Thursday 16 May 2024

Happily Working in High Wycombe (2)

Maybe Not So Happy!

Yesterday's "breaking news" about Arriva's withdrawal from Aylesbury and High Wycombe (thanks Mr French for the "heads up") prompted fbb to turn to William Shakespeare, whose insight is to be treasured.

In one of his lesser known plays, "The Two Noble Busmen", our Bill pens these moving words, part of a powerful and dramatic soliloquy from Angus Macbeth, a public transport driver who will lose his job as a result of an unfolding tragedy.

Readers may recognise that a re-write of these words appeared in a better known work which tradition requires fbb to call "the Scottish play".

But here are the original, and surprusingly prophetic words.

The Arriva Attitude Is NOW

Arriva has announced "timetable changes" from this coming weekend; and we all know that Arriva's "timetable changes" means reductions, and, mostly, this is what is happening.

2 - reduced to every 20 min.

4 - withdrawn completely This is a Buckingshshire tender and Arriva appear to have "handed in the keys".

5 - withdrawn completely Replaced by a diversion of route 7


7 - diverted to cover MOST of 5 

10 - reduced to every 30 min.


12 - Retuced to every 20 min.

X7/X8 - REDUCED Service X8 journeys withdrawn completely, leaving the 30 min X7 frequency unchanged


These changes happen on Sunday 19th May, but there is probably no point in ccomplaining, because the bigger news is that ...


fbb's industry contacts are suggesting that this decision has been "on the cards" for at least 12 months. Now if that really is the case, why did the company introduce a renumbered network back in January this year?
The changes were mainly cosmetic, but were accompanies by a timetable book. Surely less than six months is hardly enough time for the new publicity to have a positive effect.

But, as a small indication if Arriva's incompetence, their on-line notice for the capitulation withdraws the X9/90 TWICE!

It would appear that this shock announcement from Arriva was an expected shock announcement. Because one day after the "bombshell", this was Carousel's web site headline.
You do wonder what the "response" would be?

Of course you KNOW, don't you?
Clearly Carousel have been preparing for this "shock announcement" for some time.
Note that Carousel will taken over the tendered route 4 (withdrawn by Arriva) frpm 20th May ...
... and Oxford Bus will introduce its own 280 irrespective of when Arriva cancels its X7.
The 280 became the X7 way back in January 2024!
Strprise, sirprise; no surprise! Oxford Bus were ready with graphics and press release which also appeared yesterday!

Oxford Bus Company’s parent company, Go-Ahead, is no stranger to saving the day when services have been withdrawn by fellow operators. In 2022, another of its companies, Morebus, worked tirelessly to ensure people in Bournemouth and Poole continued to enjoy comprehensive bus services - following the collapse of Bournemouth Transport Ltd (Yellow Buses). And in February 2023, the team at another Go-Ahead company, Bluestar, stepped in to replace the First Bus network in Southampton, when that operator chose to withdraw from the city.

Just in case you were thinking ...

fbb had no idea that this would be happening when he planned blogs on the Carousel operation.

For continuity purposes, the planned blogs will contine tomorrow and Saturday.

An Unusual Development
This Control Panel project is looking a bit weird!
But here's a clue ...

They're Called Floating Bus Stops ...
... but they don't float!
Apparently, pedestrians are not keen on being run over by high speed cyclists. The alternative is to put the cycle lane on the off side of the bus! Or  break the cycle lane at bus stops.  Or not have cycle lanes on bus routes (or vice versa).

This is a typical case of conflict of interests!

 Next Carousel blog : Friday 17th May 


  1. Andrew Kleissner16 May 2024 at 06:31

    You think that "floating" bus stop is bad? Just look at this one in Cardiff:

  2. The bus stop pictured looks reasonable - the terrible ones are where the cycle lane is between the bus stop and bus!

    1. Andrew Kleissner16 May 2024 at 09:39

      As in my link above.

  3. The High Wycombe 4 is a contracted service that was always going to change as part of a revamp and consolidation of Park and Ride services. This was awarded to Carousel prior to any announcement of the depot's closure.