It looks as if useful services like the Poppit Rocket (405, Cardigan to Newport), Puffin Shuttle (400, St. Davids to Marloes) and Strumble Shuttle (404, Fishguard to St Davids) will not run for the 2023 summer season. These have been operated by Richards Brothers who are cancelling them on 2023-04-05. The first two of these are covered by the Fflecsi scheme but having a scheduled service that does need prebooking is better, even if an app is provided.
From 2023-04-01, changes are coming to routes 316, 318 and 319 in Cheshire East, operated by D&G Bus. The main change is a reduction in the days of service; all are down from their five-day service offering. Services 316 and 319 run on Monday and Thursday only, while route 318 operates on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday aside from weekday school journeys. Residents of Sandbach, Alsager, Kidsgrove, Congleton, Holmes Chapel, Rode Heath, Cranage, Scholar Green and Goostrey are going to have to become accustomed to some cuts in bus services in April.
Using developer funds, Cheshire East Council are funding a new bus service that serves Wilmslow, Handforth and Handforth Dean. This is operated by D&G Bus from Monday to Saturday for an initial period of twelve months. It runs hourly between 09:00 and 18:00 and is numbered 312. While one might reckon that there are other ways of spending the cash, its origin constrains its usage, so the longevity of this new service will be worth watching.
It has featured in a number of different news outlets by now, including the BBC and the Macclesfield Express, that Arriva is planning to close its depots in Macclesfield and Winsford on 2023-04-22. D&G Bus appears positioned to take over at least some of the routes. Given Arriva’s focus on revenue and the challenges of operating in largely rural and affluent area, the decision hardly comes as a surprise. It will be the end of an era and Cheshire East Council is cash-strapped at the moment, something that limits what it can do to remediate likely reductions in services.
For those wanting to get to Canadian Provincial and National Parks without using a car, Parkbus offers some useful travel options from Toronto and Vancouver. These do vary by season, but the destinations include Golden Ears, Garibaldi Provincial Park and Joffre Lakes Provincial Park in British Columbia while those in Ontario include Algonquin Provincial Park, Bruce Peninsula National Park, Georgian Bay Islands National Park, Elora Gorge, Rockwood Conservation Area, Rattlesnake Point and Crawford Lake.
Moraine Lake and Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada have been suffering under their popularity. Now, Parks Canada has banned the use of private vehicles on the approach to Moraine Lake year round. That may sound heavy, but oversubscribed car parks meant that the excursion was not such a viable one anyway. It means that human-powered travel as well as usage of shuttle, chartered or scheduled bus services are favoured. The move has attracted criticism, so we will need to see if that brings change.
Here are the details of the £2 bus ticket scheme in England that runs until the end of March. Operator participation is voluntary and not all routes are included so the list of both needs checking. Timing and extent do look like a half-effort, yet extending even what is available would be a boon to many.
There is a new pre-bookable seasonal bus service called Snowstang running between Denver and Breckenridge at the weekends during the skiing season in Colorado. Other locations are served too, all in an effort to cut down on traffic congestion. If something could be done during the summer season, that would be a bonus for those of us who do not drive a car.
Cheshire East Council is consulting on its budget and is in a tight spot. High inflation and the limitations of council tax increases mean that it needs to find savings unless government helps, and that possibility seems remote. Financial support for bus services is again under threat. Only time will see what that means when the network is a shadow of its former self anyway.
Details of Christmas and New Year GoBus services have been published. Apart from Christmas Day when no services operate, there are changes to services on some other days. There are early finishes on Christmas Eve and a later start on St. Stephen’s Day, for example.