Friday, 1 April 2016

Sir Brian Re-invents a "Train" ...

... Of Driverless Cars!
fbb has been sent this edited transcript of a meeting of the Stagecoach Bus and Rail Joint Development Committee. It is "hot off the ether" as it was only distributed internally at 0200 this morning.
Sir Brian address the committee:-
"I went to America recently and had great fun on the Heathrow Car Park Pod service. It was such fun I rode back and forwards for over an hour and missed my plane. But it started me thinking.

"Then these wee lads at Google are getting their driverless car going. I only wish I could have a go.
"It is true that not all my amazing ideas have worked. The Yellow TaxiBus was not one of my best ...
... but the idea of hanging a yellow label on your door to attract the driver seemed OK at the time.
"The amphibious bus was, maybe, a technology step too far.
"The people of Yoker (Glasgow) seemed unwilling to risk drowning on the way to work. Disappointing.

I did think my hovercraft across the Forth would be a winner ...
... but the Scottish Government meanies wouldn't shell out for the landing infrastructure. And now they've built an extra bridge!

"My Belles were surely a breath of fresh air, although some folk got themselves in a fankle about it being sexist and insulting to women.
"Anyway the lads down at Bristol have cut it back a bit. Pity. I did like the pictures.

"But my latest idea is a sure-fire winner. You see my chum Peter ...
"... gave me a top-notch Christmas present. A toy London train to play with complete with bus and taxi which ran on the same track.
"Peter used to run the buses in London but they've now sent him to sort out Network Rail. He'll never manage it. If Richard** failed and a couple of Peters** failed, young Hendy has no chance. I sent him a 'Sympathy' card when he was appointed!

"Anyway, my plan.

"Take a whole string of driverless cars and, as they converge on a central point, call it a "Station", they can all stick together like my magnetic underground train ...
"... and they could then whizz down a road, or some old branchline somewhere and when they get to another "Station", they could unhook and whizz along the side roads to wherever people wanted to go.

"All we need now is for you development lot to work out the practicalities.

"An article in Buses magazine tells me that driverless buses will be on our roads by 2020.
"We need to beat that. Stagecoach is always at the forefront of modern technology.
Stagecoach vehicle in service on Sidmouth sea front

"I've got a superb project name for you; we'll call it "Access for People Riding In Line 1".

"Snappy name, eh?"
Sir Brian was speaking, in typical Souter laid-back style, still clad in his Megabus overnight pyjamas, by video link from his room at the Auchenshuggle Home for Over-Stressed Bus Managers. His staff were simply agog in the Perth headquarters.
More news is expected in 12 months' time.

** Beeching and Parker Nos 1 and 2

 Next busway blog : Saturday 2nd April 


  1. Andrew Kleissner1 April 2016 at 08:26

    Not that different, though, to the BBC's "Caravan Train":

  2. Yes, our Brian does seem to like messing about on the water. There was a Devon experiment in 28 which involved running a high speed (IOW) ferry branded 'Bayfast') between Brixham and Torquay. It operated in September - plenty of fair weather punters around at that time of year. On the basis of the unrepresentative stats, Torbay Council then contracted with an Irish outfit to run a so-called year-round service - think freezing north-east winds and horizontal rain v cosy car. Stagecoach had lost interest by then or had done the maths. Naturally hardly anyone uses the service as there is no demand, although the long established summer ferries still do well. Here is a video of the Stagecoach experimental service back in 2008.

  3. Laugh? I nearly did.

  4. So pleased to have nearly brightened up your days of misery Anon (at 10.18). Next time I attempt an amusing blog I will wear a false moustache and a silly hat. Maybe that will help.