Saturday, 8 April 2017

Weekend Whatnots (1)

Borders Buses Buy Buses
Borders Buses, the former Perrymans and owned by West Coat Motors has reported a £3.5 million order for new vehicles.
The buses are to operate the services taken over from First Bus.

This is a massive investment for one of the "smaller" bus operators and outsiders may be wondering how Borders will make these services pay when, apparently, the mighty First Bus could not.

Let us hope for all concerned, especially the passengers, that the company has got its sums right!

The web site for the ex-First block of services is found under "" ...
... and includes this statement.


Welcome to Borders Buses. We are committed to providing safe, reliable, quality passenger transport services.

On March 26 2017, Borders Buses took over First Scotland East’s operations in the Scottish Borders and will operate a network of bus routes across the Scottish Borders, Carlisle, East Lothian, Midlothian and Edinburgh area.

For the immediate future, Borders Buses will operate bus routes and times stated in First Borders 2017 timetable.

Here we find maps ...
... and timetables ...
... for all he former First services.
The takeover looks neat and tidy on a computer screen but it will be interesting to see what changes will come as the number crunching begins.

Very Cross with Crosville
When fbb was writing about Crosville Buses' withdrawal from competitive services in Weston super Mare, a comment writer suggested that there was no (unofficial) collusion with First Bus, but that cutbacks might be in response to a Traffic Commissioners' Public Enquiry.

Route One magazine has no published a full article on the proceedings.
Full article (here).

The Traffic Commissioners will publish their judgement in due course; but it is looking uncomfortable for Crosville.

Foolish Fruit
Talking of "Route One", fbb was impressed with their barely disguised "Fake News" item.
Reading Buses used Saturday 1 April to announce its microbuses on a new plum 31, town centre circular route.

It says the hybrid diesel electric microbuses are ultra clean, and have Reading’s usual technology of USB points, free wi-fi and tablets.

But they also come with brand new features “that will leave you s-peach-less! Plush massage seats, fruit-vending machine and a free jukebox. If these fruity buses are your jam, then keep your eyes peeled for an official launch,” says Reading.

For the record, fbb's equally obvious items in his page of news last Saturday were both about First South West Trains (read again).
All the other items in the day's blog were, worryingly, all too true!

Brilliant Burger Bus
Sheffield correspondent Roy has been on the train of bus-based eateries again. This time his quest for omibologial catering emporia took him to Failsworth near Oldham.
And, viewed from the rear:-
Then fbb drools uncontrollably over his keyboard as he researches the menu.
This "pop up" establishment has developed a new take on the humble burger.
This is their world (?) famous "Eccles Cake Burger"! Or was that on April 1st as well. Correspondent Roy does not record what he selected from the "Bus of Delights".

More on Golden Hop
Stagecoach has a brand in the Torbay Area. Hop.
Hop 2 runs from Exeter via Dawlish etc to Newton Abbot
Hop 12 from from Newton Abbot to Brixham
Hop 22 from Dawlish to Paignton South Devon College
NEW Hop 122 from St Marychurch to Paignton Zoo
The latter is the new open top route branded "Golden Hop" and will start at the end of this month. Thanks to Stagecoach's staff newsletter, fbb can now reveal a little friend for Gary the Rabbit, seen peeping out on the golden "Golden" bus above.
Say hello to Swash Buckle the Pirate Parrot! The name was chosen by Class 3 of the Priory Catholic Pimary School in Torbay. More to come are:-

Buses were never like that when fbb was a lad.  But an ancient memory has bubbled up through the coal measures. fbb's sister was conveyed from Little Billing to Great Billing School by a bus called "Jolly Roger". fbb knows nothing more as he was attending Northampton Grammar School and took little or no interest in the inferior life forms at his former village school ...
... now closed and forlorn. Does any blog reader remember such a company?

 Next Whatnots blog : Sunday 9th April 


  1. It was my comment to your continued "smelling a rat" and innuendo that read:

    "The most glaring omission is, of course, that the owner has been summoned in front of the TC. The severity of what is alleged isn't in the public domain but it COULD see a substantial curtailment in CMS's O license.

    So factor in that, a business that has been competing with new fleet on a major new route (107), a reduction in tendered services from the local authority plus the demands of the SPS operation, perhaps that might be more of a story rather than FBB's contention that iffy deals in darkened rooms have provided the impetus for these changes."

    FBB's retort was "Not at all sure why I should not be allowed an opinion.

    Likewise I would NEVER hazard a guess as to what MIGHT be the problem with the Traffic Commissioners.

    Re the 105. If First couldn't make it pay, then why did they re-introduce it. Rat odour confirmed!"

    I note that FBB has mentioned the TC involvement now but has failed to retract his rat aroma comments; perhaps he should do so now.

  2. The involvement of the Traffic Commissioners does not, in any way, negate the possibility of an "informal mutually convenient decision" in Weston super Mare. "Wait and See" is the best approach. Or does Anon (above) perhaps know more than he cares to reveal in a blog? Or does fbb know more than he cares to admit?

    1. No, I don't know more but then again, I wasn't the one making the allegations of collusion.

      The difference is that I mentioned the potential impact of the TC involvement in proceedings, citing stuff that was in the public domain.

      What I didn't do was to allege was any form of collusion and there was/is no evidence for such an allegation.