Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Worrying Withdrawal in Weston (2)

Complete Capitulation? : Not Quite.
Mr Jones-Pratt said: “I want to say thank you to the people of Weston, as well as the support from local businesses that have made operating these services in Weston so special. It is with very deep regret that this decision has been made. The ever-changing market and operating conditions we witness have had a severe impact."

“Over the years, Crosville has aimed to provide a stable network to Weston and it has seen some wonderful years. Sadly, with increased competition, ticket fare reductions and loss of subsidised support, it was necessary to make tough decisions.”

On the surface, at least, Crosville has been the positive operator whilst First has behaved, from the customers' point of view, in a fairly negative manner. We read yesterday of the withdrawal of Service 5 (now to be re-instated).

Here is a picture of First's travel office, closed completely and utterly.
"Travelling by bus with First in Weston is easy ..." But we won't actually tell you anything you need!"

And here is Mr Jones Pratt in 2015.
The bus company has had its building in Regent Street for close to a year but it has been reserved for its drivers to use as a rest space between shifts and for people completing training courses. But after First West of England closed its travel shop in Weston earlier this year, Crosville’s managing director, Jon Jones-Pratt, decided to open his own.
So what exactly is happening to the outwardly splendid Crosville.

In essence the Company is withdrawing from all local bus services in Weston-super-Mare with a few notable exceptions. The sea front service 100 will remain.
It runs past the listed but dilapidated Birnbeck Pier ...
... seen below in happier days.
It trundles on along the delightful coast road to Kewstoke and Sand Bay. At the terminus there is a pretty little shelter, an advert on the wall of the essential offices and marvellous (if a little flat) sea views.
Well worth a trip, especially when topless!
Crosville's published route map is diagrammatic and disappointingly unclear for someone, like fbb, whose visits to Weston super Mud have been parlously inadequate. But service 106 (BLUE) to Worlebury will remain. Shown on the map in all its clarity ...
The service is hourly but, as we might expect, serves areas without the burden of competition with First.
Cliff Road has views along the coast towards the aforementioned Sand Bay with service 100 (MAGENTA) shown in part on the above map extract.
The other untouched service is the 4/4A. It used to be two separate routes, namely the 4 and the 83.
The 4 used to run half hourly via Oldmixon to a loop terminus at Hutton ...
... and FROM Hutton to town it still does. Here is one doing it.
But the 83 has become a 4A which performs a mega one way loop via Bleadon before become the same as a normal 4A back to Weston.
Once again, the map is less than helpful, Bleadon village, the purpose of the loop, is not mentioned but, be assured, it is there and the bus goes there. 

But passengers TO Hutton enjoy an extra 15 minutes of Crosville delights as they visit the beauties of Bleadon.
The timetable as published needs a bit of thought as, at first glance, you can only get to Beadon on the outward run.
fbb has done a rough paste-up to make it all a bit clearer.
Whatever the presentational arguments, services 4 and 4A escape the Crossville Sword of Damocles.

What gets the chop, and how it all pans out when First is left unchallenged, will be revealed tomorrow.

 Next Weston-super-Mud blog : Thursday 16th March 

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