First Greater Glasgow

DC21

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Definitely think if they drop the frequency of some services and tap into other routes challenging the likes of Whitelaws, JMB it could boost the profits. New routes means potential new passengers. Route frequency drops less empty-ish buses running around.
 
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lastbus

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Defiently think if they drop the freq of some services and tap into other routes challenging the likes of whitelaws, jmb it could boost the profits. new routes potential new passengers. route freq drops less empty-ish buses running around.
First won’t go against whitelaws. First accept whitelaws staff passes and they accept firsts.
 

DC21

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First won’t go against whitelaws. First accept whitelaws staff passes and they accept firsts.
Must be some sort of local agreement cant imagine an X8 driver in glasgow accepting a whitelaws pass. Plus I dont see the passes stoping competition if first did decide to run services against them
 

TheGrandWazoo

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Must be some sort of local agreement cant imagine an X8 driver in glasgow accepting a whitelaws pass. Plus I dont see the passes stoping competition if first did decide to run services against them
No but it’s indicative that they have a good relationship? Firms tend not to pick fights with friends. Also, First have greater challenges than picking new fights.
 

awsnews

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69110 went to Caledonia from Livingston whilst 69122 went to Dumbarton back in November. The point I was making is that I wasn't sure if 69122 has returned to service at Dumbarton yet as it doesn't 'track' and I haven't gotten a picture to confirm. 66735 only returned on Friday so the allocation is still a bit fluid. Despite the E400MMCs being moved elsewhere with the last service uplift Dumbarton didn't get its Geminis back either.
To answer my own question 69122 has returned to service at Dumbarton, it was noted on the 206 today.
 

route101

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I do feel like Hamilton/Motherwell services need a revamp tbh but it's hard to tell how you could change them significantly especially as a lot of the key ones are branded. 201, 240, 241, 242, 254, X11

I'd merge the 229 into the 227 and just make them be Little Earnock to Whitehill/Eddlewood hourly each, I don't expect the 266 to last to Shotts every 15 mins for too long either. Don't think there's much else really possible unless they split the X11 into 2 half-hourly services by running one to Cleland like they used to I'm sure but I don't see it happening. It's hard to do anything really because of Whitelaws, the train, JMB etc. First won't run anything else towards Carluke/Lanark/Larkhall etc again probably

Diving further south in Lanarkshire, East Kilbride for the size of the area only has the 6,18,21,201 and 205 from First unless something is done about the 31 but still a lot of time on that with nothing concrete yet. Seen that the petition for it has nearly 2500 signatures according to local politicians though. I'd imagine there might be a local service like what the M1 is to cover Stewartfield and Kirktonholme although there's not been anything about whether or not First is even taking back over the M1 for SPT
If 31 were to come back it should link to City Centre as it picked up good loads in the morning and back from City Centre. M1 would just pick up a few elderly to the Town centre.
 

route101

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I do feel like Hamilton/Motherwell services need a revamp tbh but it's hard to tell how you could change them significantly especially as a lot of the key ones are branded. 201, 240, 241, 242, 254, X11

I'd merge the 229 into the 227 and just make them be Little Earnock to Whitehill/Eddlewood hourly each, I don't expect the 266 to last to Shotts every 15 mins for too long either. Don't think there's much else really possible unless they split the X11 into 2 half-hourly services by running one to Cleland like they used to I'm sure but I don't see it happening. It's hard to do anything really because of Whitelaws, the train, JMB etc. First won't run anything else towards Carluke/Lanark/Larkhall etc again probably

Diving further south in Lanarkshire, East Kilbride for the size of the area only has the 6,18,21,201 and 205 from First unless something is done about the 31 but still a lot of time on that with nothing concrete yet. Seen that the petition for it has nearly 2500 signatures according to local politicians though. I'd imagine there might be a local service like what the M1 is to cover Stewartfield and Kirktonholme although there's not been anything about whether or not First is even taking back over the M1 for SPT
If 31 were to come back it should link to City Centre as it picked up good loads in the morning and back from City Centre. M1 would just pick up a few elderly to the Town centre.
 

PaulMc7

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I think with the train how it is from Lanark into Glasgow it would only end badly trying to compete there. I've seen those 240X/241X incredibly quiet most of the time I've come across them and I think that's purely because of the train
 

PaulMc7

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Does anyone else think it's pretty unlikely that we will see any new express services for some time, minimum 18 months/ 2 years etc?

It has seemed pretty evident that First don't like them and we don't have too many given that the X1 and X2 are likely to be gone this month unless a miracle saves them.

Only these will be left as express services:

1/1A/1B/1C/1D/1E
X3
X4
X8
X11
X85/X87

I personally don't see us getting anything new purely because of how limited options are to create express routes and how easily congestion becomes a major problem on motorways and the Clydeside Expressway.

I do feel like the network needs a bit of a freshen up though outside of the branded services and that's why I'm always interested in people's ideas
 
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lastbus

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An X10 would directly compete with Stuart's 240X between Lanark and Glasgow though. They've pretty much got that one seen up.

I've seen that service to be that quiet though.
Also worth remembering that First have been there before with an X10 I think it was and it didn’t work.
 

PaulMc7

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Surprised the X4 came back .
I'd be amazed if it stays every 20 mins for long. Jordanhill has never really been great bus use outside of the schools. It can be busy at peaks but I reckon some people might have looked for other options while it was suspended. Train for Jordanhill/Scotstounhill/Westerton is easy enough
 

PaulMc7

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Would combining shorter routes and fine-tuning frequencies save First money here? Personally, I can see a few frequency drops occurring within the next 12 months and I feel like saving on top of that could be achieved by combining routes.

Can't remember specifically what was said about how much it cost First to use certain bus stations and whether it was just to stop in them or terminate in them hence why I'm posting this.

Was thinking for example if the 9/9A eventually go back every 10 mins each that's 12 buses an hour and if the 87/88/89 all go back to their full timetable there's 4 an hour of each so 12 an hour too. Could combinations with new options be a way to save buses? Another I had in mind was 31 and 64. Both every 30 mins and actually wouldn't be too bad for reliability because they wouldn't have to go through the city centre from side to side. Just genuinely curious about it as it's something different and very Simplicity like which was 7 years ago now. Would also be 1 set of recovery time instead of 2 as well per set of routes combined.

Obviously it would work better if the combined services don't need to cut across the full city centre and get held up too or the council actually did something major about congestion. The 6 and 75 show a lot of the problems with the city centre by covering large parts of it
 
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156478

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Definitely think if they drop the frequency of some services and tap into other routes challenging the likes of Whitelaws, JMB it could boost the profits. New routes means potential new passengers. Route frequency drops less empty-ish buses running around.
Running such competitive services at a time when the economic climate is an absolute disaster is a non starter.

Whitelaws and First do not compete with each other and as mentioned here there is an agreement over staff travel and the relationship between the two goes back decades.

First tried to get a slice of Lanark against McKindless on the 41s and also tried a Glasgow to Lanark service and they all died a miserable death.

First have tried also to go head to head on the Cumbernauld locals against Canavans on the Cumbernauld locals and Cumbernauld to Kilsyth.

We wont even mention the Edinburgh bus war in far too much detail either. This was the fantastic bus war where First squandered millions of pounds and even their own senior management thought it was a disaster. "they're kicking us up and down the street" was the quote given by the Managing Director to the Edinburgh Evening News.

First have historically found it very difficult to muscle into a new market or even take over routes that were not theirs to start with- X6 and X7 to Bridge of Weir and Kilmacolm, the X17 from Glasgow to Duntocher and the crazy idea of the 240x that ran from Glasgow to Peebles many many moons ago.

First have proven that they can try to muscle into a route they think is profitable, and then run on it, find its not profitable and the established operator carries on.

Leveraging customers from an established operator when you have demoralised drivers, tatty buses, cash vaults and bandit screens is a hole to throw money in, when your established operator has the loyality, knows the market and is more customer friendly and in the case of Whitelaws - they have been the established operator for decades. Competing on routes costs money- your not filling the buses to capacity as your sharing the market and you're probably going to have to charge artificially cheaper fares than elsewhere in your established territory to match the competition.- as happened in the Edinburgh bus war.

Whitelaws territory is all isolated towns and villages that are all spread out over areas of open land, its not exactly buckets of cash. Their cost and operating costs base is a world apart from First's.

First's reputation in Lanarkshire isnt overly great at the best of times and to be seen to be withdrawing the X1 and cutting other services to great public outcry in its established territory to then go head to head with Whitelaws and JMB over territory they have never shown any interest in or failed is going to be an open goal to the media, disgruntled customers and MSPs.
 
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Running such competitive services at a time when the economic climate is an absolute disaster is a non starter.

Whitelaws and First do not compete with each other and as mentioned here there is an agreement over staff travel and the relationship between the two goes back decades.

First tried to get a slice of Lanark against McKindless on the 41s and also tried a Glasgow to Lanark service and they all died a miserable death.

First have tried also to go head to head on the Cumbernauld locals against Canavans on the Cumbernauld locals and Cumbernauld to Kilsyth.

We wont even mention the Edinburgh bus war in far too much detail either. This was the fantastic bus war where First squandered millions of pounds and even their own senior management thought it was a disaster. "they're kicking us up and down the street" was the quote given by the Managing Director to the Edinburgh Evening News.

First have historically found it very difficult to muscle into a new market or even take over routes that were not theirs to start with- X6 and X7 to Bridge of Weir and Kilmacolm, the X17 from Glasgow to Duntocher and the crazy idea of the 240x that ran from Glasgow to Peebles many many moons ago.

First have proven that they can try to muscle into a route they think is profitable, and then run on it, find its not profitable and the established operator carries on.

Leveraging customers from an established operator when you have demoralised drivers, tatty buses, cash vaults and bandit screens is a hole to throw money in, when your established operator has the loyality, knows the market and is more customer friendly and in the case of Whitelaws - they have been the established operator for decades. Competing on routes costs money- your not filling the buses to capacity as your sharing the market and you're probably going to have to charge artificially cheaper fares than elsewhere in your established territory to match the competition.- as happened in the Edinburgh bus war.

Whitelaws territory is all isolated towns and villages that are all spread out over areas of open land, its not exactly buckets of cash. Their cost and operating costs base is a world apart from First's.

First's reputation in Lanarkshire isnt overly great at the best of times and to be seen to be withdrawing the X1 and cutting other services to great public outcry in its established territory to then go head to head with Whitelaws and JMB over territory they have never shown any interest in or failed is going to be an open goal to the media, disgruntled customers and MSPs.
the same can be said for any operator who tries a new area though. i mean look at Edinburgh again, First lost to Lothian in Edinburgh however 10 or so years down the line it seems Lothian are losing to First in West Lothian, and still appear to be doing so 2 years after their intrusion there. Operators will only do well expanding into a new area if there is a customer demand and will if the current bus network isnt well and settled
 

smtglasgow

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Running such competitive services at a time when the economic climate is an absolute disaster is a non starter.
Agree with this 100%. The only possible opening might be if one of the smaller operators around Glasgow goes bust – which might not be a completely mad scenario, but so far everybody seems to be carrying on as normal. The collapse of McKindless allowed First to expand their Lanarkshire network and build on the Hutchie acquisition. They’ve retreated a bit since, but First are still surprisingly strong in Lanarkshire. But bus wars are out of the question (for all operators) for the foreseeable.
 

156478

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the same can be said for any operator who tries a new area though. i mean look at Edinburgh again, First lost to Lothian in Edinburgh however 10 or so years down the line it seems Lothian are losing to First in West Lothian, and still appear to be doing so 2 years after their intrusion there. Operators will only do well expanding into a new area if there is a customer demand and will if the current bus network isnt well and settled
Agreed. If you spot a weak operator and go for it, your chances are good. In East and Mid Lothian, Lothian kept their services relatively consistent, their quality and better buses helped them eventually corner the market. At the same time First couldnt keep up to Lothian's standards. They were running second/third/fourth hand buses that were tatty on a route network that was never stable. it was a war of attrition that only Lothian was going to win.

In West Lothian, Lothian Country Buses' reputation will have taken a hit as they came off a fair few routes while First kept running. I think LCB thought it would be plain sailing to come in and force First out, but being the established operator and it's predecessor for decades is a very difficult task. First have never been perfect in West Lothian, the network hasnt been the most stable but they know the market, vehicle presentation was always very decent, reliability on non-Edinburgh routes is reasonably good, but they have done the day job properly of moving people around the patch and they have really stood their ground against LCB.

Coming back to Glasgow/Lanarkshire, First have to stick to the day job just now and look after the customers they have on the routes they have 100% market share.

JMB and Whitelaws are most definetly not weak and going head to head to them as @DC21 has suggested is a very poor use of scant resources.
 

DunsBus

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the same can be said for any operator who tries a new area though. i mean look at Edinburgh again, First lost to Lothian in Edinburgh however 10 or so years down the line it seems Lothian are losing to First in West Lothian, and still appear to be doing so 2 years after their intrusion there. Operators will only do well expanding into a new area if there is a customer demand and will if the current bus network isnt well and settled
I can remember when First tried to muscle in on the 253 corridor between Edinburgh and Berwick. It died a death as passengers stuck with Perryman's. Poor vehicle choice (ex-London Citaros) and unreliability (caused by said Citaros frequently expiring, either in Berwick or en-route) didn't help First's cause either. The photo below, taken in July 2011 says it all. 64004 in front had reached Berwick at 8:30 that morning and promptly gone phut. 64007 behind was on the next working. When it arrived, at 10:30, 64004 had been sitting stuck in Berwick for two hours and was still awaiting recovery back to Musselburgh at lunchtime.

SDC16112.JPG
 
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PaulMc7

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If First can not manage to really irritate anyone else out of not using their buses here I reckon that's a battle won in itself. Think at times even a lot of people were getting really fed up with them but had no choice but to stick with them due to lack of other options. That in itself is a dangerous position to be in.

Doesn't help either that the main cuts are all in areas that are tight-knit communities that aren't afraid to kick up a fuss about it. Still remains to be seen what happens about the cuts after more meetings between First and politicians take place
 

PaulMc7

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My sister has told me today that her uni(Strathclyde) is likely to be online for the first 5 weeks now meaning it'll probably be November before we start seeing a lot of students on buses
 

PaulMc7

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Seen on Twitter from Springburn Academy's account which is backed up in response from politicians that school kids are being banned from using the M3 if wearing uniform. Absolutely shocking move tbh
 

Scotrail88

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Seen on Twitter from Springburn Academy's account which is backed up in response from politicians that school kids are being banned from using the M3 if wearing uniform. Absolutely shocking move tbh
never believe everything politicians say!
Is it maybe the pupils will have another bus rather than school passes on M3 and won’t be allowed free travel anymore and should use the other bus?
 

PaulMc7

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never believe everything politicians say!
Is it maybe the pupils will have another bus rather than school passes on M3 and won’t be allowed free travel anymore and should use the other bus?
It was the school that said it first and I doubt they'd lie to their own pupils. Seemed that they're just straight up banned from the M3 from what it says
 

ross4122

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Seen on Twitter from Springburn Academy's account which is backed up in response from politicians that school kids are being banned from using the M3 if wearing uniform. Absolutely shocking move tbh
I can't even find a tweet on Springburn Academy's twitter feed relating to it?
 

Scotrail88

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Attached it now
that’s the parent council so not the school.
Again I make the point, have they had their pass removed and told they will have a dedicated bus??
if so, they can’t use the M3 unless they pay.

Sounds like change of contract and taken totally wrong!
 

olddriver

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5726E410-BD96-47E0-A879-4ABC59BCCF8A.jpeg
Relevant section from school newsletter attached. The gist is that the 431 has been discontinued and First have refused to put a larger bus on the M3 so pupils have been told they can’t travel, due to social distancing. GCC to run a vehicle until September in the first instance.
 

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