Saturday 20 August 2022

Saturday Variety

Exhausting Exhaust Expenditure

Although the lavish fbb limo was booked in for a service at Seaton in a couple of weeks another little niggle developed, namely a "blowing" exhaust. But on Wednesday it became a blow plus a rattle. Fearful of total exhaust extinction, the fbbs decided to do something by way of an emergency.

Fortunately there is a small tyre and exhaust repair shop on a small industrial estate at Millwey Rise in Axminster.
So, after yesterday morning's church prayer meeting, off to Axminster the old folks went. Needless to say "the man" has to order the pipe. But there is a clever local delivery system, so all the fbbs had to do was to wait for about two hours.

Where better than the Co-op car park in Axminster ...
... where a "meal deal" was consumed.  Axminster Co-op car park is not the most entertaining place to enjoy two hours respite from the tensions of the motor trade.

But needs must.

The upshot of this is that the gruesome twosome were not back at fbb mansions until 1430; fortunately with a sweet, near-silent exhaust, with no worrying rattle and with a bank debit of £180.

And there was, perforce, less time than originally scheduled for blog writing.

Bus Business News
fbb is greatly indebted to Roger French for doing his (fbb's) homework.
Rog introduces his lengthy piece by revealing the aboyce shut down from HCT - but a very small one. The group has closed its operations in Manchester, South Yorkshire and West Yorksire - effectively these wholly owned subsidiaries have "gone bust"! (Apologies for a technical accountancy term). To this is now added the withdrawal of the 812 in London.

Thus there remain concerns about the rest of the group and it is these group finances that Roger has helpfully researched.

Year ended March 2018
Surplus of £838,028
on a turnover of £62,349,719

Year ended Match 2019
LOSS of £1,570,192
on a turnover of £74,294,422
Accounts lodged 192 days late

18 months ended September 2020
LOSS of $10,300,000
on a turnover of £123,706,829
Accounts lodged 19 days late

This poor performance is obviously not sustainable and, were HCT a "proper" limited company, the shareholders, the accountants and the senior management would be deeply concerned about the company's future!

But HCT is NOT a "proper" limited company.
So HCT runs buses for a "profit" so that it can use those "profits" to support "community" benefits, one of which is to run bus services that could never make a profit. 

The rule is that any surpluses made MUST be used for these community benefits - not one shiny penny goes to shareholders.

If the company makes unsustainable losses it cannot fulfill its legal objectives and, you have to assume, must close down.

Unless you are an accountant, it is hard to see how HCT is surviving - i.e. who or what is covering these losses.

fbb will take a more detailed look at the soon-to-be-withdrawn route 812 in a later blog.

Puzzle Picture
This swish Irizar coach is unusual because it doesn't have any wing mirrors. Huge wing mirror like giant antlers or the feelers on some ferocious intergalactic humanoid eating monster have been a feature of coach design for many years. As a one-time coach driver, fbb was taught that your mirrors were your life saver; and a life saver for pedestrians and other road users.

But to see along a huge modern coach, thy needed to be big and horribly capable of being smashed to smithereens; and hugely expensive to replace.
So the Irizar doesn't have any!

It does, of course, or the vehicle would be very illegal! But they are in the form of clever TV cameras that see along the length  of the coach. You can spot one in this enlargement.
It is that tiny little black "ear" just above the door's window. Cameras on both sides feed two mirror-sized monitors in the cab. Seemples!

The caption on the Irizar picture says that it is the first coach in the UK to be so equipped. Below is a typical "ear" plus internal "mirror" set up.

Fair Fares in Fairfield** Foretold
Despite a truly deafening silence from H M Government about a national scheme, Andy Burnham, mega-mayor of Manchester, is implementing his own cut price fares deal.
If the poster is to be believed, it is a MAXIMUM fare, not a flat fare.

With the Government's Office For Doing Tricky Sums (Offdots?) now warning the two candidates for PM that there won't be as much money for tax cuts as they thought, and bearing in mind that a national scheme would be hugely complex to fund and probably unmanageably expensive to operate, it could be that the idea fizzles out!

What a surprise!

** Fairfield IS in Manchester!

What You Have All Been Waiting For ...
Just over 9 minutes of gorgeous nostalgia.
If you don't have time to watch now, look it up on YouTube. And watch out for the "Stainmore Summit" sign and the Belah Viaduct!

 Next Variety blog : Sunday 21st August 

No comments:

Post a Comment