From the North Western & Yorkshire branch of the Omnibus Society ...
SYPTE's publicity has been has been criticised in this column and in "Buses" [magazine] before: the service changes leaflet [for July] reached a new nadir, being just a list of the services that were being changed - with no distinction between minor time changes to a single journey, complete withdrawal or anything in between. This follows an increasing trend on recent leaflets to merely state that route and timetables have changed, leaving the reader to draw his (or her) conclusion.
So fbb is not alone in his concerns!
The next set of "changes" is scheduled for 30th October ...
It is worth noting that this list is (un)helpfully cumulative with services' only appearing when full timetables have been prepared.
Question from fbb : as these changes are "registered" with the Traffic Commissioner eight weeks before they take place. surely it would be more helpful to publish a summary list as soon as possible. As usual, Derbyshire sets a good example
To grasp why this change IS significant, we need an fbb map.
They withdrew the traditional service to Shirecliffe, renumbered it 73, increased the frequency and mirrored (almost exactly) Stagecoach's 83. This provided a bus at an over-generous every 5 minutes on the 73/83 service. A token hourly service 72 followed the traditional route to Shirecliffe.
But, according to local and reliable sources, First did not appear to "win" much of the 83 business. So much so that the 73 was chopped back to Parson Cross, Margetson Crescent, in late 2010. At the same time the mimimalist 72 was withdrawn and replaced with service 36/7 from Shirecliffe to City via Infirmary Road (see map) - very much a non-traditional link.
But from 30th October the 73 is no more ...
Question from fbb : has First simply capitulated, accepted defeat, succumbed to the better operator and generously donated its meagre service 73 passengers to the superior Stagecoach 83? Or is there something more conspiratorial going on, like a "behind closed doors" deal to back down from direct competition and "carve up" the city to ensure adequate profits for all? The latter would be illegal, of course, but ...
fbb's dad sold fruit and veg. wholesale to typical corner shops (remember them?). Occasionally a newcomer would appear and try to undercut the established business. Deals had to be done to see off the new boy because, as fbb's papa would opine, "there's a living for one but a ****** great loss for two!" Maybe running buses is just the same?
So, farewell 73! And farewell another supposed benefit of competition?
See service 73 timetable, ending on Saturday 28th Oct (here)
See service 72 timetable, "partial replacement" (here)
Next blog : Tuesday October 4th