Saturday 27 May 2023

Saturday Variety

Blame The C M A?

After his piece on the nonsense of multiple fares in Leicester, fbb was reminded of the dark hand of the C M A. This organisation hangs ominously over all industry and is feared by the larger bus companies. What does it do? Here is its own little video.
In essence, the C M A forbids collusion in a competitive market. It is theoretically possible that First and Arriva could agree to double the fares on their parallel routes to Thurnby Lodge. They would carry fewer passengers and would have to reduce the service drastically; but, again in theory, what was left could make a stonking great profit for both operators and cause grief for passengers.

It is all reminiscent of the last verse of the ditty from Flanders and Swann ...
... entitled "Transport of Delight".
For today's business model, the line would have to be, "if tickets cost ten pounds apiece, why should you make a fuss?!."

You can register a joint service with inter available fares and, under recent legislative amendments, you can enter into a partnership if, and ONLY if, it is brokered by a Local Authority. Under their guidance, you can run a joint timetable etc, but ...

You may not discuss fares with any of the parties. Fares MUST be a commercial decision by each company in the interests of its very own passengers. A partnership can retail its own multi-operator tickets but that is the LA speaking, not the operators.

Which is why all three Leicester operators have a day ticket at £5. Quite independently their MDs woke up one morning and thought "we'll charge a fiver!".

"Oh what a surprise," they said in unison and in amazement, "the others have also independently and without collusion, decided on a price of £5".

Yeah, right!

None of this really explains why the Leicester Buses multi operator ticket is £5.30! Make it, and the other LB tickets, the same as the cheapest of the operators' offerings and, job done.
A correspondent from Leicester seems to think that the multi-operator fare options are becoming very popular; passengers choosing them for their convenience rather than for a cheaper  price - which they aren't.

If that is true then it may be that "The Market" (three hearty cheer from the C M A) will decide to do the sensible thing and all operators will sell the LB ticket and quietly lose their own.

His Lordship's Loony Lighthouse
So here's the back story. 

Lord Hardulph sold his quarry business to Hansons for a huge wedge and gave one of his worked-out quarries and substantial funding to develop a community project, Peterville Quarry Railway. Included in the deal was Peterville Castle. 

But the Health and Safety Executive were concerned about visitors falling off the tower.
So, under his Lordship's chairmanship, the trustees of the Castle and Railway applied for planning permission to build a glazed cupola on top of the tower. Whilst there were some local objections, the castle was a Victorian folly of no historic or architectural merit and was thus not 'listed".

So Lord Hardulph, with the assistance of the Chairman of the Council (Lord Hardulph) encouraged the chairman of the Planning Committee (ahem, Lord Hardulph!) to approve the work.

So the cupola was built.
From a modelling point of view, the castle was a proprietary product by German manufacturer Noch  ...
... which fbb had already enhanced by paining doorways, adding steps and safety rails and, latterly, lighting.

A trial run suggested that the fbb shaving foam cap plus a hand crafted (???) roof would fit and be viable.
So began the slow modelling process with lots of time watching paint dry. While this was happening, there was opportunity to watch Brits losing at the ATP tennis competition at Lyon. 

A framework was added to the "glass" and the night time effect checked.
Tomorrow, fbb will take his eager readers through to the conclusion of this small but varied project.

It was Mrs fbb whose cynicism provided the idea for the heading above. She opined, "it looks silly; why have a lighthouse when there is no sea?"

Sadly, the ladies just don't understand, do they?

If It's Red It's A London Bus
But is it really a "classic" London Bus. Yet again the fourth estate triumphs in misleading information.
The article goes on to explain that Southern Vectis could not use "spare" buses from nearby because of extra work for GoAhead, having taken over Yellow Buses in Bournemouth and First Bus in Southampton.

So buses from the Metropolis it had to be.
And they were called "classic" elsewhere in the full article.

What Is Your Best Impression?
The Bearded bus Beautifier from the Bush posted this picture on his Twittering site.
I think we were challenged to admire the artistry and, in so doing, identify the location.

Easy peasy, Ray, fbb has been there. It is North Landing, Flamborough in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
fbb does not know who the artist might be, but suspects that there is a bit of computer jiggery-pokery going on. Here it is for real.
Apologies to Mr Stenning if he has spent hours capturing the scene in the finest Windsor and Newton oils, but fbb doubts it. Here, by way of a reminder, is a similar Chesil Beach viewed from Portland.

This Time It's One of Ours!
Back in 2021, Cardiff Bus ran an open top service from the City to Penarth. But they had to borrow a suitable vehicle from elsewhere. Never mind, eh? They disguised its former operator very cleverly.
But for this year ...
... the "lads" at Sloper Road have dug out their tin snips and pots of paint and made one of their own. Or maybe they haven't.

It used to look like this ...
... yet another classic London bus - 'cos it's red of course. Somehow, it looks nicer in blue.
From the above picture it looks as if some of the work was done by Hants and Dorset Trim, now a GoAhead company. The picture is taken at Barton Park Eastleigh, and not Cardiff.

More open toppage tomorrow!

 Next Variety Blog : Sunday 28th May 



We've read a bit of John, a bit of Matthew and today we again go to Luke for an extract from his Part Two work which is Biblically entitled "The Acts Of The Apostles" but is mainly about the work of just two of them. Peter and Paul.

Jesus gave his disciples this order: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift I told you about, the gift my Father promised". 
That would be The Helper!

Jesus said to them, "When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After saying this, he was taken to heaven as they watched him, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
The picture is not quite so weirdly weird as yesterday's. But can we understand what actually happened?

It seems that those watching were seeing a solid and real human Jesus being transformed into a pure spiritual state. Scientifically, no human being is "solid flesh and blood". Using the smallest sub atomic measure we are all a collection of "energies" called superstrings.  - looking something like this:
These energy "strings" are so infinitesimally small  no microscope can ever see them. But they do make sense - to very clever people!

It would be a doddle for God, outside of our space and time and unhampered by earthy laws of physics, to return Jesus to the heavenly realm as pure energy - a "cloud" if you like.

But the disciples had been told to wait for their burst of Helper energy, as promised.



  1. Elsewhere in Go South Coast, today is the start of the summer timetable in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area with new breezes routes:

  2. "None of this really explains why the Leicester Buses multi operator ticket is £5.30!"
    It is perfectly logical that a multi-operator ticket costs more than one that is valid only on the services of just one operator. Quite simple - the customer pays more, and gets more.
    It is also perfectly reasonable for operators to offer multi-journey tickets that are only valid on their own services - many passengers use just one route for the majority of their travels, so that paying an higher price for services that they rarely or never use is simply a waste of money.

  3. Andrew Kleissner27 May 2023 at 18:00

    Here in Cardiff, Adventure Travel use "classic red buses" on school services!

    Anyway, as Any Fule Kno, the classic London bus is the RT.