Thursday 20 October 2022

It's Rotten for Potton (1)

But A Reasonable Route Replacement
It is particularly galling to have to write blog after blog about cutbacks from th major bus groups in the UK. There are multiple agendas here. Of course companies have to remain profitable; they have to, at least, try to earn a dividend for their shareholders whose money is being used to run things. Then there are the new masters for three of the groups - all huge investment companies who will not shrink from drastic cuts or closure if they do not get the required return.

But some of the cut-back decisions seem to have a political (small "p") taste to them, by asking whether more money can be squeezed from the bone dry sponges of the tendering authorise.

Stagecoach have announce swingeing cuts in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. The swinge has left the counties concerned with huge problems. Simply put, the situation asks what can be salvaged within existing budgets. And that is before the current economic shambles put further pressure on, well, anything!

But it does seem somewhat far fetched for Stagecoach to close down completely a half hourly inter-urban bus route. Such is route 72 and 73 from Bedford to Biggleswade.
It would be good to share stagecoach's route map with our loyal blog readers ...
... but there isn't one! You can't help thinking that Stagecoach's "it's all on line" policy is bad in itself, and even worse when it isn't all on line. 

fbb will use the Central Bedfordshire route map which is dated 2020 and very soon appears out of date.
Both the current services run direct via Willngton and Moggerhanger to Sandy. The timetable above suggests the routes run via Potton Sunderland Road (between Moggerhanger and Sandy!). Seems unlikely! Sunderland Road is in Sandy! Another way of discouraging passengers exudes from Stagecoach's lack of care about publicity.

After Sandy, the 73 runs direct to Bigglewade, the 72 goes a long way round via Potton.
Potton has a splendid Market Square, relatively unspoiled ...
... apart, that is, from something significant missing from the Market Hall!
But the town does have a very sweyey shelter for those awaiting for the 72!
And there is a 72 doing it!
 citi  is, as you would expect,on a rural route, the brand for local services in Cambridge.

Also in Potton you will find the 188, 189 and 190, once operated by Centrebus and now by Harberts Travel.
These also operate between Sandy and Biggleswade via a further selecection of villages.

So, what have Central Bedfordshire Council and other operators come up with by way of a replacement for the 72/73?

For that information you will have yo wait until tomorrow.

How Much?
In the meantime we can all enjoy the latest price record for a OO gauge locomotive and it is £363.

Blogger does not have a font big enough for a fbb "OUCH"!

For its centenary year, Hornby (a renaming and redevelopment of the former Triang company with no tangible link to the lads at Binns Road) offered some locos built in the same style as the good old solid Hornby Dublo of old. Die cast in metal they were very solid lumps.

This year is the centenary of the iconic (and preserved) loco, the Flying Scotsman.
Surprise, surprise, Hornby are making a "Hornby Dublo" version ...
... in a posh presentation box.
Inexplicably, Hornby are also offering a four wheel carriage in teak livery with appropriate ketytering. Actually the kettering is highly inappropriate as such a lowly coach would never have been allowed to trail the great "Scotsman". But collectors will love it.
Aloyn the same lines, but not directly linked to he centenary, the Playtains range of toys for little kiddies is offering "The Scottish Express"!
If you have got the money, fbb suggests that you order the Hornby Dublo "Scotsman" very quickly as these "specials" are very soon sold out.

Not for fbb - he likes to run his trans, not keep them in a display box. Any the cost is just too much.

But the "Railroad" E2 is nice ...
... and old model re-introduced and less detailed than "today's market demand" (or so we are told. fbb likes the green livery, despite the fact that the S E C R never had any E2 locos.

So maybe? "Only" £67, so a snip compared with the "Scotsman".

 Next Potton blog : Friday 21st October 


  1. Here in BCP (Bournemouth Christchurch & Poole) we lost Yellow Buses (former Bournemouth Council operator) and GoAhead Morebus stepped up and replaced a number of routes. Operation has hopefully been stabilised by removing the competition.
    One of FBB’s comments is it is all online - we now have the BCP timetable all in one booklet other than three tendered routes. After trying to obtain a new timetable in our locality to our surprise time leaflets were delivered to every house in our locality!
    My only comment regarding the new timetable is the loss of the very useful route maps and bus stop locations. I have Emailed them asking for this to be reinstated next spring.
    John in Talbot Park, Bournemouth on the Morebus tendered 32 route - twice a day and six days a week. But forthcoming roadworks May mean……

    1. @Anon - actually the three tendered routes 18 33 36 are in the MoreBus timetable book

    2. Apologies for my earlier error. Well done Morebus for including another operators (tendered) timetables.