Saturday, 30 January 2016
Whatever You Do, Choose A Good Name
The Leigh-Salford-Manchester busway was proposed to improve access to Manchester city centre from Leigh, Atherton, Tyldesley and Ellenbrook and regenerate areas of the former Lancashire Coalfield. A public inquiry was held in 2002 and the decision delayed because of and inevitable objection from great crested newts ...
... occupying a site on the route. The Department for Transport granted powers to build the busway in 2005 and it was projected to be built by 2009 but preliminary work only started in 2012. After the public inquiry, a branch bus route from Atherton to Tyldesley and an extension from Manchester city centre to the Central Manchester Hospitals were added to the scheme. Services on the 22-kilometre route will operate on a combination of off-road guided busway, segregated bus lanes and conventional roads using low-emission double-decker buses fitted with guide-wheels.
The service is scheduled to begin in April 2016 to coordinate with associated road and tram works in Manchester city centre.
So only seven years late! This was the scene a few days ago!
It might be ready?
First won the contract to run the buses and a few days ago put one of the luxury motors on show. The press release showed us a guide wheel ...
... together with a large road wheel; presumably just in case our chums from the Fourth Estate didn't quite understand the principles.
Guided Bus experiment in Wigan : June 2005
The buses are designed to have a "wow" factor complete with the now-essential WiFi and charge points for your devices.
But what is needed is a striking name for this service. Leigh-Man has fruit implications ...
... but would offer the possibility of free Breakfast Juice packs on early commuter runs. Man-Leigh has unfortunate sexist overtones! The answer is to choose a name that has associations of quality and many multifarious advantages.
How about hanging your hat on the James Bond image.
The above motor, one of several in fbb's personal fleet (joke!), is an Aston Martin V8 Vantage. And this ...
... is the First Bus Manchester Leigh Busway version. It has swish seats ...
... and chummy little tables upstairs.
It has really sexy headlights.
Ever concerned about the image of the bus in this car-owning world, fbb feels that the ecclesiastical purple might look rather dull with a coat or two of Mancunian Meterological Murk.
But what if the James Bond Aston Martin image passes the average Mancunian by? What other images might be revealed by the name "Vantage".
Oddly this Vantage sells clever technology to improve the power of bus engines!
This one sells catamarans.
This one sells fight gear - ideal for late Saturday night trips?
This company sells Health Care; great for passenger suffering from travel sickness?
And the pills as well.
Even clever computer stuff, so you can work your "device" having charged it in the back of the seat in front of you.
Do the buses have an onboard coffee machine. Easily supplied!
And while you while a while away in the traffic jams, the avoidance of which is a Busway half-promise ...
... an on-line goss service. (goss, apparently, is newspeak for "gossip".
And, our last appropriate selection ...
... a computer accountancy package offering two important possibilities. For the passenger, a program to calculate the advantages and disadvantages of the impossibly complicated ticket offers available in Greater Manchester.
And for the politicians, the same software can be adapted to calculate the massive cost overruns caused by delays of seven years.
fbb understands that a court action is pending against the Great Crested Newts.
A final comment from Ernest Gribble of Gasworks Lane Tyldesley.
"Ey up lad; what's all 't fuss abaht? It's nobbut a b***** bus. Tha' dont need to talk abaht devices; I keeps me device private. Forget abaht charging, I've gotta pass; But, ecky thump, will it cum on time?
The fbbs are trekking to the Isle of Wight at the invitation of their former Church. Back Sunday. There's engineering work; it's SouthWest Trains - so there might be some jolly news on Monday. Neighbour with blunderbus and guard cat with sharpened claws ...
... on duty at fbb towers!
Next blog : Sunday 31st January