Don't Panic Mr
Everyone, except DaFT (Department for Transport) staff, realised quite early on that timescales for the momentous (and probably destructive) changes in the bus industry were ludicrously impossible. The cliff (FROM which to topple) or the bottomless pit (IN which to plunge) were due to apply, very appropriately, from 1st April 2022.
With just over a month to go, Daft has sent another circular to operators.
1). Applications from operators to reduce services using a temporary (short notice) variation. Operators will now be permitted to apply for a temporary variation up to and including 18 March 2022. This date has been extended from 28 February.
2). Services currently running under a temporary (short notice) variation. All services temporarily varied must revert to their pre-March 2020 (or subsequent permanent registration) position on or before 1 January 2023. This date has been extended from 1 September 2022.
With effect from 19 March 2022, the notice period for all service registrations lodged with the traffic commissioners will revert to the relevant legislative requirement, unless short notice dispensation is requested and granted.
Where there is continuing uncertainty after 18 March 2022, and service levels cannot be determined in line with the 70 day maximum registration period, operators seeking to gradually increase services are advised to work with local authorities to agree a shorter consultation period. Once this is agreed they can then apply to a traffic commissioner for short-notice dispensation on the basis that the operator could not have reasonably foreseen the circumstances to make an earlier variation or registration. Traffic commissioners will consider applications on a case by case basis but will seek to be supportive of operators where appropriate.
Expect more new dates and postponements as the omnishambles shambles omniously on. Mis-spelling deliberate!
Or Make It Worse?
Everybody (and fbb means EVERYBODY!) who responded on Twitter was disgusted/enraged/opposed to this crackpot decision. And remember that the Twitterati are the minority of your customers that use technology to access bus stuff.
THE MAJORITY OF YOUR CUSTOMERS DO NOT.
So, if the internet-savvy thinks your are off your corporate heads, what effect will it have on your customers in general?
fbb guesses that you actually want to watch your passenger numbers dwindle further.
Meanwhile More Positive Press
Nevertheless, last Friday saw the next best thing - an "official" send off attended by, amongst others, London's Evening Standard.
fbb will take a look at these new motors in a later blog. But here is a 6 minute video of Route 63. See if you can spot key locations as you whizz, speeded up, from Kings Cross to the south.The video is filmed on a pre-electric bus.
We expects to hear soon whether London Transport is to get none, some or all of the funding it needs. But it really does seem that the oft praised "London" system of bus management and finance is likely to take a significant tumble in the next few months.
Auntie Frances Is Moving ...
... or wants to!
So Frances (or her agent) has applied for planning permission for change of use.
... and the buses are parked at this end of the yard ...
Assuming, that is, the planning permission is granted!
Nostalgia note : When fbb was a-courting his future Mrs, he discovered that she had a full sized bus depot at the bottom of her road ...
Whence we shall return tomorrow - London, not that bus station.
GWR Toplight Coaches - A P.S.
In case you were worried that the pictures of the OO coaches from Dapol were in a blue livery (fbb lay awake at night in a state of anguish), Hattons of Widnes have put our minds at rest in their advert ...
Next London bus blog : Monday 14th February
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