Saturday, 28 September 2019

Weekend Extra

Doncaster Debit Developments
Firstly Aberdeen and now Donny - what is the world coming to? Here is the pretty picture from Aberdeen ...
... and here is the rather wordy press release from First South Yorkshire, expurgated by fbb.

From Sunday 29th September ‘Tap & Cap’ technology will be trialled on a 6-month basis offering customers capped fares (within Doncaster) via their contactless device such as their bank card.

All single journeys made with Tap & Cap will cost just £2 so customers don’t need to ask for a ticket or tell the driver where they’re travelling so long as it’s within the Doncaster boundary. A second journey is charged at an additional £2 and the third is capped at just 70p taking the full price to the same as a day ticket - £4.70.

Any additional journeys made that day are free!

Well they would be - it's a day ticket!

And if a customer continues to tap throughout the week the cost of all their journeys is the same as the week ticket - £16.50. Customers can keep track of what they pay as this is automatically calculated at the end of the day; they can use our online portal to track what they have been charged.

Hopefully some Doncastrians may understand what a "portal" is?

As part of the changes on September 29, mobile ticket prices will be aligned with other payment options so Day and Week prices, including ‘Tap & Cap’ are consistent.

Erm, that means we are putting the price up - no longer a tempting (?) discount for phone users.

This means the mobile Day ticket (currently £4) will be available at £4.70 and the mobile Week ticket (currently £15) will be available at £16.50.

We really don't want you to use your phone any more, despite having persuaded you to do so for the past n years!

The Doncaster week ticket will no longer be available on-bus from 27 October to help speed up journeys for customers by reducing boarding time.

When are customers going to experience this oft-vaunted "speeding up"? No sign of it yet - anywhere! And how does NOT selling a £16.50 ticket speed up boarding times?o

Other channels will remain available and additional outlets will be added from November including Payzone outlets.


Our customer communications campaign will commence next weekend and we are particularly keen to stress the value ‘Tap & Cap’ provides to those who wish to travel between Doncaster town centre and many outlying areas such as Cantley, Rossington, Edlington, Armthorpe, Hatfield, Thorne, Moorends, Skellow, Carcroft, Conisborough and Edenthorpe, where the cash single is £3. ‘Tap & Cap’ will offer a £2 flat single and consequently a £4 return.

A noticeable reduction, but beware - with Tap 'n' Cap is becomes oh, so easy to increase fares BECAUSE THE PASSENGER WILL HARDLY NOTICE!

Please note all other ticket prices are unchanged and customers can continue to use contactless ticketing as normal.

The Law of Unintended Consequences
If it is as good as Government help for Thomas Cook - don't hold you breath.

But here is an extract from First Bus' Bristol staff newsletter - concerning the collapse of Wright Bus.

This collapse is having a direct effect on us here at First West of England, in two ways:

On a day-to-day level all warranty work and parts supply has ceased immediately. This will make it difficult for our engineering colleagues to deal with any repairs that may be needed until alternative arrangements can be put in place and parts sourced from elsewhere.

More immediately, it gives us a severe bus shortage here as First UK Bus Division was in the process of taking delivery of a batch of 50 Streetdeck double-deckers for operation in Leeds.
Their arrival would allow 23 middle-aged Volvo double-deckers to be transferred to us. Unfortunately not one of these buses has been delivered to Leeds, so no cascade can even start until they do. My information is that 30 buses have been completed and are ready to ship while some 20 vehicles are in various states of construction on the (now stopped) production line.

We are hoping that negotiations with the administrator will lead to the release of these buses within the next few weeks. In the meantime, we are going to be very tight for buses!

Who would run a bus company, eh?

Colour Supplement
Ribble Remembered?
From Roy (in Sheffield) a picture of two Ribble Buses, one new-ish and one ancient - the newbie bedecked in traditional livery from days gone by ...
... part of the celebrations of 100 years of that much-loved company.

Secret Sheffield Stagecoach?
Also from Roy, a newly delivered Stagecoach single decker in Sheffield.
Or is it? It, and a few chums, were mysteriously delivered without and Stagecoach name or logos.
Has anybody got an explanation?

British Railways Blue?
Another oddity which fbb has never seen documented before.
The BR "double arrow" logo but in blue. It was part of a tweeted picture of the long-gone Weymouth Quay station with no date or further explanation.

The Potential Passing of Pacers?
Just a reminder of where it all began ...
... a double ended Leyland National bus on a long wheelbase freight wagon chassis!

Deep joy!

And There's More ...
Rebel Town Dream Come True
fbb was chuntering round Colyton, just a few country miles from sunny Seaton, when he really thought he was dreaming. Near to the wonderful lantern-towered church is the Market Place and one of the emporia therein is a little shop called, imaginatively ...
... "The Little Shop". And it is just that - it is not the post office, nor is it the library, nor a tourist information centre - just a little shop in a small community in East Devon.

But in the window ...
fbb's immediate reaction was to rush in and hug the shop's owner, proffering a shower of adulatory kisses and hearty congratulations. Sadly ...
... it was Early Closing Day!

No Room on the Sofa!
TV aficionados will be well aware of the final "envoi" of every episode of "The Simpsons" whereby something amusing happens as the family rush to settle on their sofa. This twitter-transmitted "mash-up" seems to say it all.
Boris Brexit Boredom?

PTE Paint-job Promotes Pulchritude
"The lads" from South Yorkshire PTE have been enhancing the public transport experience for the delight-deprived denizens of various districts of the city. Fresh blue paint is being applied to the heritage Sheffield Transport Department bus stop poles which still proliferate along the steel city's streets.

This example stood outside the fbb's b and b.
The frame is two sided - one shows the departure list, the other has advertorial material.

So what did the aged couple find as they set of on the Sunday of their stay for worship at Fulwood Church?
A "wet paint" sign well stuck over the departure list.

Being the inveterate rebel that he is, fbb moved the offending "affiche" so that it only obscured the unnecessarily duplicate "route lines" above.


You have to have two identical route line diagrams because there are two service 120s. They are identical from the stop onwards with Stagecoach operating half the evening and Sunday service. So the damage to the PTEs publicity machine would not be serious.

No paint was harmed in making this blog.

Tomorrow, a surprising adventure.

 Next Topsham Trip blog - Sunday 29th September 


  1. Brighton & Hove/Metrobus have just launched a similar conatactless capping system. This was always likely once contactless payments became so popular. Probably won't be long before cash isn't accepted on the bus as per London.

  2. The blue background to the arrow is Sealink's house colour. Buses operating station to portconnections used it in varying proportions - East Kent generally had more blue than this Weymouth example I've found on Flickr:

  3. Buses magazine says the Stagecoach buses are awaiting Buses for Sheffield branding.