Friday 17 March 2023

Arriva Departs : D & G Arrivas 2 (Arrives?)

Failure And Follow Up

Nearly Heaven For Service 7

The challenge of operating Arriva's almost unbelievably awful web site almost destroyed fbb's will to live on Wednesday - but he persevered with the results as covered in yesterday's posting. What he said there was that Arriva's Winsford local service 7 had no registered replacement.

Which was true; well, not numbered 7 at least.

What he did NOT spot was that D & G have covered significant parts of the route in a typically cunning way. D & G service 31 is diverted to serve a goodly chunk of the Glebe Green area (fourth time point down) ...

... and service 37 is likewise diverted to cover the other nibble. The 37 now runs via Wharton (ORANGE road) leaving the 31 to stick to the main road (RED); see map below. The 4th name up shows Wharton Bradbury Road shops ...
... Which is the loop off the orange road.
And here are Bradbury Road shops just so you will know if you ever visit the town!

In A Fix With Service 6
Service 6 was  Arriva's Crewe local service running from Leighton Hospital ...
... to a reasonably modern estate off the Gresty Road (see map).
It is a half hourly service.
D & G already runs a service 12 on a similar route, with Arriva covering journeys on to Shavington in the evening as 6E ...
... and, assuming there is still subsidy at 6E times, this route is completely covered.

First's 3 Baffles Me
We had a revised Potteries network all based on fruit. Then it sort of fizzled in a fits-all purple front scheme ...
... but route 3 remained red.
Even its printed publicity was red.
Now we are expecting "key routes" to be rebranded "Mainline" ...
... and everything (?) is to become mellow yellow! 

Currently the 3 and 3A are still red.
It is only a few years ago that service 3 ran through Crewe to Leighton Hospital, but that short extension of a long route was then summarily removed, presumably because it did not carry enough passengers.

Yet with the withdrawal of Arriva's 6 from Leighton Hospital, the management at First, eager to get a share of the not many passengers, has just registered; guess what ...

An extension of service 3 from Crewe bus station to Leighton Hospital!

Weird or what?

And There's More On The 84
The Middlewich Mafiosa Omnibussa ...
... is buzzing with what is happening on the soon to be contested 84 from Crewe to Chester. Although no Stagecoach or D & G timetables have yet been published, Dom Juliano ...
... has seen the documents and reports thus.

On the 84 D & G are still pondering their response to the Stagecoach registration, but originally D & G were going to register the entire Arriva service including evenings and Sundays. 

Stagecoach had registered an inadequate service, hourly to Chester with no evenings and Sundays, and one bus doing shorts between Nantwich and Crewe which comes off a Tarporley school bus working, and thus leaves only an hourly peak and Saturdays service, totally inadequate against what was every 20 min six days a week. 

But what’s certain is that passengers will lose their commercially provided evenings and Sundays, and there will have to be a tender or it will vanish.

So, with the 84, we have yet another explosion of praise for the UK's commercial model of bus business.


There really should be a better way.

NB Notable Numbers in Northwich 
For the sake of completeness, fbb must take his loyal readers to Northwich where Arriva runs two local services.
Arroiva's route 1 ...
... is directly replaced by D & G ...
... but with the frequency reduced to hourly.

Service 4 appears to not be covered (unless fbb has got it wrong again) . 

There is a two hourly 9A along the same "main" road ...
... part of Warrington Buses operations in its eponymous county branded as "Cheshire Cat".
Shouldn't it be grinning?
But, grinning or not, it is a poor alternative to the half hourly service 4.

Which leaves Macclesfield.

fbb will cover the changes here in one of the weekend blogs.

Also to come - the £500 16.5mm gauge British model locomotive.

 Next Variety blog : Saturday 18th March 


  1. Whilst I applaud fbb's efforts in attempting to disentangle the Confusion Around Crewe (there's a blog title for the future . . . you're welcome!) . . . I can't help feeling that the confusion might have been abated if Cheshire East and Cheshire West had done what they are permitted to do under the relevent legislation, and got all the parties around the table BEFORE Arriva deregistered their routes to discuss possible solutions.

    Acting as an "honest broker" under confidentiality rules would be the sensible thing to do . . . it would allow all companies to formulate outline proposals and come up with a "cunning plan". The Councils could then examine what was proposed, and act in good time to fill any gaps.

    This would, of course, require (1) the Councils to actually know about bus services in their area and (2) act quickly. I suspect this would fail on both counts.

    Of course, burying one's head in the sand and "allowing the market to decide" is another option . . .

  2. Tenders have appeared for service 4 in Northwich plus the evenings and Sundays service 84 (as separate tenders). I haven't spotted one for the 6E though.

  3. You are being very unfair to both Councils. Any bus company in this position realistically has to tell its staff first before talking to everyone else, and once it’s announced then wants to the period to closure to be minimised. Whilst it’s been obvious that the Winsford and Macclesfield have been loss making for some time there was no pre warning of the announcement to any party. Both Councils have acted with commendable speed in working with operators to replace as much as possible. Whilst much is not yet in the public domain catastrophe averted, and indeed both Stagecoach and First see commercial opportunities.

    1. Read my comments carefully . . . "under confidentiality rules". It is perfectly possible to advise the local councils of your plans, and for those councils to consult with other operators, if all sides respect the need for confidentlality.
      I've done just this on previous occasions, and it has smoothed the way towards making changes tidily. It does help if the Council(s) concerned are regularly consulted about plans, and trust the operator(s).
      Arriva will have "started" these processes internally several months ago, not in mid-February!! There would have been time to talk about outline plans well before going public.