Saturday 29 June 2019

Exciting Expedition IN Eastbourne (2)

But First we Divert to Edinburgh
First Bus has already announced that it would be entering the City Tours market in Edinburgh. This business is exceedingly profitable for Lothian Transport, the council's arms length company. Over the years other competitors have "entered the market" but, very soon, have been bought out by the incumbent.

Rumours in the industry have suggested that the profits from the tours business have been subsidising Lothian's competitive incursion deep into First's traditional West Lothian bus territory.

A tease graphic was released a few weeks ago ...
... and First's boss in Scotland, (Andrew Jarvis) warned us all that we would "certainly notice" the buses. fbb understands that 14 vehicles have been kept well hidden in the darkest depths of First's Caledonia depot in Glasgow, from which one was released yesterday for the formal launch.

Pictures and a press release had been distributed in advance.

And wow! (click for a full-size view) ...
... young Mr Jarvis is right.
TSU 640, incidentally, was a "City Sightseeing" branded vehicle, operated in Cambridge by Stagecoach!
It is interesting to note that, certainly from an off-side view, there is no mention of First Bus in the livery design. Presumably the legal lettering gives the game away.

Other "launch" pictures show happy passengers (First Bus employees? Rent-a-Crowd film extras?) enjoying a sun-drenched ride round the city.
Happy "customers" indeed.
Other shots show cheery orange shirted staff brandishing orange coloured leaflets on the top deck.
The tour prices are cheaper (much cheaper) than Lothian's ...
... and First will run only one route rather than the three slightly different tours operated by the incumbent.
Public service begins on Monday 1st July and fbb will be interested to hear how that critical First first day pans out.

Will this hurt Edinburgh's piggy bank as intended?

Might there be some sort of "deal" involving a retrenchment in West Lothian? Of course, such collusion would be quite illegal and such things simple don't happen.

Do they?

And a bit of a bludner; the press release invites readers to take a look at the Bright Bus web site ...
... but there is nothing there except an application to get yourself a web site.

Back to Eastbourne
So, what can you do with The Crumbles?
Answer: did some very large holes ...
... fill them with sea and protect them with two large sets of locks ...
... and built huge numbers of houses and flats.
Remember that grim desolation at the end of Claude Lane's tram line?
Below is a Google Maps view from a similar position.
But that tells you nothing. Rise up with Google Earth and you can see what has happened to The Crumbles.
The big grey splodge upper left is an ASDA superstore and the tiny dot in the sand (lower right) is Martello Tower No 66 referred to in yesterday's blog.

Serving this lot by bus presents some challenges, not the least of which is that the two halves of the development are not joined together. There is a bridge ...
... but, as we shall see in Monday's blog, it is only for pedestrians. The Sovereign Harbour development is in two completely separate chunks called, imaginatively, "North" and "South".
Then, even more exciting, is the "white on brown" visitor attraction sign to "Sov. Harbour Village" - where geese graze contentedly on the green and Gaffer Dribbledrip enjoys a pint of scrumpy in the Red Lion.
We shall see how all this fits together with a bus service in Monday's blog.

 Next Bric-à-Brac blog : Sunday 30th June 

1 comment:

  1. Could use Plymouth as an example...First and Go Ahead competed on many routes here. First sold their depot to Stagecoach in 2015. Within 2 weeks of Stagecoach taking over, nearly all their city routes had been withdrawn and Go Ahead pulled out of the more rural ones leaving them to Stagecoach. Coincidence??? What do you think?