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  • 14:28 on December 23, 2017 Permalink  

    There has been a consultation regarding bus service reductions so we knew that Sunday journeys on service 130 between Macclesfield and Manchester are to cease. From the last Sunday in January, another set of changes is coming our way. These affect Monday to Saturday services with service frequency now set to be near hourly across the whole day rather than half-hourly for much of it. This ends any semblance of half-hourly service operation after nearly 15 years. Still, the spread of journeys from early morning to mid-evening is maintained and that is a bonus. In the end, extra journeys only were seen between Macclesfield and Wilmslow with these being affected by late running of the Manchester to Macclesfield journeys. If the route was split at Wilmslow, the different route lengths may not have been so incompatible and that likelihood of two buses running together may have killed the improved frequency. Local authorities really need to do something about bus prioritisation if we are to address the precarious financial state of bus service provision in these testing times.

     
  • 14:02 on December 23, 2017 Permalink  

    Like other places, the Republic of Ireland sees its share of service changes over the festive season and Transport for Ireland posted its own summary. It is not alone for Bus Éireann, Dublin Bus and Irish Rail all have done the same. Christmas Day is about the only day when no services run with both St. Stephen’s Day (Boxing Day in Britain) and New Years Day seeing a level of service that should be available in its near neighbour on those days as a matter of course. Of course, British traditions are slow to sunder…

     
  • 13:54 on December 23, 2017 Permalink  

    It seems that Welsh independent bus operators are having a rough time of it over the past few years. GHA collapsed last year and D. Jones & Son suffered the same fate last Sunday. Also, deficiencies in maintenance found after a coach crash in France mean that Express Motors is set to lose its licence at the end of the year. If this continues, bus industry nationalisation could move a step closer in Wales; ironically, it is in Scotland where the idea of nationalising bus services has been mooted by Scottish Labour for their part of Britain. That follows all the running being made by the idea of nationalising Britain’s railways in recent times.

     
  • 09:11 on December 23, 2017 Permalink  

    Earlier in the year, I wrote a post regarding the creation of Borders Buses to replace First’s operations in the Scottish Borders and those of Perryman’s Buses. The parent company, West Coast Motors, is also taking over services operator by another company, BARC Coach Hire of Peebles, to add to the strength of its holding that straddles the Scotland-England border. This means that Borders Buses will operate the following services from 2018-01-03:

    54 Galashiels – Balmoral Road

    74 Galashiels – Netherdale

    90 Peebles – Eastgate

    91 Peebles – Biggar

    93 Peebles – West Linton

    P32 Peebles High School – Traquair

    Of these, only service 91 has seen my patronage and that was a result of my walking the John Buchan Way from Peebles to Broughton on Easter Monday of this year. Timetables will not change and their greater availability on an operator’s website has to be a good thing.

     
  • 08:57 on December 23, 2017 Permalink  

    Yesterday, the RMT and TSSA unions were to have a 24 hour stoppage that would have affected Virgin train services on the West Coast Mainline. In the event, that industrial action was cancelled at near enough the last minute. This dispute is about pay and there may be stoppages during January yet. From the information that Virgin has posted so far, there is little sign of that now so we will have to see what happens in 2018.

     
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