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Old 23rd January 2017, 22:28   #16
Bletchleyite
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This is obviously an interesting development. But this type of operation was abandoned in the mid 90s, so why is it now suddenly a good idea again?
Exactly my thought. Obviously only requiring D1 rather than D will save money on drivers, but that won't be *that* significant, and they'll need rather more drivers for that sort of frequency.

Could the real saving be 30ish MPG rather than mid single figures, perhaps? Fuel is certainly much pricier than it was.
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Old 23rd January 2017, 22:49   #17
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Exactly my thought. Obviously only requiring D1 rather than D will save money on drivers, but that won't be *that* significant, and they'll need rather more drivers for that sort of frequency.

Could the real saving be 30ish MPG rather than mid single figures, perhaps? Fuel is certainly much pricier than it was.
There are a number of reasons why.
  • Purchase price
  • Availability of spares - less downtime
  • Cost of spares
  • Driver costs
  • Fuel costs - that said, the comparison isn't as pronounced as the headline 30 mpg is unladen and on average work not urban grind

Now the gamble is that the increased frequency will attract more passengers (who may well be fare payers) and that this will grow the market and offset the additional cost in driver costs.

Think it's a really interesting move by Stagecoach. Think they should be applauded for it - at least they're trying to grow the market.

Of course, if history is to repeat itself, cue a load of miserable enthusiasts complaining about the loss of Dennis Darts (rather than Bristol VRs or Leyland Nationals) in favour of "bread vans"
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Old 23rd January 2017, 23:02   #18
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Originally Posted by TheGrandWazoo View Post
There are a number of reasons why.
  • Purchase price
  • Availability of spares - less downtime
  • Cost of spares
  • Driver costs
  • Fuel costs - that said, the comparison isn't as pronounced as the headline 30 mpg is unladen and on average work not urban grind

Now the gamble is that the increased frequency will attract more passengers (who may well be fare payers) and that this will grow the market and offset the additional cost in driver costs.

Think it's a really interesting move by Stagecoach. Think they should be applauded for it - at least they're trying to grow the market.

Of course, if history is to repeat itself, cue a load of miserable enthusiasts complaining about the loss of Dennis Darts (rather than Bristol VRs or Leyland Nationals) in favour of "bread vans"
It all goes to show there is nothing new under the sun.

I would have thought purchase price would have been the main factor. As 'big buses' require ever more sophisticated features, and anything other than a diesel engine is going to be a lot more expensive, this could be a move back to basics. Staff costs will be more, but the possible extra revenue could allay these, and if the experiment doesn't work out, those extra staff can soon be disposed of!

I'd like to think the experiment will work. Stagecoach seem to be working hard in that part of the world to not just keep services running but try new initiatives, where traffic congestion allows.
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Old 23rd January 2017, 23:37   #19
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Of course, if history is to repeat itself, cue a load of miserable enthusiasts complaining about the loss of Dennis Darts (rather than Bristol VRs or Leyland Nationals) in favour of "bread vans"
It appears from the few photos of the buses out there that they have gone for the idea of quality as well - high backed leather seating - and they are also low floor and wheelchair accessible (which isn't legally required for an all-seater 17 seater minibus).

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/ashford/...nch-in-119372/ has more and a couple of photos.
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Old 23rd January 2017, 23:55   #20
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These smaller vehicles may be able to gain easier access to Ashford's many new housing estates. They should certainly be able to cope with parked cars and tight turns better than an E20D. Full-size buses are unpopular with a vocal minority, so this scheme takes away that argument.

No idea whether any of the above applies here, just some thoughts.
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Old 24th January 2017, 00:29   #21
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Exactly my thought. Obviously only requiring D1 rather than D will save money on drivers, but that won't be *that* significant, and they'll need rather more drivers for that sort of frequency.

Could the real saving be 30ish MPG rather than mid single figures, perhaps? Fuel is certainly much pricier than it was.
also given that 'grandfather rights D1 is 'not for hire or reward' = although i did hear some rumour that somehow driver CPC would remove that restriction .

and that the youngest grandfather rights holders of C1 and D1 are in their late 30s now ... Potentially you are faced with havign to train the drivers anyway
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Old 24th January 2017, 00:45   #22
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D1 101 would indeed be no use, but it's much quicker and therefore cheaper to train someone to drive what is basically a big van.


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Old 24th January 2017, 03:31   #23
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Originally Posted by radamfi View Post
In the heyday of high frequency minibus operation in the 80s/early 90s, it wasn't unusual to have to wait for the next bus due to a full bus, but that was considered to be a price worth paying for having a frequent service.

This is obviously an interesting development. But this type of operation was abandoned in the mid 90s, so why is it now suddenly a good idea again?
It was abandoned in many areas (or loadings increased so it was worth putting bigger buses on again).

Some areas cling on - Notably Halifax with TJ Walsh's:

300 (recently dropped to) every 15 minutes to Sowerby
525 every 8 minutes to Ovenden (no afternoon service)
600 every 10 minutes to Ovenden
700 every 10 minutes to Illingworth

They run a few less frequent services, mostly under contract, but have only just finished upgrading from Breadvans (a family member sold them a low mileage Transit van which had been converted from a minibus for spares).
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Old 24th January 2017, 19:18   #24
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It was abandoned in many areas (or loadings increased so it was worth putting bigger buses on again).

Some areas cling on - Notably Halifax with TJ Walsh's:

300 (recently dropped to) every 15 minutes to Sowerby
525 every 8 minutes to Ovenden (no afternoon service)
600 every 10 minutes to Ovenden
700 every 10 minutes to Illingworth

They run a few less frequent services, mostly under contract, but have only just finished upgrading from Breadvans (a family member sold them a low mileage Transit van which had been converted from a minibus for spares).
And even then some are still a modern version of a breadvan, some fairly new DDA exempt welfare style minibuses.
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Old 24th January 2017, 19:36   #25
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And even then some are still a modern version of a breadvan, some fairly new DDA exempt welfare style minibuses.
What's interesting (and positive) is that while these vehicles don't legally have to be DDA compliant as they are too small for that requirement, they nonetheless are compliant.

That means a significant increase in capacity for wheelchair passengers over a larger bus with one wheelchair bay on a lower frequency.
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Old 24th January 2017, 23:11   #26
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The advantage of these particular ones is that they are 17 seaters, meaning D1 to drive them rather than D...
Would be wrong.

D1 goes up to 16 passenger seats. These, according to a press report when the order was placed, are definitely 17 seaters and so a category D will be required.
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Old 24th January 2017, 23:12   #27
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Would be wrong.

D1 goes up to 16 passenger seats. These, according to a press report when the order was placed, are definitely 17 seaters and so a category D will be required.
Or a seat could be removed?
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Old 24th January 2017, 23:20   #28
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Would be wrong.

D1 goes up to 16 passenger seats. These, according to a press report when the order was placed, are definitely 17 seaters and so a category D will be required.
a '17 seat ' minibus physically has 17 seats in it , d1 allows you to carry 16 passengers ...
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Old 25th January 2017, 00:19   #29
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a '17 seat ' minibus physically has 17 seats in it , d1 allows you to carry 16 passengers ...
Am I missing something? If you permanently remove a seat from a '17 seat minibus' it becomes a '16 seat minibus' - or, perhaps it doesn't under Construction and Use, or whatever it's called now. Please clarify.
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Old 25th January 2017, 00:38   #30
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Would be wrong.

D1 goes up to 16 passenger seats. These, according to a press report when the order was placed, are definitely 17 seaters and so a category D will be required.
What is usually described as a "17 seater minibus" (D1) has 16 passenger seats plus one seat for the driver.

Do these minibuses definitely have 17 passenger seats? This would seem a very odd choice if so.
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