Wednesday 1 April 2020

Life And The Limits Of Lockdown (3)

Good News For Leicester
Leicester Corporation buses were taken over by First Bus, whereas Midland Red (later Midland Fox)  ...
... was hunted down by the hounds of Arriva. Until privatisation both operators lived in friendly companionship with clearly defined operating territory. Some newly-developed areas were served by one route each. Such was the situation at Beaumont Leys.
In the present age, the 1950s New Parks estate is served by two service 14s, Arriva's and First's. Half of First's 14s are 14As to Beaumont Leys ...
... and the two 14s actually serve different termini to confuse eveybody.
Google maps cleverly show the two 14s in different colours, namely blue for Arriva and orange for First (or is it the other way round).
Today, both 14s are running a reduced timetable but, excitingly, this note has appeared c/o Arriva.
Common sense arrives in Leicester.

fbb suggests that the Competition and Marketing Authority should simply remove all restrictions to joint operation and working together. It will happen anyway if operators use their noddles and get on with serving those who need to travel.

How about HMG making all bus travel FREE?

And From Grand Central

Passengers with off-peak tickets will also be able to travel on peak-time services

The reduced timetable will be in place until further notice, and Grand Central looks forward to resuming a full service as soon as possible.

Customers with Off-Peak or Anytime tickets marked as "Grand Central-only" will be able to use these tickets for travel on any other reasonable train to their destination - similarly, Off-peak or Anytime tickets marked "LNER-only", "East Midlands-only" or "Hull Trains-only" will now be valid on Grand Central services.

Bad News For Seaton?
Readers will remember fbb's report that Axe Valley Mini (it isn't mini any more) Travel was being hauled before the Traffic Commissioners.

Now comes this on their web site.
Wandering along Harbour Road yesterday as part of his occasional ambulatory excercise, fbb was able to confirm that buses were parked up and going nowhere.
The minimalist office (behind the front of the bus here) ...
... was firmly closed and in farkness.

This leaves no buses from Seaton to Axminster ...
... and the communities of Branscombe (west of Beer), Beer, Colyford, Colyton, Whitford (north of Colyton) and Musbury with no buses at all.

Grant Shapps (still Minister of Transport) is expected to announce help for the bus industry "soon".

It may come too late for many smaller companies and you do wonder whether Axe Valley will ever re-appear on the road.

Anyone want to buy a small bus company? No, fbb thought not!

Another fbb Bludner
Yesterday, fbb reported on "co-operation" with removal of some of the pottiness of the Potteries. He posted a picture of a Kingfisher double decker, a route now being promoted by former competitor D & G Buses who have stopped competing.
What fbb failed to spot in his myopic and elderly incompetence was that it was not on the Kingfisher branded route at all, shown as KF in First's on line publicity.
It was on the 25 to Keele.
Brand awareness, what brand awareness?

There is still pottiness in the Potteries so all is well.

Not Colouring But Cutting
Correspondent John was in full agreement with fbb about the challenges of childhood colouring books. His beef was that he could not keep the colours inside the printed lines.

He was much more impressed by a downloadble project from the Transdev companies "oop noorth".

They are offering four sheets of cut-out-able isometric pictures with which to be "Sim-City" type paper communities.
By careful cutting round the dotted lines that encompass each unit and equally careful gluing you can build up substantial communities with loadsa buses.

Sounds fun, although some of the pictures need dexterity above and beyond that of a tiny cutter-outer. Even today (possibly more so today with the hand shakiness) fbb would, with consummate ease, be able to trim off the spire of the cathedral as well as de-trunk some the the trees.

But a jolly good idea!

Supertram Services Slashed
A week is a very short time in Virus History. Only last weekend Sheffield Supertram was cutting its frequencies from every 12 to every 20 on the two main routes (BLU and YELL) and from every 20 to every 30 on PUR and TT. (Have fun working out the routes!)

The latest "Slash" is huge! Each of the four services will run only hourly.

This happens with almost no advance warning from today - and it is not an April Fools' jape.
This gives a reasonable near half hour spacing from Meadowhall South into City, but a really awful every 42 and 8 minutes to Hillsborough.

And Good News For fbb
Tesco Mobile sent this interesting text to your noble blogger a few days ago.
Slavering with excitement fbb's mind was racing; a brand new locomotive for the railway ot perhaps a couple of juicy steaks for himself and Mrs fbb? Yumtious.

But, sadly ...
... of little financial benefit.

 Heathrow (= Bunter's postal order) : Thurs 2nd April 

Short Thought

So mankind's commitment to the Covenant is to, in a very simple concept, put God first.

The benefits TO the people go like this ...

IF you worship only God
IF you don't worship idols
IF you do not misuse God's name (respect!)
IF you observe a Sabbath (a day for God)
IF you care for Parents (and others!)
Seems quite a good deal - if it works. God will help you stay on the "straight and narrow".

So what happens if you don't; if you defy God?

The Bible explains the consequences both ways.


  1. This comment relates to yesterday's blog and should have appeared yesterday but (not for the first time) when I pressed 'publish' it vanished into the ether. I'll try again.

    For the record the majority of the latest (and most severe) round of service cuts in Sheffield came, not on Monday 30 March, but on Saturday 28th. This is because First implement their timetable changes on Saturdays whereas Stagecoach continue to favour Mondays. A long-standing failure of the Sheffield Bus Partnership has been to standardise the exact date for implementation of changes, each major operator clinging to long-held internal working practices. Thus, last Saturday First introduced the new drastically reduced timetables whereas Stagecoach were still operating their only-slightly reduced timetables. A recipe for massive confusion on the part of the travelling public and a shambles as far as the supposedly co-ordinated services are concerned. This chaos is repeated whenever service changes involving both operators take place over the same weekend.

    The confusion is compounded by GoTimetable which shows the new timetable for First's Rotherham-area services 27/29 (now operated from Sheffield following the closure of Rotherham garage) as starting on Sunday 29th. The extract from the TSY table reproduced in yesterday's blog shows the start date as the 28th.

  2. I'm fairly sure that AVMT will come back again fortunately.

  3. Eastleigh-based Xelabus suspended local bus services after operation on Saturday 28 March.