Sunday 17 June 2018

Variegated Blog (1)

Buses for Sheffield Bonanza!
Regular readers will doubtless remember that Buses for Sheffield has, so far, been a "sticking plaster" job, re-labelling the dubious efforts of the Sheffield Bus Partnership. A re-launch just over a week ago saw the inevitable PR pictures with the great and good ...
... plus the appearance of the farcically bad "Underground-style" map. Hopefully, the latter will soon be consigned to an "underground-style" recycling bin!

But there is more. 

A parcel arrived at fbb mansions containing exciting Buses for Sheffield goodies. It was like a Summer version of Christmas!
The two maps are just repaints of the existing product, but the notebook, bag, pen and small tin box are very good goodies.
The tin box contains yummy mints, already titillating the jaded palates of fbb and Mrs. And there's more!

fbb has been promised a commemorative mug to be delivered to Seaton by hand in due course.

Next we all expect service improvements, better publicity (any publicity!?)** and fares offers.
Of course.

A Peek at Less Peaks for High Peak
Come 22nd July, depressing things are happening with High Peak Buses, the company formed to take over Trent's Buxton-based operations.

Once upon a time the Trent "TransPeak" route ran from Nottingham to  Buxton and Manchester.
It was one of the very early examples of route-specific branding, completed, in due course, with its very own triangular logo.
The image was substantially re-vamped as part of the major redesign for the whole of Trent Barton, (sorry, trentbarton) by the ubiquitous and exuberant Ray Stenning.
High Peak maintained a similar colour style.
It lost Nottingham some time ago, but has routinely included 4/5 journeys Monday to Saturday extended to Manchester from an hourly headway to Buxton. (click on the timetable to enlarge it)
From 22nd July the route will only run between Derby and Buxon. Bus watchers wait with some trepidation to see if the hourly service is chopped.

And there is more ...

T M travel used to work the long-standing Sheffield to Buxton route 84 (but by then renumbered 65). It then became joint with High Peak who latterly took over the whole thing.
Publicty was excellent, with branded buses and it all looked super and smashing. (click on the timetable to enlarge it)
From 22nd July this becomes just TWO round trips Monday to Saturday with nothing on Sunday. To what extent this is a consequence of loss of funding from Derbyshire is not clear - but it is one of the most unkind cuts for the communities served and for Peak District tourism.

Rutland Flyer Hits More Turbulence
Centrebus had announced its withdrawal from the "Flyer" from the end of June. The Rutland County subsidy of £50,000 was not enough.

So, fbb gathers from his Northampton Correspondent, Rutland sought a replacement tender. When the anonymous sealed brown envelopes were assembled for opening, there was only one ...

... from Stagecoach - for £270,000. OUCH!

So Centrebus has been asked to keep going until July 6th while the County looks for a cheaper deal.

Best of luck chaps.

Leeds Leads with Park and Ride?
First Bus is bringing shiny new buses to its two Parks and Ride in Leeds.

Reducing air pollution in the city is key and the introduction of these ultra-low emission vehicles will deliver significant fuel and carbon dioxine improvements along the Elland Road and Temple Green Park and Ride routes.

Eight buses - a significant difference?

The HEV is the latest development from bus manufacturer, WrightBus, which uses a parallel hybrid system that captures braking energy that is then used to help both accelerate the vehicle and to help power its electrical and air systems.

So now we know.

And Just in Case You Didn't Know Where to Go
Great Western Railway helps out in a potentially embarrassing situation.

No 1 son commutes from Didcot to Paddington, often on the the class 800 trains; which he says are "cool"! But he is non-plussed by a little sign in the "facilities".
Perhaps, muses the lad, there have been occasions when "ooo-arrr" folk from the far west, used to more primitive "personal appurtenances" have attempted to use the wrong bowl for its unintended purpose.
As you can see, an easy mistake to make!

Also from No 1 Son:-
No comment.

**Sheffield Publicity : a correspondent reports that a few leaflets for timetable changes from 27th May have begun to appear at the Arundel Gate enquiry office. Now what is today's date?

 Next variegated blog : Monday 18th June 


  1. Anyway I can order the bag, tin etc from somewhere?

  2. So the green bus in Leeds goes to Elland Road, and the red bus goes to Temple Green. Someone didn't think that through.

  3. Thinking of seeing if I can get enough people to kick up a stink about the 65 chnages, very annoying. Does anyone have an official source though for the reduction, an official timetable does not yet seem to be available yet. Both TSY and say a change but not how.

    1. I suspect FBB is over-reacting to some minor and normal changes. The 65 change is simply part of the normal process of a service being retendered, the commercial journeys are retained with the supported ones deregistered whilst a new tender is issued and awarded. The registration period vs a council tendering timescale that is slow at the beginning. The 65 tender is out and is pretty much the same as the current service level (including Sundays) so this isn't a major cut to the service just a routine retendering exercise, albeit one done slightly earlier than expected.

    2. Likewise there is no reason to assume that the withdrawal of a couple of extensions a day along a corridor with lots of alternative parallel routes (at higher service levels) would in anyway raise concerns about a core hourly service with no parallel alternatives for much of its length (and none at better service levels) which routinely runs full and standing. In fact the bottom end is probably closer to a service enhancement than a reduction and I suspect it is only poor concessionary reimbursement that is holding that back.

    3. Thanks for your help @dwarfer197918 after a lot of digging I found this ( which says an every 2 hours service. Is there any more specific documentation/requirements you are aware of?

  4. Yes, but a Red bus could never have gone to Elland Road. Don't overlook the long standing contempt for Manchester United (Red) by the team that plays at Elland Road. Blue would have been a better colour (or white).