On Trains & Buses

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News Snippets

14:46, January 15, 2018

Lancashire has been having a consultation on cutting some of the £8m per annum that they spend on funding bus services. It ends this Friday (2014-01-17) after being open for more than a month. The survey is online so now’s anyone’s chance to ensure that nothing really important is lost with evening and Sunday services under threat.

13:17, December 23, 2017

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.

13:16, December 23, 2017

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

90A, 90B Peebles Town Service

91 Peebles – Biggar

93 Peebles – West Linton

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.

13:15, December 23, 2017

It seems that Welsh independent bus operators have been having a rough time 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.

13:12, December 23, 2017

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.

13:18, December 17, 2017

CrossCountry train services have been affected by industrial action over the last few weeks with a number of 24 hour strikes. More are to come in December with 23rd, 24th, 27th and 31st as planned dates. The cause of the dispute centres around rostering and Sunday working rather than forthcoming changes in duties like those affecting Northern or Merseyrail. The industrial relations disputes seem to be spreading with Arriva Northwest’s bus operations suffering a continued impact because of a dispute over pay.

13:23, October 21, 2017

While I associate autumn bus service changes with September, there are some companies that do them in October and Stagecoach Manchester is among them. Mostly, the alterations are about maintaining punctuality but there are some due to low patronage and loss of Transport fro Greater Manchester (TfGM) contracts too. Here then is a list of what is changing:

Service 7: Stockport – Ashton

To improve punctuality, Monday to Friday journeys will be re-timed.

Service 15: Flixton – Manchester

To improve punctuality, Saturday morning journeys re-timed.

Service 23, 23A: Stockport – intu Trafford Centre

Monday to Saturday daytime services re-timed to run every 30 minutes. Together, they provide a bus every 15 minutes between Stockport and intu Trafford Centre.

Service 24: Stockport – MediaCityUK

Unfortunately owing to low patronage, it has become necessary to withdraw service 24.

Service 33: Wigan – Manchester

Monday to Saturday evening journeys will operated by Diamond. Sunday timetable revised.

Service 34: Bryn – Manchester

Buses will no longer serve the bus stop on the A6 at Westwood.

Service 43: Manchester – Manchester Airport

To improve punctuality, Monday to Saturday journeys will be re-timed.

Service 50: MediaCityUK – East Didsbury

By customer request, an additional late journey will be introduced Monday to Saturday at 00:10 from MediaCityUK.

Service 53: Cheetham Hill – Salford Shopping Centre

Service will be operated by First Manchester.

Service 56A, 57A: Bank House – Manchester

This service has been discontinued by TfGM.

Service 129: Middleton – Hollin circular

Daily evening and Sunday daytime service introduced following the award of a TfGM contract partially replacing service 156.

Service 156: Manchester – Middleton

Service curtailed to run between Manchester and Middleton only. Travel between Middleton and Hollin will be provided by new service 129.

Service 203: Stockport – Manchester

To improve punctuality, Saturday and Sunday morning journeys re-timed.

Service 219: Ashton – Manchester

To improve punctuality, Monday to Friday peak time journeys re-timed.

Service 250: intu Trafford Centre – Manchester

Early morning journeys before 06:00 revised to provide additional journeys. Monday to Friday, buses will leave Manchester Piccadilly at 05:09, 05:34 and  05:59. From intu Trafford Centre buses will leave at 05:47, 06:12 and 06:37.

Service 255: Partington – Manchester

To improve punctuality, Monday to Saturday early morning journeys will be re-timed.

Service 256: Flixton – Manchester

To improve punctuality, Saturday morning and Sunday daytime journeys will be re-timed.

13:19, October 21, 2017

One of the other companies changing bus times in October is High Peak and only a few of their services are affected. The following are the service changes:

Service 61: Buxton – Glossop

The peak timetable is revised to improve reliability and the 19:20 weekday journey from Glossop to Hayfield is withdrawn following changes to the 202/341 service.

Service 65: Buxton – Sheffield

This service will wholly be operated by High Peak Buses and the timetable will be revised to improve reliability. Also, the service will be branded as Peaks and Dales and two refurbished buses will operate on the route with modern interiors and free Wi-Fi.

Service 193: Buxton – Wardlow Mires

This service will be withdrawn following changes to our 65 service. Journeys on service 193 will be included as part of service 65 and numbered 65A.

Service 202/341: Glossop – Hyde

Following Derbyshire County Council’s re-tendering of the service, route 202 is being dropped with service 341 being extended to compensate. High Peak no longer will be the operator with Stotts taking over from them.

Marple Shopper Services 303, 304, 305

These services will be withdrawn following a review by TfGM.

Service 394: Glossop – Stepping Hill

This service will be revised to improve reliability at peak times.

Service P1: Poynton – Hazel Grove

This service will be revised to improve reliability at peak times.

13:25, October 20, 2017

Yesterday, Arriva Northwest operated next to none of its buses because of a 24 hour strike by drivers and engineers and others are planned for 2017-11-06, 2017-11-08, 2017-11-13, 2017-11-20 and 2017-11-27. Both of these are on weekdays so the stoppages will affect commuters so other alternative travel or work arrangements will be needed while others will need to look at their plans too. In all my time living in Cheshire, this is the first time that I recall this happening and it is about pay rises as these things so often are.

13:26, September 23, 2017

Liverpool Lime Street is being upgraded this autumn. More details on Network Rail website.

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