Monday 9 January 2023

Monday Variety

Luton Airport P.S.

That is Lorraine Chase and Jeremy Clyde bringing fame and fascination to the whole concept of Luton Airport. fbb has never imbibed a Campari!

Correspondent Julian informs us that on many occasions the articulated buses were full with people and, notably, their luggage! His experience differs from fbb who only paid a couple of brief visits - perhaps when planes were not landing or taking off!

Julian also points out that in windy conditions the Dart will not run and the Airport has a contract with Arriva to run replacement buses. Makes the £300 million project look even more of an overspend.

But the bridge over the  main airport access road is pretty!
Pretty expensive!

Tonight : Cheap Advertising for Hornby!

Colours In Carlisle
A recent twitter landed in fbb's inbox a few days back with pictures of multicoloured route branded minibuses in Carlisle.
They were, indeed, colourful.
But, as the twitterer reports, they did not stay around for long. Here are a couple now in the hands of Stagecoach East Scotland.
So why was their stay in Cumbria so short? fbb is now on dangerous ground.

But he thinks that Stagecoach were countering the arrival of local independent operator Reays ...
... on the Carlisle local bus scene.
Most local services were "attacked" by Reays and cheaper fares were also on offer.
Oddments of this network still linger in the darkest recesses of the internet ...
... but Reays now only have the tendered 75 to run in the Carlisle area.
The colorful buses didn't last because Reays didn't last either.

Helpful Quay Connect!
This is the brand for the bus that links Southampton station, city centre and the Red Funnel assorted ferries. They are operated by Go Ahead's BlueStar.
For a while, this is what the helpful poster said.

Helpful Cafe Menu!
The fbbs took a trip to Sidmouth to enjoy a pensioners chippy lunch at The White Horse. Highly recommended!
It was closed for its annual refit and deep clean! Boo hiss. So they adjourned to "The Jar" recently opened in the premises of a fromer coffee shop.
Ham eggs (2) and fries and a mugga formed an adequate substitute - with plenty of ham and plenty of fries.

fbb was, however, tempted by an even more fattening menu item.
Quiche, chips AND fries!

Ferry Frustrations
There has been growing dissatisfaction with ferry services to the Isle of Wight. On of the things that encouraged the fbb's to move from Island to Mainland was their growing dislike of the tension brought about when returning home. Would the train connect with the Catamaran or would it miss? Would they miss a late evening car ferry and have a TWO hour wait?

But Wightlink have explained why the Lymington to Yarmouth service has been unreliable.
Aha, yes; that explains it - a shortage of captains. Wightlink's boss Keith Greenfield ...
... does not explain, however, why the captains have, literally, jumped ship. Surely such an exodus would be a symptom of greater staff malaise rather than just an unfortunate coincidence?

Meanwhile, between Cowes and East Cowes ...
The ferry has been a total disaster since it first set hull into water. It appears to have been badly designed and badly built; but neither party will take responsibility for the failures. Neither will the Council which may have agreed a duff contract.

But Phil Jordan offers islanders a joke, only he is being serious. Islanders should be proud of the ferry, he says ...
... because it has broken down a bit less in 2022 than in 2021!


Tomorrow, we cross the solent to pay a visit to Southampton.

Maybe nobody will read the blog as they will be avidly slavering at Harry's latest revelations as his book is published. The phrase "spoilt brat" comes to mind. But then he does come from a broken and tragic family.

 Next Painless Coup Blog : Tuesday 10th January 


  1. Andrew Kleissner9 January 2023 at 17:47

    I have used Luton Airport but rarely. One experience however sticks in my mind! I alighted from a plane on a cold misty morning near Christmas: the airport was in fact above the mist and clear. I got onto a Green Line coach (remember them?) heading for London. Within minutes we were into the mist. When we arrived at our first stop, Luton Bus Station, the driver found that the door wouldn't open. Apparently there was a little grille through which air had to pass to operate the door; fog had condensed on this and frozen. We had to wait some minutes before the bus had warmed up before the very bemused waiting passengers could board!

  2. Stagecoach tried to replace darts with solos at the same frequency leading to overcrowding and people getting left behind on 30 min interval services when the complaints began they drafted in pointer darts from Newcastle to replace the solos which were 10 yrs older than the E200/300’s that they had just cascaded out to be replaced by the solos

  3. Anon 18:17 - wasn’t this the MD of the day trying to use the pay (based on number of seats on the bus as opposed to size) to get a particular deal through?