternoons especially.

    Interesting point though about FDC still running more buses than they were pre Ugo. I guess you are right on this but it must be close nowadays mainly due to the 12 still running.

    It remains to be seen how much more Go-Ahead have to cut back on Citybus routes, but I dont expect too many changes just yet.

  5. There are some strong opinions of First in Wembury at the moment and it is not just from bus enthusiasts.


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