Monday 27 March 2023

Monday Variety

Andy's Handy Plan De-livered!?

If in doubt - paint it yellow!
Even the bikes!
And here is Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham showing off his new mellow yellow revolution for Manchester's franchised public transport.
What is even more exciting is that young Andy has got a real bus to show us all. Although the sticky label has been peeled off for the above PR revelations, it looks like something from the Diamond (Rotala) stable seen below with label.
It used to look like this, seen on route 8 to Bolton.
The repaint is also en route to Bolton ...
... on a service that used to be in the hands of First Bus - and route branded, no less.
But here is the key question.

It looks much more akin to the current Metrolink yellow with tints of primrose ...
... rather than Andy's Easter daffs more yellow yellow.

Hey ho!

The word on the street is that young Andy is readying himself to take over from Keir Starmer when the latter fluffs the 2024 election (or maybe before, if the string-pullers think "Keir no Fear"!). So what might happen to the golden boy's golden plan then, eh?

Currently the early franchise "winners" are operating the existing network and are invited to make proposals for improvements and/or changes "soon". That's right; companies like Diamond and GoAhead have won franchises with no idea of what they will be operating in the future.

Really weird things happen in today's bus industry!

The Strangeness Of Slough
First Bus still have a presence in Slough.
Service 7 (MID BLUE) runs to Heathrow via Langley; Service 8 (PALE BLUE) runs to Heathrow via Eton and a very indirect route; Service 4 (ORANGE) runs straight from Maidenhead to Heathrow.
Thames Valley Buses (formerly and partly Courtney Coaches but really Reading Buses in a thin disguise) also serves Slough.
The company runs the 12 (MID PURPLE) sort of jointly with First, the 15 (DARK PURPLE) to Eton and Eton Wick, the 5 (PALE GREEN) to Cippenham and the 2 (GREEN) via Datchet. 

Both operators are making changes from 2nd/3rd April.

Thames Valley tell us about changes they arr making "one week ago on 1thh March" ...
... which are shown elsewhere as upcoming.

The date in March might be the date when the announcement was posted - confusingly! But the changes do not apper to be significant.
But, despite the less than earth shattering changes, there is a new timetable booklet from Thames Valley containing a new map.
It is an excellent production and really helpful to existing and future passengers.

First's changes are significant.

Service 4 - Cippenham | Slough | Langley | Heathrow Airport

This service will no longer serve Maidenhead and will now terminate at Cippenham Green. The service will continue to operate every 30 minutes, but there will be more journeys between Cippenham Green and Slough at the weekends. 

Service 6 - Maidenhead | Slough | Knolton Way

The route will be extended to serve Maidenhead. The route between Slough and The Frithe will now operate direct via Wellington Street and will no longer serve Upton Hospital. The service will continue to operate hourly. 

Instead of running half hourly to Maidenhead, service 4 will terminate at Cippenham but will remain every 30.

Maidenhead will be served by extending service 6 (YELLOW on First's map) but only every hour.

There is, apparently, no new map and no printed timetables.

Good innit?

But a twitterer has twitted a picture of First's on-bus publicity for the revised service 4.
It lauds the diversion of the 4 into Cippenham (but direct along he main road) which might be seen as a poke at Thames Valley who run the existing service from Cippenham to Slough but via a slow wiggly route.
And who has done the twittering.
A smiiey-face First Bus manager? Well, erm no! He is none other than ...
... boss of Reading Buses and thus ultimately in charge of Thames Valley.

Why promote on-line a service which might hurt you? there are, oif course, two possibilities.

Either young Robert is having a sulk OR is laying a trail of clues for a take over by Thames Valley of First's rather weedy operation in Slough.

Whatever, the whole situation is a mess and utterly discouraging to the users of the fragmented and, in First's case, badly publicised public transport.

Really weird things happen in today's bus industry!

Burnham's Bee Network - a P.S.

Andy's bright new look is to be branded the "Bee Network" complete with rather weedy looking bees.

fbb has a question. Has the Greater Manchester PTE heard of Mr Burnham and his effusive enthusiasm for upgrading Manchester's public transport.

Apparently not!

Here is a picture from Roger French.

Rog captions his picture thus: "Lots of brightly coloured leaflets to encourage people to travel by bus".

Will the new Bee network be a taste of honey or a painful sting in the posterior for the hapless passengers of Manchester?

Really weird things happen in today's bus industry!

York Has An Excellent Map

(extract only shown above) The interwebnet implies that printed copies are available.  ...
... but fbb doubts it.

It is undated so we cannot guess whether it is current. It looks reasonable from a distance, but, upon closer exploration, look at service 12 from Monks Cross (a shopping centre with oodles of parking) in the north of the city ...

... to Woodthorpe in he south.
According to the map it is operated by First Bus ...

... and there is one doing it!

Oh no it isn't!! It is now operated by Transdev.
And here is an extract from their timetable.
But it won't be from  Monday 3rd April!
From then it will be run by GoAhead East Yorkshire.

So the map is not up to date but ...


Really weird things happen in today's bus industry!

Tomorrow, for a bit of sanity, we go back to Hungary.


This week, fbb & Mrs will be preparing and presenting the next in their monthly double-up fellowship meetings (described by a wag as "Sunday School for old people"). They also have a Church prayer meeing today and fbb's final eyeball stabbing on Thursday.

Apologies for any blogging inadequacies that may evolve.

Also (as eyes do get tired) some typos might not get un-typoed until 0730 while the fbbs' morning tea is brewing. The old codger is doing his best!

 Next Budapest Metro blog : Tuesday 28th March 


  1. FBB seems easily confused... I can't imagine anyone else would get confused about the date of a byline being the date of the service changes, especially when in the line below, it clearly states "From 2nd April, there will be changes..."

    If FBB looked closer at the tweets, or the service changes (service 5?), he'd get 2+2=4, rather than 2+2=22...

  2. Andrew Kleissner27 March 2023 at 16:29

    Cardiff Bus do the same (perhaps they use the same software):

  3. Andrew Kleissner27 March 2023 at 16:31

    PS And I don't think Cardiff Buses really will be flaunting bunny ears over Easter, either!

  4. A new timetable booklet for First's Slough operations is said to be "on the way" as part of a relaunch of the network under the BeeLine brand.