Tuesday 14 May 2024

Tuesday Variety (Mostly Stagecoach!)

But First, A York P.S.

Above is not quite a 3D view of Queen Street in York, showing the bridge (it creates a shadow), which, as we saw in yesterday's blog, is a bridge no more. It is a very messy building site. But, by way of comparison, below is a 3D simulation (fly by) of the area as proposed.

Expense Of Electrification
Whilst press releases are full of details of the "investment" in 23 electric buses to be based at Rawmarsh bus depot, the full cost is more difficult to uncover.

It is HUGE!

Here is fbb's best attempt at the cost of 23 electric buses:

That is about £588,487.91 per bus, Call it £600,000!

And most of it is being paid by you and me via our taxes. At this rate of changeover to an all electric bus fleet for the UK will bankrupt the government and increase taxes beyond belief.

And we will need about 50 extra power stations if all vehicles go electric and a massive rebuild of the national grid. Add in the cost of replacement batteries and disposal of the old ones and ...


One thing is certain. No commercial bus operator could EVER afford electric buses (or even hydrogen buses) paid for out of fares revenue.

Saving the planet may have to be put on hold or substantially rethought.

Old & New : Contrast & Compare
At the electric bus launch at Wentworth Woodhouse there was an interloper into the world of new and expensive technology.
It was Yorkshire Traction
HE 6762!
One twitterer has taken some comparison pictures of the 90 year old lady set against the electrically charged superstars of 2024.

Seats were good in the old days ...
... And with a less claustrophobic feeling/ Better views from higher up? Those old seat cushions probably had proper springs in them - very comfy!

Steps were a bit of a climb back then ...
... and are much easier now.

The driver's task was very much harder physically in the good old days with no power steering and a crash gear box. To make an emergency stop you might have to stand upright on the pedal!
Note the better forward view today offset by dozens of extra controls and switches to learn; and to go wrong.

You could start the old girl with a handle back in her day or even a push start on a level road. Don't expect to try that with today's sophisticated technology!

Peak Sightseer Returns
Last year, Stagecoach buses ran every 30 mins from Chatsworth House round a distorted figure of 8 route to Bakewell and back.
This year the Bakewell route is shorter, just an out an back via Pilsley with the same loop via Ashford in the Water. 
The route still runs every 30 min.
That is two buses worth of timetable if there are no traffic hold-ups in Bakewell!

New this year is a much longer three buses worth of a tour. This runs from Chatsworth via Baslow to Hathersage ...
... then via Bamford (for Hope Valley trains) and on to Castleton and the Blue John caverns.
The "tour fare" is £9.50 (no £2 validity - no surprise!!) but that does include the positioning journeys from Chesterfield.
Also new this year are positioning journeys from "South Sheffield".
The upper journey runs light from Chesterfield into the Sheffield suburbs (but, oddly, not the city centre), cuts across to the A621 and zips direct to Chatsworth via Baslow. 

The second version runs via the A625 via Hathersage before takin up its purpose in life by becoming one of the buses on the Castleton tour.
fbb is not sure what Hulleys will do.
Their Breezer from last summer ran a very similar toute from Baslow to Castleton. Stagecoach takes in Chatsworth at the southern end and Blue John at the other.

Will Hulleys give up and not operate this year?

Will Stagecoach take enough money to justify five buses, seven days a week, in all weathers and anything up to ten drivers.

That's an awful lot of fares! Especially on those occasional days (?!!) when rain falls in the Peak District.

And will all the buses be in the proper livery this year?

Control Panel Puzzle (continued)
In some way, these ...
... look about the right size to poke through the holes.

But for what purpose?

Saving The Planet (Delayed)
Two news items of interest.
It is not looking good for the hydrogen revolition. Austria says it doesn't make financial sense whilst gere in the UK ...
... National Express cannot get enough hydrogen of the right kind.

You have read it all before IN THIS BLOG!

 Next Bewildering Branding Blog : Weds 15th May 


  1. I hear the Red Route to Bakewell is this year running commercially after last year's success, the Blue route to Castleton is supported with BSIP funding and is a spectacular ride with Surprise View and Winnats pass particularly noteworthy. Hulleys sold their open topper after aborting their service last year.

  2. Nice touch by Stagecoach giving a useful tip about vehicle workings. Otherwise, online journey planners might have you wait an hour for the next journey.

  3. Sorry to see that Stagecoach are using the American Train Station rather than Railway Station or Rail Station on their publicity.

    1. Andrew Kleissner14 May 2024 at 10:12

      I don't like "train station" - yet we're quite happy with "bus [or coach] station". Of course the French have "Gare Routiere" which has logic to it!

  4. FBB fails to do his research in rush to make a snipey point shocker - the operator pays the majority of the cost in any Zebra scheme, HMG picks up 75% of the *difference* in costs.
    There have been two rounds of Zebra funding so far. Will there be a third? Who knows but HMG says no. The cost of electrification is falling all the time so TCO may be commercially viable sooner than you think.