Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Cityzap Leads at Leeds (1)

Correspondent Roy was out-and-about on Sunday last to taste the new express bus service between Leeds and Manchester. This uses the same branding and marketing style as the fast service between Leeds and York, formerly wearing Yorkshire Coastliner colours.
But in the case of the Manchester route, it is completely new, competing with sporadic National Express coaches and the more frequent Transpennine trains. See a previous blog (here).

Like the York route buses, the good folk at Transdev have purchased registration plates with the "three random letters" as Z, A, P.

A really nice touch.  But it means that fbb cannot identify the refurbished buses. Boo!
The rear end is also well labelled, easy to catch the eye of a passing motorist!
The logo is powerful, although fbb is a little unhappy about the modern craze of missing bits off letters. It may be trendy but it is unhelpful to those of our number who find reading difficult. 
In this day when the art of writing with a pen ...
... is almost dead, poor letter formation doesn't help! ZAP done proper-like would have hardly detracted from the brand. Or is fbb being one of these again?
The brand is reinforced inside as well.
A neat idea that is creeping into new and refurbished buses is a destination blind that counts down to departure. Probably just a gimmick because, if you are there at the terminus, you should already know what time your bus departs ; but perhaps a confidence builder?
Roy was impressed with the loadings on a Sunday morning, as per his email.

Report that first one from Leeds was a good load. 2nd one about 35. The 1215 to Leeds about half full like the 1515.

But there was an explanation for this apparent success ...
... and beside the destination blind.
The telling time, of course, will be next week when the hard work of attracting "real" passengers begins. But, hey, the seats look really comfy ...
... and very, well, erm, RED!

Whilst the original CityZap from York to Leeds was a rejig of the former "fast" Yorkshire Coastliner journeys, we have seen some innovative service from Stagecoach. First up was the SouthWest Falcon from Exeter to Bristol ...
... then their express from Newcastle to Sunderland.
The X10 from Barnsley to Leeds is another Stagecoach product.
A naughty thought from fbb; did Stagecoach start their X10 as a warning shot across the bows of Transdev to discourage Zapping south of Leeds?

And another naughty thought.

When will First Bus be starting their first inter-urban express route? Weymouth and Dorchester to Exeter via Exeter Airport perhaps, replacing the terminally doomed X52?
There they go again!

Tomorrow we take a close look at the excellent publicity leaflet for the Leeds Manchester Zap.

And wait yet again for the second part of the Stocksbridge blog!

 Next  CITYZAP  blog - Wednesday 8th November 

1 comment:

  1. I like your idea for an improved X52 between Weymouth and Exeter but, if it ever happens, will be done by an operator at the Exeter end.

    I was in Exeter Bus Station yesterday so had a look at the timetable on display on Stand 14. First have a bold, coloured display the most prominent part of which carries the following (not very literate)message "This service will no longer service Exeter Coach Station". There is a small timetable for journeys from Exeter only. The first timing point is Exeter St Davids and the second one is Lower Summerlands. I had to look up where the latter is (despite having lived in Exeter for 35 years). It turns out it is the first stop in Heavitree Road after the Paris Street roundabout. I cannot tell you if the buses do, indeed, bypass the bus station as I was there at 1410 and the last bus for the day had already gone. I assume First is determined to kill this service.