Tuesday 28 January 2020

He Started It ...

NO! He Started It!
Anyone who has had children, or even dealt with children, however briefly, will be familiar with the anguished cry of defence from both sides of an altercation. This blog attempts to unravel the developing attrition between two naughty boys; one belongs to Big Bearded Brian's gang, the other is a Hispanic lad called Nex.

And it all centres on the campus of a University which isn't where it claims to be.

The University of Warwick, as we all know, isn't at Warwick and, indeed, isn't even in Warwickshire (except, as it is dubbed, the "ceremonial" county of Warwickshire). It is in Coventry, part of west Midlands County (at  least, most of it is!) as per the dot-dash black border line below.
The fun/fight starts in earnest when National Express Coventry enhances its route 11 to Leamington Spray to every 15 minutes ...
... which brings it fully into direct conflict with Stagecoach's more frequent U1 and U2.
Heavy branding and promotion features on the U1 and U2.
NatEx 11 runs on from Uni to Coventry via a more circuitous route than the company's "direct" or "fast" X12.
Next Stagecoach extends the U1 and U2, changing its number to U12, through to Coventry "direct" and "fast" in direct competition with NatEx.
12X (NatEx) is frequent ...
... as is Stagecoach's U12.
Both companies offer "special deals" on term fares and both seem determined to keep the fight going, whoever started it!

Next comes this seemingly innocent announcement in the trade press.
Hitherto, NatEx has run a bus every ten minutes from the centre of Coventry to Bedworth.
From yesterday, however, half the journeys ...
... (every 20 minutes) are extended to Nuneaton.
And which company, would you guess, has been running buses between Coventry, Bedworth and Nuneaton for ages?
Well, there's a surprise!

Stagecoach 48 runs every ten minutes to Nuneaton ...
... continuing every 20 to Atherstone and every 20 to Hinckley and Leicester.
Clearly the NatEx response at Bedworth is not a full-blown attack, but it could well dent Stagecoach's profitability on the 48.

So what next?

If the pattern is to continue, Stagecoach will be registering a couple of Coventry city services; and IF Stagecoach follows its previous policy, these will be cross city, but offering different links from those provided by the incumbent.

Of course, it can't last - soon both companies will be losing money by the sackful and one or other will eventually blink. Usually there is a non-existent illegal agreement to retreat in an orderly but officially un-coordinated fashion.

Brian's boy and Nex will then be friends again ...
... until the next time.

One to watch!

Thanks to Roger French's RF blog for information on the Warwick Uni situation.

 Happier Halton blog : Wednesday 29th January 


  1. As the West Midlands County is merely a "ceremonial" county these days, having lost its county council in 1986 does that mean that the University of Warwick is in TWO ceremonial counties? Successive reorganisations of local government have left the concept of what is a "county" in a very confused state which will only get worse over time. Far better then to stick to the "geographic" or "historic" definition of counties under which all the area covered in your post would be in Warwickshire and not confuse them with what the administrative councils choose to call themselves.

  2. The 11 competes with Stagecoach's X17 for Kenilworth-Leamington traffic, on a more serious scale than the university traffic. The latter's 15 minute frequency was reduced to 20 last year; NatEx has upped its one time half hourly route to every 15 minutes.