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Old 25th May 2016, 13:35   #31
overthewater
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OK, we all thought it was bad, but its now panic stations. I never once believe it would be THIS BAD There now cuts to Stirling routes aswell, this is such a shame.

FULL LIST HERE: https://www.firstgroup.com/uploads/n...ugust%2016.pdf


https://www.firstgroup.com/south-eas...-east-scotland
Quote:
It is with regret that we announce our proposals to cease bus operations in East Lothian from 14 August 2016 and close our depots in North Berwick and Musselburgh.

First Scotland East's operations in these areas have not been viable for a number of years, despite working hard to turn the business around and attract sufficient customers in what has become an increasingly competitive market.

However, we had also been compelled to maintain the substantial part of our network through undertakings agreed some 14 years ago following an investigation by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

First Scotland East was recently released from these undertakings by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and, in order to put the business on a sound footing for the future, we have now decided, following a review, to propose this action and allow us to focus resources in areas where customer demand and satisfaction is growing.

Paul McGowan, Managing Director of First Scotland East, said: “I’m disappointed that we’re proposing to withdraw from Musselburgh and North Berwick. We will today engage with the local authority on the future of bus services. However, given there are other bus operators that operate in and around the area, I’m confident if we decide to go ahead with these proposals the majority of our customers won’t be left without a service.”

We can also confirm that we have started the collective consultation process with Trade Unions on the proposed closure of Musselburgh and North Berwick bus depots with redundancies expected among the workforce based across both locations and in supporting roles, if the proposal is implemented. A total of 88 positions are now classed as ‘at risk’.

Paul McGowan said: “I am sorry that we are having to discuss the proposal to discontinue services and consider the possibility of redundancies.

“I must stress our proposals do not, in any way, reflect the commitment and quality of our employees in the area. I cannot speak highly enough of their professionalism and dedication. We will be doing everything we can to assist those affected.”

He added: “Unfortunately, we’ve incurred losses in East Lothian for years. Should the proposal be implemented this will allow us to concentrate our investment in West Lothian, the Borders and the Central Belt, improving our services for customers and growing our operations in those areas, helping protect jobs in the long term.”

Prior to this announcement, First Scotland East began its official consultation process with affected colleagues. This will include offering opportunities in other areas. We have also provided notice to the Traffic Commissioner and the Local Authority of our intention to cease running affected commercial services after the required statutory period of 70 days and affected tendered services after 90 days.

The East Lothian operations affected account for around a fifth of the First Scotland East operation.

Details of services affected by these proposals are shown in the attached document.

######################################################################

Quote:
Originally Posted by d1672 View Post
The Falkirk Zonal ticket included Alloa, however First no longer operate routes from Falkirk to Alloa, therefore by default, when they remove Kincardine and Alloa from the zone you are left with just the Falkirk ticket, therefore not really a new zone.

Thomas
Your clearly not looking at what has changed: Firstly, the old ticket is called zone A,(which you can still buy) the one that still covers Falkirk Town ONLY and Alloa. A service still covers that route H1/H2.

Current zones
https://www.firstgroup.com/uploads/m..._Zones_Map.pdf

NEW addtional Falkirk ticket https://www.firstgroup.com/uploads/n...etwork_Map.pdf

NOTE
* Maddistion, its in Zone C
* Avonbridge its in zone C
* Denny its in zone C
* Slamannan its in zone C
* Banknock its in ZONE D

Your also seem to ignored the price:

NEW Falkirk ticket costs: £15 a week, while the original zones cost: £22.30 - 1 zone and £28.60 - 2 zones That big saving. Ie people within Falkirk are saving £7.30, while people in Denny etc are saving £13.60 a week. If the new tickets are successful further changes will happen, including Stirling, clackmanmanshire etc

Last edited by overthewater; 25th May 2016 at 14:08. Reason: Double post prevention system
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Old 25th May 2016, 17:38   #32
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Originally Posted by overthewater View Post
OK, we all thought it was bad, but its now panic stations. I never once believe it would be THIS BAD There now cuts to Stirling routes aswell, this is such a shame.
Really? Surely the lifting of the covenants/undertakings was to allow them to these sorts of changes? It's the sort of rebasing and rationalising we've seen elsewhere. If anything, it could've been a lot worse and there may be some instances where local authority funding may come into play so this may be worst case.
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Old 25th May 2016, 17:49   #33
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Originally Posted by TheGrandWazoo View Post
Really? Surely the lifting of the covenants/undertakings was to allow them to these sorts of changes? It's the sort of rebasing and rationalising we've seen elsewhere. If anything, it could've been a lot worse and there may be some instances where local authority funding may come into play so this may be worst case.
No one expected this level of cuts coming down the line, we all thought East lothian and that's it. But now its Border, Stirlingshire, and even two routes in Falkirk all getting chopped (Stirling was cut back a couple of years ago!). IF first loses the school contracts in Falkirk that well over 125 buses being lost. Would Somerset like some newer stock

I know it was bad (I never expect this level of cuts), yet alot of people just seem to think I was talking actually rubbish. The Big question has to be, how long could First have actually managed to keep on operating if It had retained Scotrail? I can't see how anyone would have been able to justify wasting money on those kinds of loses.

This must prove once and for all the company was in dire need, and it clearly was breaking under huge pressures. You can't turn a blind eye to that, it will NEVER end will.

Thankful Scottish councils aren't as stupid as the one further south, and have managed to keep hold most of the services.
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Old 25th May 2016, 18:07   #34
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Originally Posted by overthewater View Post
No one expected this level of cuts coming down the line, we all thought East lothian and that's it. But now its Border, Stirlingshire, and even two routes in Falkirk all getting chopped (Stirling was cut back a couple of years ago!). IF first loses the school contracts in Falkirk that well over 125 buses being lost. Would Somerset like some newer stock

I know it was bad (I never expect this level of cuts), yet alot of people just seem to think I was talking actually rubbish. The Big question has to be, how long could First have actually managed to keep on operating if It had retained Scotrail? I can't see how anyone would have been able to justify wasting money on those kinds of loses.

This must prove once and for all the company was in dire need, and it clearly was breaking under huge pressures. You can't turn a blind eye to that, it will NEVER end will.

Thankful Scottish councils aren't as stupid as the one further south, and have managed to keep hold most of the services.
Can you enlighten us as to who these stupid councils in the south are?
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Old 25th May 2016, 18:16   #35
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Can you enlighten us as to who these stupid councils in the south are?
Sadly, take a pick.

North Yorkshire - no supported services evening or Sunday and most daytime ones either chopped back or now operated by volunteer or inhouse minibuses

Shropshire - severely cut with Shrewsbury (a town of 50k people) not having a Sunday service

Cumbria, Somerset, Lancashire.... not an exhaustive list

Unfortunately, it's not a case of stupidity but a case of priorities. Because of funding formulas, cost of services etc, rural counties seem to have a harder time of things in sustaining services in these times of austerity. That said, there are councils such as Darlington and Hartlepool that no longer support any bus services and remember, bus services are not a statutory service that by law a local authority must provide.
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Old 25th May 2016, 21:32   #36
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Originally Posted by TheGrandWazoo View Post
Sadly, take a pick.

North Yorkshire - no supported services evening or Sunday and most daytime ones either chopped back or now operated by volunteer or inhouse minibuses

Shropshire - severely cut with Shrewsbury (a town of 50k people) not having a Sunday service

Cumbria, Somerset, Lancashire.... not an exhaustive list

Unfortunately, it's not a case of stupidity but a case of priorities. Because of funding formulas, cost of services etc, rural counties seem to have a harder time of things in sustaining services in these times of austerity. That said, there are councils such as Darlington and Hartlepool that no longer support any bus services and remember, bus services are not a statutory service that by law a local authority must provide.
Indeed. Edinburgh Council have just axed funding for two supported services, Lothian's 60 and Horsburgh's 64, as the passenger levels for them were nowhere near the numbers required to justify continuing financial support. Both of these services finish at the start of June. And Scottish Borders are about to take the axe to their supported bus services budget, with a programme of £400k of cuts over a period of two years.

Councils are not stupid, they have to prioritise their spending in these times of austerity and if it's a case of providing meals on wheels for OAPs versus supporting a bus that has more seats than there are passengers, the meals on wheels will win each time.

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Old 25th May 2016, 22:01   #37
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Your clearly not looking at what has changed: Firstly, the old ticket is called zone A,(which you can still buy) the one that still covers Falkirk Town ONLY and Alloa. A service still covers that route H1/H2.

Current zones
https://www.firstgroup.com/uploads/m..._Zones_Map.pdf

NEW addtional Falkirk ticket https://www.firstgroup.com/uploads/n...etwork_Map.pdf

NOTE
* Maddistion, its in Zone C
* Avonbridge its in zone C
* Denny its in zone C
* Slamannan its in zone C
* Banknock its in ZONE D

Your also seem to ignored the price:

NEW Falkirk ticket costs: £15 a week, while the original zones cost: £22.30 - 1 zone and £28.60 - 2 zones That big saving. Ie people within Falkirk are saving £7.30, while people in Denny etc are saving £13.60 a week. If the new tickets are successful further changes will happen, including Stirling, clackmanmanshire etc[/QUOTE]

Hi Overthewater,

I am sorry, I have got totally confused by all of this. You are correct in what you say, and I am wrong.

Thomas
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Old 25th May 2016, 22:06   #38
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Originally Posted by d1672 View Post
Hi Overthewater,

I am sorry, I have got totally confused by all of this. You are correct in what you say, and I am wrong.

Thomas
At least you acknowledge this If enthusiast are getting confused about this, I dread to think of the passengers.
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Old 26th May 2016, 12:04   #39
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The list of service cuts looks bad, but there are a lot of 1 bus tenders in amongst the more surprising withdrawals. Something drastic was always going to happen given the losses, but a slimmed down network and more realistic fares might just turn things around. Fiona Kerr, the Glasgow MD, is now in charge of Scotland as a whole. She has a financial rather than operational background and seems willing to take hard decisions (FiG has pulled out of Linwood/withdrawn the X5 under her watch).

Has anyone worked out the overall PVR reduction? Are FSE in danger of having too many depots for the reduced fleet? Bannockburn will see a fairly big drop in PVR (and it looks like an old depot on a cramped site), so could the remaining Stirling area services be worked from Larbert, or would the extra mileage outweigh any savings? Overthewater is always talking about the school tenders – if the various service tenders being axed are no longer worth running, will FSE be wanting to commit to poorly paying school contracts with age restrictions on the vehicles?

The railways have hit FSE hard. Not just the new Borders line, but Airdrie-Bathgate and the Alloa line. The Glasgow-Edinburgh via Shotts line will be electrified with new trains in a year or two – this will hit some of the West Lothian services, so FSE isn’t out of the woods yet. As for the Borders, it’s hard to see a long term future when there is only one really profitable route (X62). Would West Coast Motors be interested in buying, or would they seek to undermine the business through a competitive assault?
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Old 26th May 2016, 12:17   #40
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Shows how badly First have managed some decent bus territory in Midlothian and East Lothian (one of the better bits of the SBG). They should have been able to carve out a profitable niche on the trunk routes from Penicuik/ Dalkeith/ Mussleburgh into Edinburgh (given parking problems in the capital, relative lack of suburban railway stations until recently etc).

They seemed to have struck a reasonable balance with LRT/ Lothian in terms of “green buses” running to Lochend/ Leith/ Wester Hailes/ Clermiston etc and “red buses” running to Wallyford/ Gorebridge etc. Peace had broken out before (with Lothian pulling back from South Queensferry/ Livingston etc), so there was no need for First to risk everything with their predatory “Overground”, flooding the streets with Darts and pound fares. That worked well…

As I’ve said before, contrast the way that Stagecoach have successfully increased commuter services from Fife/ Ayrshire into Edinburgh/ Glasgow (despite the growth of rail services on those corridors) with the way that First have failed with services from the old Eastern Scottish area into Edinburgh.

Now we see much of the old Lowland Scottish operation under threat, given the fact that the long delayed railway has finally opened. Not looking good.

What’s the realistic level of operation from the services that First are leaving behind though? Is it enough to warrant Stagecoach/ McGills etc setting up an East Lothian operation? I’m not so sure.

Lothian could probably just run an extra Haddington service per hour (on the 104) and extend the 15/X15 to North Berwick… and then what’s left? Is Dunbar a big enough market off-peak to warrant another operator risking a toehold in the East Lothian market?

Maybe West Coast Motors will carve out a niche (both in East Lothian and the Borders, we’ll see a glut of Perryman branded Solos, we’ll see a balkanisation of services (where once SMT dominated). But I don’t think it’s juicy enough for someone like Stagecoach/ McGills to get involved.

Maybe First could have sold the operation when Dalkeith was still in operation (though I don’t know if the ScotRail agreement forbade them?), but East Lothian looks too small/ unprofitable/ operationally separate for anyone else to get involved.
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Old 26th May 2016, 14:19   #41
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Originally Posted by smtglasgow View Post
Fiona Kerr, the Glasgow MD, is now in charge of Scotland as a whole. She has a financial rather than operational background and seems willing to take hard decisions (FiG has pulled out of Linwood/withdrawn the X5 under her watch).
The still a big question to be asked about the X3, and how long that will last.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smtglasgow View Post
Has anyone worked out the overall PVR reduction? Are FSE in danger of having too many depots for the reduced fleet? Bannockburn will see a fairly big drop in PVR (and it looks like an old depot on a cramped site), so could the remaining Stirling area services be worked from Larbert, or would the extra mileage outweigh any savings?
I doubt Bannockburn depot is in danger of closing but the Balfron could if it doesn't watch it self.

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Originally Posted by smtglasgow View Post
Overthewater is always talking about the school tenders – if the various service tenders being axed are no longer worth running, will FSE be wanting to commit to poorly paying school contracts with age restrictions on the vehicles?
All the school tenders I mention are within the Falkirk area, and are in the process of being tendered right now. If I remember correctly its only about 4 buses worth of worked interlinked with council contracts. No8, 13/A and F25.

Most of the school work is not interlinked. There does seem to be a fair bit of interest in these contracts


Quote:
Originally Posted by tbtc View Post
They seemed to have struck a reasonable balance with LRT/ Lothian in terms of “green buses” running to Lochend/ Leith/ Wester Hailes/ Clermiston etc and “red buses” running to Wallyford/ Gorebridge etc. Peace had broken out before (with Lothian pulling back from South Queensferry/ Livingston etc), so there was no need for First to risk everything with their predatory “Overground”, flooding the streets with Darts and pound fares. That worked well…
First got very very greedy, and 'm surprised it was even allowed since there undertaking where in place. You have to wonder maybe there did that so it could generate extra money to pay for Controls place it the company.

Blockhead really is an ejet with no business since. He should have sold something off to off set the undertakings

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Originally Posted by tbtc View Post
What’s the realistic level of operation from the services that First are leaving behind though? Is it enough to warrant Stagecoach/ McGills etc setting up an East Lothian operation? I’m not so sure.
I say 0%


If anyone thinks we should nationalise the buses again, you just need to look at car crash which is FSE. The network was high regulated it was told what to operate, where and when even if the passengers no longer want that service. How does that benefit anyone, government would rather have of buses running to where it believe their should go instead of where people wanted them to go.
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Old 26th May 2016, 14:38   #42
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I think people tend to blame First rather than credit Lothian for the outcome in Mid/East Lothian. In my view Lothian played an aggressive game following the appointment of Neil Renilson in the late nineties.

As I recall First launched the bus war in response to Lothian upping the frequency on routes like Balerno and Musselburgh and Lothian did back off a bit as a result. For a while.

Lothian brought in flat fares and a single fare zone so for several years up to 2008 the fare for the core First markets like Penicuik - about 10 miles - was pegged at £1.00. That made it hard for First to make money with less local traffic within the city.

Of course the First problem of under-investment and uninspiring management made things worse, but the underlying fundamentals were difficult. By 2008 the writing was on the wall.
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Old 26th May 2016, 18:53   #43
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Originally Posted by oldman View Post
I think people tend to blame First rather than credit Lothian for the outcome in Mid/East Lothian. In my view Lothian played an aggressive game following the appointment of Neil Renilson in the late nineties.

As I recall First launched the bus war in response to Lothian upping the frequency on routes like Balerno and Musselburgh and Lothian did back off a bit as a result. For a while.

Lothian brought in flat fares and a single fare zone so for several years up to 2008 the fare for the core First markets like Penicuik - about 10 miles - was pegged at £1.00. That made it hard for First to make money with less local traffic within the city.

Of course the First problem of under-investment and uninspiring management made things worse, but the underlying fundamentals were difficult. By 2008 the writing was on the wall.
To be fair, whilst LRT is owned by the Council, FirstBus are a huge multinational operation who could have competed if it was about price. But it wasn't just about price, there was a huge quality, reliability and to an extent company loyalty.

Assuming that LRT pick up the slack (as happened with Dalkeith), passengers can look forward to a better quality service.
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Old 26th May 2016, 22:54   #44
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Originally Posted by TheGrandWazoo View Post
Sadly, take a pick.

North Yorkshire - no supported services evening or Sunday and most daytime ones either chopped back or now operated by volunteer or inhouse minibuses

Shropshire - severely cut with Shrewsbury (a town of 50k people) not having a Sunday service

Cumbria, Somerset, Lancashire.... not an exhaustive list

Unfortunately, it's not a case of stupidity but a case of priorities. Because of funding formulas, cost of services etc, rural counties seem to have a harder time of things in sustaining services in these times of austerity. That said, there are councils such as Darlington and Hartlepool that no longer support any bus services and remember, bus services are not a statutory service that by law a local authority must provide.
Cumbria seems to have bus cuts every other week!
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Old 27th May 2016, 17:49   #45
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I'm hearing are now once again Transport Scotland are poking their noises in with this situation, and there could actually be a public enquire, because no one has seen this level of problems in one go.

How long did it take Lothian to announce its improved service?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
#####

I see once again the stupid MPs/MSP/cllr are opening there awful mouths about this issues, i wonder where this will stop.

Quote:
BUS company First has come under fire after axing all services from East Lothian from August and closing depots in Musselburgh and North Berwick.

The operator said 88 posts were “at risk” as routes had not been viable for several years.

It comes four years after First significantly reduced its services in East Lothian with the closure of its Dalkeith depot. Lothian Buses replaced services on several routes.

East Lothian Labour MSP and former bus conductor Iain Gray said he would approach Lothian Buses to ask the firm to make sure all routes were covered.

He said: “It is the end of an era. Above all, our thoughts should be with the significant numbers whose jobs are under threat.

“This will be a difficult time for them and their families. I have already spoken to the company and sought assurances that every effort will be made to offer them alternative employment.

“However, there is no getting away from the fact that local people have not always had the best of services from First.

“Our efforts must be directed towards getting another operator to run the Dunbar and North Berwick services, and do so better.

Mr Gray’s calls were echoed by East Lothian SNP MP George Kerevan.

He said: “It is a matter of urgency to do something about the loss of local services run by First Bus, especially servicing North Berwick and Dunbar.

“Unfortunately, First have been running down services in East Lothian for some time and reducing necessary investment in their fleet. Fortunately, Lothian Buses have filled some of the gaps.

“One solution to the withdrawal of First bus is for Lothian Buses to extend their routes.”

Scottish Conservative South of Scotland MSP Rachael Hamilton called on the Scottish Government to intervene.

She said: “This is devastating news for the 88 workers in the area and their families, and they need to be supported throughout this upsetting process. People who depend on these services, particularly the elderly and those in rural areas, will also be concerned.

“I hope the Scottish Government can work with First and other operators to ensure services remain at least to the same standard in these areas.”

First Scotland East managing director Paul McGowan said: “I’m disappointed that we’re proposing to withdraw from Musselburgh and North Berwick. We will engage with the local authority on the future of bus services.

“However, given there are other bus operators that operate in and around the area, I’m confident if we decide to go ahead with these proposals the majority of our customers won’t be left without a service.”

Read more: http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.co...#ixzz49sLnoIQZ
Other news site:
* http://www.itv.com/news/border/2016-...es-facing-axe/
* http://www.itv.com/news/border/story...acing-the-axe/

Last edited by overthewater; 27th May 2016 at 17:56. Reason: Double post prevention system
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