Competition heats up between Transdev and Connexions

TB

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Having competed in and around Harrogate and Wetherby for a while now, the competition between Transdev and ConnexionsBuses takes an unexpected twist from January 10th, as Transdev Keighley extends it's 762 (Keighley to Ilkley) to run through to Harrogate via Otley.

It, perhaps not surprisingly, will run about 5 mins ahead of the existing Connexions X52.
 
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SCH117X

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I understood it was more like 10-13 mins in front but that is now irrelevant as Connexions are axing the two-hourly X53 (Harrogate-Otley-Guiseley) and making a timetable change to the X52, presumably making that hourly and no doubt changing its times to either 5 mins in front of Transdevs extended 762, or running it at exactly the same times (as per the farce on the route 6 in Harrogate). Theres obviously some limitation on the scope of retimings by either operator unless they want also to clash with Firsts X84 between Otley and Ilkley and Yorkshire Tigers 747 between Harrogate and Pool. The timings of the 762 that I saw (on the half hour from Ilkley and 35 from Harrogate) neatly fills in a 20 min frequency to Otley with the X84 and is 25-35 mins apart from the 747.
 
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theblackwatch

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The wording on the Connexions website amused me:

http://www.connexionsbuses.com/uncategorized/service-x52-changes-from-18th-january/

Transdev have announced that they are to operate a service from Harrogate to Ilkley from January. In order to protect our business from this predatory move by a much larger multinational operator, we have been forced to change our times.

There will be more details of this later.

We ask that you continue to support your locally owned family run company, and not the other foreign owned business.
 

Stan Drews

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Indeed, how were they forced to withdraw one service and double the frequency of another to run 5 mins in front of the new service?
All from the "quality" operator that runs a number of copycat daytime services in the Harrogate area, and recently handed back two contracted services at short notice, as they were short of staff.
They've also had to invest a fair amount to comply with the forthcoming DDA deadline, so be interesting to see how 2016 turns out for them.
 

IlkleyJohn

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I'll wait the extra 5 mins for the Transdev 762 before getting on a Connexions bus again. The driver (00088) managed to upset or be rude to 4 passengers (including myself) in separate incidents in the space of 30 minutes. It may not be a record but there's definitely a need of some customer relations training.
 

mlambeuk

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I remember when HCT (Connexions). tried to compete with Arriva on the Selby - York route, using the Selby and district name (the name Arriva Selby used to use ). Didn't last long.
 

yorkie

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I'll wait the extra 5 mins for the Transdev 762 before getting on a Connexions bus again. The driver (00088) managed to upset or be rude to 4 passengers (including myself) in separate incidents in the space of 30 minutes. It may not be a record but there's definitely a need of some customer relations training.
Did you have a word with the Company? I believe they're keen to receive feedback and do their best to resolve the situation.
 

Bayum

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I'll wait the extra 5 mins for the Transdev 762 before getting on a Connexions bus again. The driver (00088) managed to upset or be rude to 4 passengers (including myself) in separate incidents in the space of 30 minutes. It may not be a record but there's definitely a need of some customer relations training.
I've never had an issue with Connexions' staff. I've used a fair few of their services - 923, X70/412, and some others around the Harrogate area. Only single issue I have is that some drivers sure like to thrash their buses, which can on occasion instil a very nauseous ride!
 

SCH117X

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I have had to jam the car brakes on to avoid it getting crashed between the lamppost/railings and one of their buses due to it cutting across from a straight ahead lane into the left turn one (it was going straight on) and saw one whose driver had got fed up of waiting for a gap in the traffic and set off bouncing over the kerb onto the pavement while also forcing a passing car to brake sharply, and thankfully those behind it did the same otherwise there would be one very big shunt accident.
 

Deerfold

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I was at Ilkley last week and surprised to find that, despite both operators changing their times on a date that is not one of the half-dozen change dates agreed with Metro, the new X52 times were up, but there was no indication whatsoever that the 762 went to Harrogate at all (even though their times had changed a week before). The relevant stop also had a combined list of times to Otley, including only the times of the X52 and X84.
 

SCH117X

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Connexions twitter feed is always a good laugh, twisted and bitter springs to mind as they continually snipe at Transdev instead of giving any useful service details (or lack of) by themselves. I suppose tweeting they have delays on the X52 is the last thing they would do but punters do keep on finding the 762 turning up first.
 

Ginga

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Connexions twitter feed is always a good laugh, twisted and bitter springs to mind as they continually snipe at Transdev instead of giving any useful service details (or lack of) by themselves. I suppose tweeting they have delays on the X52 is the last thing they would do but punters do keep on finding the 762 turning up first.
Connexions should wait for Mr Hornby to make his annual pilgrimage to the USA for Wrestlemania, then bang in a **** load of changes, and put in a fake registration to run a X36 FAST COACH service between Leeds and Harrogate, to start in say September, then cancel it just before it's due to start blaming access issue at Harrogate Bus Station. :lol:

His classic line at Trent Barton was "We won't compete on Price , only quality".

He brought his Beep Bus brand up from Bluestar, And called it 50p bus ( later Bargain Bus) even running it for Free at one point to Drive Premiere out of Cotgrave. During his Time at Trent Barton he brought 24 hour Services on Indigo and Skylink but cut buses on Indigo around the Estates of Castle Donnigton , New Sawley and Sawley.
 

Deerfold

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Connexions should wait for Mr Hornby to make his annual pilgrimage to the USA for Wrestlemania, then bang in a **** load of changes, and put in a fake registration to run a X36 FAST COACH service between Leeds and Harrogate, to start in say September, then cancel it just before it's due to start blaming access issue at Harrogate Bus Station. :lol:

His classic line at Trent Barton was "We won't compete on Price , only quality".

He brought his Beep Bus brand up from Bluestar, And called it 50p bus ( later Bargain Bus) even running it for Free at one point to Drive Premiere out of Cotgrave. During his Time at Trent Barton he brought 24 hour Services on Indigo and Skylink but cut buses on Indigo around the Estates of Castle Donnigton , New Sawley and Sawley.
That assumes the traffic commissioner lets them cancel the registration at short notice. Sounds like a dangerous game to play.

Most successful bus companies recently have done well by concentrating on core routes and cutting less frequent ones or speeding services up at the expense of others. There will always be winners and losers when this happens.

I remember living in Beeston and having 4 different services into Nottingham from NCT, each quarter hourly. Now there's one every 7.5 minutes, but all on 1 route. Great if you live on that route, crap if you were on one of the others. If I wanted to get home on Barton, I'd catch a 1, 3, 3C, 10, 310, 506, R5, R5b or R5c. I can understand why they rationalised this to indigo, but some passengers lost out.
 

Andyh82

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Connexions should wait for Mr Hornby to make his annual pilgrimage to the USA for Wrestlemania, then bang in a **** load of changes, and put in a fake registration to run a X36 FAST COACH service between Leeds and Harrogate, to start in say September, then cancel it just before it's due to start blaming access issue at Harrogate Bus Station. :lol:
For what reason? There has been no sign of Transdev running bargain bus style operations against Connexions.

Since Connexions started the X1, Transdev have continue with the 1 running every 7 minutes as normal.

The 762 competes with the X52 but it also provides much more than that, and operates with normal fares.
 

SCH117X

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You can understand Connexions being aggrieved over the 762 as the X52/X53 were the only service they offered out of Harrogate which Transdev did not operate. Scrapping the X53 has diminished the usefulness of the network overall with now no way of getting to and from Guiseley without changing buses as Yorkshire Tiger replaced the Airport service to run via Greengates rather than Guiseley. They do however seem to forget they started it all by sticking an X70 5 mins in front of the 770 and the outcome of that is one village and part of another now have a hourly service funded by the County Council instead of the half hourly service they used to have. The X1 seems to be an excuse to gain a share of the Harrogate-Knaresborough market and for all the hype over serving St James Retail Park it does not show up in the number of passengers typically on board. The X6 and X6A fail to operate until after the morning peak so despite Connexions complaints about Transdev increasing their daytime frequency it is a service that Transdev is primary operator of as far as the working population is concerned. There is also the slight issue that no Connexions services run in the evenings or Sundays so anyone dependent on the bus and pays is going to use a Transdev weekly etc ticket. The X4 and X12 are two useful services but given that North Yorks County Council withdrew their funding of them how long they can last has to be questionable.
 
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the101

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I can hardly believe what I am reading on Connexions' Twitter feed. Not only does it hardly portray a sense of professionalism, it's borderline obsessive with Alex Hornby, although to his credit he doesn't appear to bite.
 

Stan Drews

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I can hardly believe what I am reading on Connexions' Twitter feed. Not only does it hardly portray a sense of professionalism, it's borderline obsessive with Alex Hornby, although to his credit he doesn't appear to bite.
Yes, there does seem to be a bit of an obsession with Mr Hornby!

Two things that strike me about their Twitter "rants"...
1) They seem to forget that much of their business is built on copycat services running on largely duplicate routes to the more established operator, and now get most upset because that operator has extended a service, creating new links, and providing competition for one of the few commercial routes connections ran without any significant competition.
2) They bang on about being a local Harrogate company (and pleading for support), but are actually based nearer York, so I'd imagine the local Transdev depot in Harrogate itself, which will be a major employer in the town, provides far more to the local economy!

Still, it's rather charming to see a company still believe fiddling timetables to run 5 mins in front of the competition, is the way to grow a business!
 

Bungle965

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Yes, there does seem to be a bit of an obsession with Mr Hornby!

Two things that strike me about their Twitter "rants"...
1) They seem to forget that much of their business is built on copycat services running on largely duplicate routes to the more established operator, and now get most upset because that operator has extended a service, creating new links, and providing competition for one of the few commercial routes connections ran without any significant competition.
2) They bang on about being a local Harrogate company (and pleading for support), but are actually based nearer York, so I'd imagine the local Transdev depot in Harrogate itself, which will be a major employer in the town, provides far more to the local economy!

Still, it's rather charming to see a company still believe fiddling timetables to run 5 mins in front of the competition, is the way to grow a business!
I believe that what they mean by being a local company is that they are not owned by company's from abroad.
Sam
 

Bungle965

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So who benefits if a passenger chooses to spend their money with the "locally owned" service, rather than the "foreign owned" alternative?
Well it looks like the potential passengers will support the local bus company instead of the one from abroad I think that they are trying to imply that all of the profits will be spent in a foreign country and not here in England, at least that's what they want you to believe. The truth is a bit different
That is my take on it.
Sam
 

Stan Drews

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Well it looks like the potential passengers will support the local bus company instead of the one from abroad I think that they are trying to imply that all of the profits will be spent in a foreign country and not here in England, at least that's what they want you to believe. The truth is a bit different
That is my take on it.
Sam
I think it's fairly certain that's what they are hoping for, hence my original comment. The truth is almost certainly very different!
However, I don't think there's any likelihood of the owners (or whoever writes their Twitter nonsense) allowing the facts to get in the way of their "story".
Good luck to them if they can get away with it!!
 

SCH117X

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Wednesday cropped up another X52 reliability issue that they never tweet about, although I suspect if they did it would be #Transdev nicking our drivers#. The 1350 from Otley to Harrogate was on time, well actually seemed to be a minute early, but the return with the same vehicle was 13 minutes late at Pannal, running some distance behind the 762 which was on time at Huby.
 

SCH117X

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Bit more heat redeveloping on the Wetherby route, Connexions have registered a new earlier, for them, Mon-Fri working at 710 from Wetherby starting May 16 - typically 5 mins in front of Transdev. Mon-Fri morning times from Wetherby now are 650 Transdev(T*) 710 Connexions(C) 715(T) 725(C) 747(T*) 800(C) 820(C) 822(T*) 845(C) 859(T*) 920(C) 928(T) 950(C) 958(T*) and hourly at the 9am times. *being 770 journeys via Follifoot.
 
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34D

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Bit more heat redeveloping on the Wetherby route, Connexions have registered a new earlier, for them, Mon-Fri working at 710 from Wetherby starting May 16 - typically 5 mins in front of Transdev.
Just a bus that previously went empty from the depot to Harrogate now going in service. I suspect the intention was to place it a decent amount in front of the following X70 rather than anything sinister.
 

SCH117X

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They got wound up by the 762 being 10 in front of their service. 700 or 705 timing would fit the existing better.
 
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SCH117X

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The latest barking event is just as Transdev start rebranding their Harrogate vehicles as "The Harrogate Bus Company" Connexions owner has registered a company "Harrogate Bus Company" and rebranded a vehicle "THE Harrogate Bus Company".
 

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