On Trains & Buses

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

News Snippets

15:14, March 25, 2009

I was in Éire and noticed that a new delivery of buses had been put to work by Dublin Bus on their airport 747 and 748 services. Some of the older ALX400’s from 2000 are still used but new Wright doubledeckers are very visible. Both sets have Volvo engines and chassis so that hasn’t changed and the seats in the new ones look uncannily like those in their older counterparts. Apart from the differences in bodywork, the difference in smoothness is noticeable even if the paintwork is similar on both. Given the economic deterioration and its effects on the Irish public finances, I suppose that new bus expenditure will take lower priority for Dublin Bus for the foreseeable future. That has happened before following the economic turmoil of the mid-eighties but the end of that decade saw plans for replacing loud-engined Bombardiers with something more conventional with Leyland Olympians taking over the course of the next decade. If the Irish economy emerges from its current tight spot and it looks a hard slog, investment in new vehicles may restart again but there still could be a noticeable wait before that will be seen.

14:58, March 5, 2009

For a number of years, the 19/19X Macclesfield-Whirley-Prestbury service has been something of an ugly duckling with elderly and not so elderly Mercedes midi-buses fulfilling passenger carrying duties. However, that may change with the awarding of the hourly Monday-Saturday service to Bowers. Apparently, Bowers may be getting the council-owned Macclesfield Rider branded short wheelbase Dennis Darts displaced by the changeover of the 392/3 Macclesfield-Stockport service from Arriva to Bakerbus and these would be used for the Prestbury service. In the intervening period, they have been used on the Connect 88 Knutsford-Wilmslow-Altrincham service along with the larger Optares that are its mainstay. They may be a number of years old now but their low floors would be a boon for those whose mobility isn’t what it might be. Of course, the state of repair of the buses will having a bearing on how people perceive the service. However, it has to look as if it has lost of its unloved appearance and that can only be a good thing.

20:12, March 4, 2009

In recent times, I am seeing a lot of traffic here coming from searches for Dublin Bus timetables. I find that a little surprising given that the said bus company has a new website and, of course, that relates the required information. However, the transition may have thrown search engines and there may be many who are concerned about the cutbacks that are planned too. From my short encounter with it, the new web presence seemed to deliver what I wanted from it so I suspect that it do the needful for all of us.

20:38, February 27, 2009

It seems that the major part of the Churchill Way traffic lights renewal is out of the way with the new ones at the Chestergate and King Edward Street junctions operational. I have yet to confirm the same for the bus stops that were put out of action by the venture but I can vouch for the 27 Macclesfield-Knutsford plying its usual route. I have yet to confirm the same for the 130 but I did see local evening service 6 going down Hibel Road rather than going by Churchill Way. There are still some roadworks and temporary traffic lights still feature further along the road, nearer the post office on Castle Street., but the extent isn’t what it was. I hope that major road works depart the town of Macc for while to allow us respite but I cannot say that I am convinced of that.

Update 2009-03-02:  I can confirm that their attention is now centred on the junction between Churchill Way and Castle Street.  For me, the jury is still out regarding a return to normal routes for Arriva services using the said road.

15:43, February 22, 2009

I have seen a recent piece in the Macclesfield Express about there being some upset regarding changes to bus services between Poynton, Stockport and Manchester. Bakerbus has scored again with another contract with a new 391 service between Poynton and Stockport that is due to commence after the thirtieth of March, replacing service 191 run by Stagecoach. That offered peak time extensions to Manchester so it might seem that Poynton is losing out, hence the noise that’s being made with local politicians being quoted in the article in question (make of that what you will). However, Poynton does have hourly train services to Manchester six days a week so I suspect that the powers that be thought the extension to be non-essential. I suppose that we cannot fight for every service to be retained so long as we have enough of them to be useful. Still, we need to keep up our eyes and ears to ensure that nothing on which we depend gets lost, particularly in times like this when money is tight.

11:34, February 20, 2009

Those who have been here before will notice a few changes. With spring on the way and the chance to play with a new WordPress, I decided that I’d refresh the site’s appearance and brighten it up a little bit. The weather’s very grey where I am writing this in the U.K. and a spot of sun wouldn’t go amiss so I thought that sprucing up the appearance of this thing might offer something to visitors in the meantime.

19:22, February 17, 2009

Macclesfield has been beset by another set of road work. This time, the centre of attention would appear to be Fallibroome Road (single line traffic under temporary traffic light control) and the roundabout at the junction between it, Victoria Road and Priory Lane. My bus to and from work goes by here so let’s hope that the traffic doesn’t back up too badly. There are excavations ongoing and new pipes in evidence so my guess is that the water company has struck again.

12:12, February 16, 2009

I was over in Ireland last weekend and managed to fit in a visit to Wicklow’s hill country. One occurrence that sticks in my memory is an all too rare good tale. I was awaiting the 145 from Bray to Kilmacanogue at Bray train station and a helpful bus driver ask me where I was going and gave a lift up as far as the main street from where I could have a better chance of catching the bus that I was after. This was done free gratis and it is a favour that’s all too rare in the U.K. and it’s nice that it still remains in the country of my birth and upbringing. Of course, the helpful driver worked for the same company as that which ran ran the bus that I wanted, Dublin Bus, but a good welcoming impression was given nonetheless. A bit more of that in these depressed times and returning the favour with more paid patronage would be in order.

10:19, February 1, 2009

Arriva has come up with a new website for www.arrivabus.co.uk. Everything that used to be there remains, albeit that locations have been changed about. I was looking for timetables and they were duly delivered. However, some for Arriva Midlands were incomplete with blank pages in PDF files but that can be remedied by a trip to Traveline. Even so, it’s something that should be fixed sooner rather than later.

15:00, January 15, 2009

It would appear the 130 Macclesfield-Manchester service has been diverted from its usual route via Churchill Way in Macclesfield and now seems to go around by Bond Street and Catherine Street instead. That could come as a shock if you decide to await the thing on Churchill Way or King Edward Street so I thought that I’d better put the word out. As to whether the bus stops to pick up or set down passengers at any point along the diversion, that is something that I cannot say.