Thursday, 21 August 2014

All Change Grimey : All Say Blimey [1]

Not again!
fbb has reported (at length) on buses to the former mining community at Grimethorpe (Grimey), north-east of Barnsley. Stageoach was positive about its 10 minute frequency from  2006 .
In  2012  Stagecoach had another go, withdrew from some of the smaller estates thus encouraging competitor Redline to join the fray. At the same time, route numbers were "adjusted" to bring Grimey's services into a "sensible" group. Under the former county-wide PTE-led numbering scheme, inter-urban services were numbered in the 200s but this was progressively ignored, as here, post privatisation.
At the time, your worthy blogger modified Stagecoach's map to include the upstart competitor.
Note that Redline covered the estate roads abandoned by Stagecoach and that these services were commercial NOT tendered as fbb had originally said.

fbb did not report fully on the  2013  changes at the time, but can summarise them now with the help of a Stagecoach map.
Buses to Pontefract are now the hourly 28 via Grimethorpe and South Hiendley with the second hourly service being an X28, omitting Grimethorpe and making use of the new-ish Cudwoth by-pass.
29 and 29A now run via Hemsworth and Upton (former 35), 30 and 30A do similar but omit Hemsworth (former 36) and the straggly route 33 running south on the "new" A6135 ...
... through the former colliery sites to Wombwell becomes 26 and 26A.

Whats was NOT advertised (surprise, surprise) is that Stagecoach departures from Barnsley for the luxurious "Grimethorpe Interchange" ...
... are now at 00 [29], 12 [28], 24 [29], 36 [30] and 48 [26], every 12 minutes instead of the previous 10; with the X28 absconding with the 6th journey every hour.
Then in May this year, Redline went bust, Stagecoach added some more trips to the 29. But, surprisingly, a new operator popped up with an hourly service to Windmill Avenue at Grimethorpe, replacing the defunct Redline.
The newcomer is Watersons Coaches, seen here carrying the trading name of "Ideal."
The bus was previously with Premiere of Nottingham, a company that expanded very rapidly and demised equally rapidly.
Also in a previous life it was with Dawson Rentals (sorry, "Dawsonrentals") and running car park shuttles for APCOA at Gatport Airwick.
Watersons of Hemsworth are better known "oop north" as a UK holidays operator ...
... using high quality vehicles, but not necessarily new, as in Volvo N116 RJF ...
... seen here on rail replacement work at Doncaster.

fbb does wonder why this company is entering the risky bus market, especially in view of the sudden (but not unexpected) demise of Redline. Waterson's web site does not mention any bus services. It is hard to see how an extra two journeys to Grimethorpe ill attract new and additional business, despite the Stagecoach reduction in service. The Windmill Avenue estate will generate some business but hardly enough to ensure a profitable operation. If you choose to compete with Stagecoach you will always be the loser.

But, at the end of August, it's all change again. And Watersons are expanding.

More tomorrow.
Tata from Tates!
 Also at the end of August ...
... Tates Travel service 56 and 57 from Rotherham bus station to Far Lane (Tates call it East Dene, but the traditional Rotherham Corporation and First Bus name is more accurate) is withdrawn without replacement.
It was competing almost stop for stop with First's 11 and 12.
The 56/57 route was completely isolated from the company's Barnsley base at Barugh Green (pronounced Barf Green). Also Tates were not part of the recently created Rotherhan Bus Partnership. A sensible retreat or perhaps the start of a bigger retrenchment?
 Next bus blog : Friday 22nd August 


  1. The 'Ideal' name didn't last long as Stagecoach 'own' it- it was used by Taylor and Wray on their Barnsley-Pontefract service. They sold out to Yorkshire Traction in 1967 and 1972 respectively and Stagecoach have inherited the name-or at least have made a legal claim to do so. Presumably there has been an exchange of letters from m'learned freinds.

  2. I similarly wondered why Wheelers entered the commercial fray in Southampton when Xelabus and Blue Velvet were already seeming to try and locate and fill any worthwhile gaps

  3. Very childish of Stagecoach to lay claim to a name that has not been used for 42 years. If they were daft enough to press the point with legal action I reckon they would have been laughed out of court. 1p damages and costs to Stagecoach.

  4. To save blog readers any embarrassment when visiting Barnsley I must correct fbb's local pronunciation guide; Barugh Green is not pronounced 'Barf' but 'Bark', as of course is nearby Low Barugh.

  5. Stagecoach are just Pathetic and need to get a grip but especially that big guy that stands in barnsley bus station and watches the 37 & 38 . I cant see what R&S WATERSONS COACHES are doing wrong its a better bus than Redline