Monday, 10 October 2016

Livery Delivery in Poldark Country

Kolourful Kernow?
As Ross waits for the next bus to the tin mine, his mind wanders to thinking about what livery it might wear when it arrives. People in Cornwall have been used to a varied selection of cast-off vehicles with a strong preponderance of pre-Fearnley "Barbie" livery.
A variety of First Kernow logos have appeared ...
... with "chunky" following the pattern of the "national" post-Barbie livery.
"First" has even appeared on Buses of Somerset and Western National Green.
This led the forums to speculate that Buses of Somerset livery was to be adopted by Cornwall; a suggestion that would certainly have made vehicle transfers really easy.

Then, at last, a brand new livery was presented at a junket at Newquay. The PR people said it was for "public consultation" and Management suggested that it would not be the final version.
It carried yet another version of "Kernow"!
What has now appeared does involve a few minor changes from that first draft.

And how!

Here is the minibus version in green ...
... and yet another Kernow logo, now with triangle. How would you describe the new scheme? Spotty Sunray? Cut-up Cogwheel? But it doesn't stop there. A light blue version adorns a service 56 ...
... branded bus, operating from Newquay.
Very much a cogwheel this time. Do fbb's eyes deceive him, or are the cogs a different shape?

The Kernow Facebook pages introduce us to a darker blue version ...
... branded for services U1 and U2, previously 88 and 41 respectively. This will, presumably, replace the previous "new" livery for these "U" routes.
But the final word (possibly) goes to a fellow blogger on the Plymothian Transit pages.

Still looking to the near future we get a sneak preview of the first batch for new buses for Kernow thanks to their facebook page…
Some useful things we do learn though are that the The first 10 are for the U1/2/3 and will go into service on 4 November in this stunning blue livery.
The next 20 are for the 14/18 and are due around New Year and will be red.


That will be a shock to the passengers! But therein lies a snag. Whilst the 14 and the 18 have a combined Monday to Friday frequency of every 10 minutes ...
... the Saturday headway is only every 15 and Sunday every 30. So what will happen to the shiny red buses (if they really are to be red) that are not on the route 14 and 18 at the weekends? Will they skulk unloved and unused in their depot?

Or will they turn up on other services, then emblazoned with the wrong route details?

Such are the possible perils of vehicles plastered with details for one particular route.

We wait and see.

No sign, by the way, of the new Kernow logo on the First Bus web site.

X51 : X52 : X53 : X54 - The Secret Service
The slickly named First in Wessex, Dorset and South Somerset (soon to lose Yeovil and thus South Somerset?) have published their excellent timetable book for the winter. At least, it is on-line!

It includes the revised services for fbb's area which started yesterday.
But a regular (and reliable) blog commentator is far from happy.This comment was written on Saturday 8th October.
And at Exeter?
But there is some hope!
GoTimetable Seaton has extended its area to include X51 and X53 journeys from Axminster from today ...
... but that's not much use if you were hoping for a leaflet to stick behind the clock.

There is simply NO EXCUSE for not printing booklets or leaflets on time. Services are registered with the traffic commissioner EIGHT WEEKS in advance. And please, please, don't bleat about it all being on-line. The vast majority of bus passengers either don't or won't or can't look on line.

So why are they treated so shabbily?

 Next bus blog : Tuesday 11th October 


  1. "The vast majority of bus passengers either don't or won't or can't look on line....."


  2. Re anon. A lot of indignant language is hurled around by both sides of this debate. Does anyone anywhere have any reliable data on how passengers, potential or actual, access timetable data? I suspect that punters who already have a fair idea of what they are loking for will go online,but finding out, e.g, the range of services available form a particular resort online is often more of a challenge.

  3. I think there's a fair comment in how people access information. FBB states unequivocally but is that really the case or just a personal view. Is there any empirical evidence to prove or disprove? Open question...

    However, there are some other areas (Kernow) where I think FBB is being churlish (again!). The 14/18 having a red based livery has been confirmed by First South West so don't know why FBB is doubting this. It has been on many forums that FBB cites in his article.

    Also, whilst FBB mentions about the differing frequencies at the weekend, I'm not sure how relevant the Sunday frequency is; that is the case on many a service and the shiny new vehicles are quite happily parked up in the garage. Perhaps Saturday being a bit lower may help with inspections and maintenance? Also, the lion's share of the 14/18 are based at Camborne and there's little else for them to escape onto (the 47 - I think not) other than the U1/2 and they're getting new fleet too.

    Sometimes, FBB does appear to look for conflict where there is none...

  4. To Anon at 1114.
    1. Kernow Red. I am aware that "red" is stated; but I have not seen a quote from First Kernow, so I am awating a definitive answer There has been so much "clutter" on this topic with numerous changes of policy, opinion and runour.

    2. I have already replied the the point about on-line usage. But to repeat. Of course there is no statisical evidence because it is in the interests of lazy bus companies to say "it is all on-line". Yes I have been equivocal, but lets see evidence for the alternative (anti fbb) view. Ask any group of "average" people at their local bus stop when they last looked up a bus timetable on-line.

    Quote from a senior bus manager in Sheffield. "If there were a timetable book, I would always use that - it is obviously easier"

    1. FSW official on have confirmed the red livery.

  5. We did some research at Lothian about online tt use. Since the launch of apps, websites etc., the demand for printed publicity fell by 50%. So, from that, you can deduce that 50% still use printed publicity, so the print runs were adjusted accordingly. The unknown question is, how many 'non users' are actually waiting to use your service, and go in to a travel shop to get info?

    So, even if, in the traditional sense, the timetable leaflet has become a lesser requirement in this age, it certainly isn't dead, and is still required.

    I can attest that on a recent visit to South Yorkshire, getting information was like asking for the crown jewels (you want a full set? No, you can only have one or two) with the exception of Doncaster Frenchgate, where the young girl behind the counter couldn't be more helpful. And they wonder, even with the partnership agreements in place, ridership has fallen.

    It's simple, Argos and Ikea have a big online presence, yet they still produce huge catalogues. It's a marketing tool, and if you don't use every available mode, you'll lose some market share. Go in to your local car dealership, and there are brochures to be had a plenty and these are the people we need to be appealing to.

  6. No livery is as inspiring as yellow and grey