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Old 27th February 2012, 12:28   #1
Ivo
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Default First South West and Wales discussion

Given we have quite few members in the general South West and Wales area who know a thing or two about the operations of First in the area, and like to discuss as much, I thought it would be sensible to have a new thread going for them (akin to the two Stagecoach fleet changes threads) so that we don't need a new one every other week!

So obviously at present D&C are preparing themselves for some big gains come the start of April (see here). On the other hand, courtesy of the extensive cuts Somerset CC have made Taunton went the other way just last week! Would it not make sense for some of the redundant Taunton fleet to sent down to Cornwall instead of the scrapheap as some of them seem to be, or in some cases here there and everywhere?

Meanwhile, in other news, we are having some service changes on the 1st of April. The one I know of will see the SPA2 withdrawn during term-time and the entire SPA1 timetable cast back five minutes. This is a positive move, but still doesn't address the biggest problem of the route - the three-minute turnaround at this end of the route. Whether the SPA2 will still be around during the Holidays though, I don't know. On the other hand though, I am told that the SPA1 is struggling financially, and I can certainly believe that - I am even led to believe that there is a possibility that the two University routes may be merged again!

P.S.: A quick question - has anywhere in the area still got the older Wayfarer machines? I wanted one
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Old 27th February 2012, 17:49   #2
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Default Wayfarer machines

First Dorset and South Somerset still have Wayfarers.
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Old 27th February 2012, 18:41   #3
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What have you recently acquired at Bath, other than the MB 709 illustrated previously?
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Old 27th February 2012, 19:02   #4
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Lets see First cymru have reduced the frequency on a lot of their routes to free up some buses to cover elsewhere in south wales.

The Swansea FTR service is to have some services worked by standard buses on weekdays during off peak for some strange reason.

Service X4 Neath - Bridgend is to be withdrawn and replaced by a new X1N Neath - Bridgend which basically follows the same route as the X1 between Port Talbot & Bridgend instead of running to Mc ARthur Glen via the M4 which was popular with OAP's and many others since they didnt need to travel from Port Talbot on National express.

The Swansea - Heathrow coach service is being cut back to Cardiff leaving a much reduced national express service west of Cardiff. This has left a lot of people baffled since that service 201/202 always had a lot of people. Of course this could see a lot more people commuting between Cardiff & Swansea by train or on teh greyhound service which cannot cope as it is.

First Cymru's Cardiff depot has been a bit of Mix and Match. Recently their yelow schoobuses have appeared on their service 400 Cardiff - Beddau which they have now withdrawn from the end of this week.

First cymru have had to put some of the old Mercedes-Benz 709d's which were new to Cityline in Bristol and even 1 of their dennis javelins has appeared in service recently.

The are supposed to be new vehicles arriving soon for services in Swansea but sadly no double deckers even though they would be ideal (Why because the only available deckers went to either Bristol or down to Devon).

The open top service to Mumbles last summer using MOD 571P which some of you may remeber it being operated on the Weymouth open top service prooved to be a good sucess and will be expanded this summer although now idea what vehicles are planned to be used.

First are looking at expanding in the Rhondda & Cardiff area's which talking to stagecoach staff has caused some alarm so I am expecting Stagecoach to retaliate soon perhaps launching city routes around Swansea or even in the Mid Glamorgan area.

Meanwhile the majority of recent arrivals have been Marshal darts and some Optare solo's from Bristol, Slough Bath & Devon although Stagecoach are buying brand new scania's.
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Old 27th February 2012, 19:48   #5
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What have you recently acquired at Bath, other than the MB 709 illustrated previously?
Not much. A couple of older Volvos, but we've lost some of our newer ones. We had some Marshall Darts a few months ago, but so has pretty much everywhere else in the area.
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Old 27th February 2012, 20:01   #6
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I have heard that First cymru have gained some new tenders in the Cardiff area recently and so would most likely need vehicles for these although they also need extra vehicles as the fleets are really being pushed to their limits due to the current shortages.
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Old 27th February 2012, 20:01   #7
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The open top service to Mumbles last summer using MOD 571P which some of you may remeber it being operated on the Weymouth open top service prooved to be a good sucess and will be expanded this summer although now idea what vehicles are planned to be used. .
Heavens, is it still around?
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Old 27th February 2012, 20:08   #8
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It is preserved in South wales somewhere now so I have no idea what open vehicles will be coming down this summer.

What we need in south wales are some of theose Alexandser ALX400 double deckers which are being used in Bristol. A few were in storage for a while so after the olympiucs will the management please listen to what customers want and send a couple down.

You can even have those low floor volvo's back in exchange since they do seem to struggle up hills although not as much as the marshal darts some of which are useless on hilly routes.


With the shortage of buses the volvo olympian which are normally used on Neath college services and the occasional trips on service 125/X20 now seem to be appearaing regulary on services which run from Swansea to the Neath & Swansea valleys.

The return of operation of some of the Mercedes-benz 709d's is good for the local bus enthusiasts in south wales.

First cymru are also taking a bit of a battering around the Neath & Port Talbot area's from the local independents such as SWT who surprisinly are winning the local bus war's and Edwards have seen off First cymru on the Cardiff - Beddau route(With Edwrads taking over diamond coaches and their depot in Morriston I think we may see Edwards going after contracts such as ane Gower Explorer network.)

All we need is for Stagecoach to start retaliating against First
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Old 27th February 2012, 21:39   #9
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There is a rumour that First are going to be replacing the high spec E400s in Plymouth with W plate artics.
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Old 27th February 2012, 21:58   #10
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There is a rumour that First are going to be replacing the high spec E400s in Plymouth with W plate artics.
And as I said elsewhere, I bet I know where they're from S&A never tell anyone anything. Even the Students' Union here know that.

There are a few other W-reg ones around, but I can't see the Leeds examples leaving any time soon (especially given they've only recently been branded for the 95), and Glasgow is surely too far. In other words, keep an eye out for 10035/6/7 (although one of the three, 10036 I think, is currently in for repairs).
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Old 27th February 2012, 22:05   #11
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And as I said above, I bet I know where they're from S&A never tell anyone anything. Even the Students' Union here know that.

There are a few other W-reg ones around, but I can't see the Leeds examples leaving any time soon (especially given they've only recently been branded for the 95), and Glasgow is surely too far. In other words, keep an eye out for 10035/6/7 (although one of the three, 10036 I think, is currently in for repairs).
I believe it's the Glasgow Batch...
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Old 27th February 2012, 22:06   #12
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Shock horror - Bath escapes! That would be one for headlines

To be fair though, Bath really isn't a bendy-friendly city.
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Old 27th February 2012, 22:15   #13
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It's still not going to go down well. Esp since this is how the Enviros are specced
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Old 27th February 2012, 22:17   #14
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It looks like a Stagecoach Goldline vehicle. Whereas the W-reg artics, assuming they are like ours, have very hard seats that may as well not be there.
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Old 27th February 2012, 23:20   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anthony263 View Post
The Swansea FTR service is to have some services worked by standard buses on weekdays during off peak for some strange reason.
Makes you wonder why the council bothered t spend 10m on road 'improvements' to allow the FTR buses to run in the first place...

Quote:
Originally Posted by anthony263 View Post
The Swansea - Heathrow coach service is being cut back to Cardiff leaving a much reduced national express service west of Cardiff. This has left a lot of people baffled since that service 201/202 always had a lot of people. Of course this could see a lot more people commuting between Cardiff & Swansea by train or on teh greyhound service which cannot cope as it is.
I am baffled. As you say, the coaches always seem to be busy.

I was talking to someone (a First Cymru employee) at the Swansea Bus Museum yesterday, who reckoned that some buses will be sent down to Devon and Cornwall when FC receive more. He also said that D&C was the last stop before the scrapyard!
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