Friday, 15 May 2015

Krazy Konflict at Kessingland

 Dateline 14 January 2011 

A Lowestoft on-line newpaper reports:- 

The number 99 service, between Lowestoft and Kessingland, and the 99A service, between Lowestoft and Southwold, will stop running from tomorrow after their operator First decided that they were “commercially unviable”.

But the latest blow for travellers could be tempered by some good news, because another operator says it has plans to increase its services linking Lowestoft with Kessingland and Southwold by adding extra buses from this spring.

Confirming its decision to axe the “under-used” 99 and 99A daytime services, First said a drop in passsengers had forced its hand.

Or could it have been "old-style" First Bus retreating in the face of competition? The article continues:-

The number 601 (Southwold to Lowestoft and Yarmouth) and number 608 (Kessingland to Lowestoft and Yarmouth) services run by Anglian Bus will continue as normal and the company’s director Andrew Pursey confirmed this week that he had plans to increase the level of service by adding extra buses around April.

There can be no doubt that Anglian ...
... have developed the service, now numbered 61 etc.
There are two buses an hour between Southwold and Lowestoft, every ten minutes to Kessingand itself and every 20 minutes through to Great Yarmouth. The company produces an excellent full colour route map which illustrates their Kessingland operation very clearly.
Anglian's head office is now shown as Newcastle-upon-Tyne because the company was taken over by Go-Ahead in 2012.

As a result of the takeover, a new company has started.
Some of the former Anglian management are running this operation with two all-day bus services and a number of school routes.
The 146, you've guessed it, serves Kessingland but without a clock-face frequency.
Obviously this service competes directly with Anglian's 61s via Wangford and Reydon, adding another bus every hour via Kessingland.

 Dateline : 25th May 2014 

In view of the excellent frequency provided by Anglian, it came a some surprise when First announced that "as a result of customer requests" (oh, yeah? really? pull the other one, First!) they were re-introducing the "popular" (see 2011 article for First's definition of "popular"!) service 99 to Kessingland.
At every 20 minutes ...
... it can hardly demolish Anglian's 61 at double the frequency! But it may well be designed to hurt the GoAhead company and persuade it to keep clear of other First routes in the area. The branding on the Anglian gas bus knocks spots off First's standard paint job.
But are First Bus "going for broke"? Anglian quotes a £2.40 single (£3.80 return) between Kessingland and Lowestoft. First's offer, just announced, ...
... is £1 single (adult fare and child fare) for a limited period, a very limited period.

From now until 3 July 2015, First Bus in Lowestoft has reduced the price of its Adult and Young Person single fares on the 99/99A service, between Lowestoft and Kessingland, to just £1.

Make the most of the every 20 minute frequency and see more of Lowestoft this Summer. Simply jump on your 99/99A service, ask the driver for an Adult or Young Person single, and enjoy the ride!

First Eastern Counties General Manager, Hugo Forster ...

... said of the offer: "The £1 Adult and Young Person single fares will encourage more people to visit the seafront, Africa Alive and many other great destinations, and we hope that local residents and holiday makers take advantage of this great offer."

Best of commercial luck to First. We are all eagerly awaiting the GoAhead company's response. Perhaps Anglian will pay the passengers to travel?

But surely, First, shouldn't the offer be 99p on the 99? You're missing a PR trick there!

For a bit of nostalgia, fbb took a look at the great Great Britain Bus Timetable for 2000. Then, First operated a 199 every two hours to Southwold and Halesworth ...

and an X99 every two hours to Southwold and Ipswich.
The GBBTT did not include local journeys to Kessingland.

On Monday we take a close look at the publicity for First's extended ex Western Greyhound network in Cornwall; lots of renumbered services and lots of incomprehensible timetables!
Whoops-a-daisy Department
fbb reckons that the most inexperienced transport enthusiast might spot a problem with this product advertised for sale in the second-hand section.
One of these trundling round Old Steine would turn a few heads. The illustrations should be of one of these:-
 Next model railway blog : Saturday 16th May 

1 comment:

  1. Somebody is a bit confused, Andrew Pursey is now the MD of BorderBus, he left Anglian Bus (his parents former business) sometime after the Go-Ahead takeover.