Sunday 13 February 2022

Sunday Variety

Don't Panic Mr Mainwaring Shapps

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!

Who would be a bus manager, eh?

Or Make It Worse?
"to save wastage" - a downright lie! You are doing it, First in Bristol Bath and the West of England etc. to save money. Sadly it will lose money as it loses passengers.

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. 

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.
James Freeman (former customer focussed boss) would turn in his grave - only he isn't in one - yet! This might send him that way.

Meanwhile More Positive Press
The Evening Standard, not renowned for being enthusiastic about London's transport system, has recorded the "official" launch of brand new electric buses on route 63.
The route is run by the Netherlands State Railways (who else would you want to run London's buses?) and runs from Kings Cross to Honor Oak. The buses are being filtered into service as they arrive rather this appearing en bloc with a mega-launch.

Nevertheless, last Friday saw the next best thing - an "official" send off attended by, amongst others, London's Evening Standard.
The reporter was enthusastic ...
... but with several digs at the current battle between TfL, The London Mayor and The Treasury about money!

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!
Frances May Searle is the proprietrix of Axe Valley Mini Travel (not so "mini" these days) housed in the old Southern National depot on what was once Station Road in Seaton, Devon. The property is just opposite Tesco and almost backs on to the Esplanade.
The local mafia reports that her depot site will be redeveloped with flats (of course). She and her fleet will move eastwards, past the Premier Inn ...
... and past fbb mansions. Behind the cosy home of this blog you may spot ...
... a large shed, which, despite occasional comments from Mrs fbb, does NOT contain all of the old man's model railway stuff. It is, currently, the home of ...
... Harcombe Trailer Centre a k a Harcombe Engineering.

So Frances (or her agent) has applied for planning permission for change of use.
So, if Frances clears the undergrowth ...
... and the buses are parked at this end of the yard ...
... fbb will be able to watch the comings and goings from his palatial bedroom window. Wow, a bus garage at the bottom of the garden!

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 ...
... namely the Milngavie garage of Alexander Midland. 

Guess what's there now?
Ah, you guessed!

And A Puzzle Picture
Which London bus station?

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 ...
... by including a graphic in the correct chocolate and cream. Phew!

 Next London bus blog : Monday 14th February 

No comments:

Post a Comment