On Trains & Buses

Travel news, views & information from Europe & North America by an independent public transport user

News Snippets

10:20, October 7, 2012

Changed hosting provider and website being made less of a blog in feel. There are more changes to come that will be introduced on an ongoing basis; there’s little need to do everything at once after such a big move. Latest news and observations still will be published in blog format though. Just look under News and Musings to find them.

16:16, October 31, 2010

A few weeks ago, I learned that the A34 was affected by a major traffic incident and it brought back recollections of a two-hour journey home early in September . Having changed my place of work over the summer, I have gained an option that wasn’t available to me before then: going home by train. It might have involved a less direct itinerary and cost more but it was worth that outlay in terms of time, confidence and convenience. There have been too many times when I was left waiting for a (very) late bus out in the cold of a dark November evening so having the rail option is a godsend for any future problems that might arise. After all, we are into wintertime now and November can seem to be a mad month when it comes to traffic problems in East Cheshire. Let’s see how it is this year.

07:04, January 22, 2010

After a look at the National Rail Enquiries website, I have noted the appearance of a departure board form on the main page during the recent arctic spell and it’s still there after the restoration of full service. There is one annoyance that has just come to my attention, though. It’s that you cannot plan day return trips without some adjustments because the default behaviour is that the earliest return date is the day after the day of outward travel even if you specify the return date correctly. This is a situation that does annoy me and I hope that they get to removing that restriction. All in all, the new website feels rough underneath its shiny surface. Did they rush things in place of delivering a more polished item?

19:05, January 12, 2010

If there ever was an operator that seemed to manage with relative anonymity outside of their operating area, it’s Swilly Buses. That leaves me wondering if it is any better around Derry and north Donegal. Maybe I should pay the area a visit to find out. In the meantime, here’s some places to find out more about them (including a timetable) on the web:

Northern Ireland Bus Site Irish Transport Trust

12:41, December 14, 2009

Not wanting to waste a weekend that promised some decent weather had me out on a Sunday trip to Edale. All was going swimmingly until the driver of the Northern Rail service that was to take me the last stretch of the outbound journey had to tell us that there was a delay due to not having a conductor. For safety reasons, one has to be present and I suppose that it helps with revenue protection too. That delay was to be 15 minutes and all passengers that were on board had to disembark until a train conductor arrived. Overheard conversations revealed that there had been a night out and that someone was feeling rough after it. Was that the reason for the delay? That question remains unanswered but there is another: how do railways staff have lives involving going to live gigs at the same time as having a job that involves weekend working? Well, it doesn’t make getting out to see the Happy Mondays and their like any easier.

07:26, November 17, 2009

After last year’s big timetable change, I highlighted an inconsistency whereby northbound Virgin and CrossCountry services ran so close together within the hour that we virtually had an hourly service from Macclesfield on Sundays. Well, that seems to have been sorted with a more sensible half-hourly spacing but southbound services would seem to suffer the same affliction on the same day of the week. After the December timetable changeover, things are set to look better but they lapse again in February. All in all, It makes you wonder if these companies speak to each other to improve customer service. Perhaps, we need to voice our concerns.

08:04, November 1, 2009

It’s been a year since this edifice was begun and occasional contributions have sputtered in here from time to time. Though economic conditions have been challenging, there haven’t been too many setbacks for public transportation yet. However, 2010 could see changes with an expected change in the U.K.’s government and what that might bring. Everywhere you care to look, there are sirens wailing about the need for cuts in public spending but let’s hope that doesn’t have to go too far. Largely, bus and train operators do their job well but that will could be tested in the not too distant future. My only hope is that any rough edges already seen won’t become rougher; it would be a pity to lose the progress that has been made over the last few years. Fighting to keep what’s been gained might become unavoidable but let’s see how it goes.

20:22, October 5, 2009

A quick look at Cheshire East Council’s list of bus service changes for October will confirm that southeast Cheshire’s bus network will have a major reorganisation at the end of the month. Places like Crewe, Sandbach, Nantwich and Congleton are seeing the bulk of the action with interurban changes showing the most of the transformation. Of course, your only hope is that no reduction in service quality will result and that’s how it looks to me with BakerBus and GHA increasing their footprints with no mention of Arriva at all and plenty of references to D&G. It would seem that Cheshire’s formerly main operator is but a minor player now. There is no sign of anything planned for November or December but I hope that Cheshire East’s newly refreshed website would be where we would find out about any changes. After all, trying to find out anything from a traffic commissioner website is a dead loss, even if it is they who process all of the supporting paperwork.

16:25, October 3, 2009

Anyone that has ever watched the UK DSA’s DVD on hazard perception in recent years for car drivers might remember a clip showing a man fixated on catching a bus and crossing the road in front of a vehicle without looking. Yesterday morning I was reminded of it while hurrying to catch a bus. It is all too easy to become totally concerned with the fact that the bus is approaching and you have a way to go to reach the stop; that’s never a good thing when there are road crossings to be negotiated. The cure for all this is to leave enough time or you could end up seeing a white van or even the bus that you intend to catch heading in your general direction, never a good thing and that’s how folk get knocked over so you can never be too careful.

08:45, August 4, 2009

My weekend Welsh wander afforded me the opportunity to try out something. Though Arriva’s bus operations in Wales and in the north west of England have been separated for better working with the Welsh Assembly Government, the £15 weekly ticket still applies across both areas. The result was that I gave it a go in order to get between Machynlleth and Minfford for my walking around Cadair Idris and it was accepted without a bother even though it was bought in Cheshire (rather than causing trouble on a bus, I would have paid if it wasn’t and maybe gone and popped a question of Arriva’s customer services afterwards). As far as I am aware, the same does not apply to day tickets so an all areas ticket is needed, costing more than the £4 tariff of the north west day ticket. With the weekly ticket, the added value for money is appreciated.

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